It’s simple to be dismissive about progressive trance, if not only for the evidence backing so much dismissive music. For someone not immersed in the scene, what defines it as listenable rather than simply the background to an experience?
There’s no conclusive or academic answer, try as we might, and that’s probably a positive thing. What is also positive is when an act defies the norms of trance and makes something engaging and accessible for somebody who has blown their ears out on Lou Reed, Costello and other elitist singer-songwriters, Eagle | Stallian has made yours truly sit down and think about what’s being thrown at me, in the electronic sense.
The Reminiscence EP is positively tribal and primal. Despite hailing from Canadian producers, it sounds indigenous to something linked to mana and rage – while still being grounded in an industrial realm. “Origin,” the EP’s lead track doesn’t quite inhabit one style – veering from something definitively trance into a dubstup – hybrid. It’s similar to a retrospective of sorts in the dance music realm, surveying over the popularity of genres while maintaining on pulse on a track that is otherwise consanguine to the beat.
“Crossing Over” also presents an interesting upset – marking something that The Mayan in DTLA would likely have thrived on in their heyday. Yet, it would undoubtedly still resonate with listeners now – it is, dare I say, timeless in that respect. Eagle | Stallian not only make nice use of a pipe in their name (refreshing, right?) but also hearken back to a collective consciousness with one foot firmly rooted in the modern era.