Back in 1997, BT and PvD released a massive progressive trance tune that shaped the scene, “Flaming June”.
In 1997, Brian Transeau (better known as BT) released his second studio album, ESCM (Electric Sky Church Music) on Perfecto Records. A diverse mix of trance, drum and bass, hip-hop, and vocal tracks, the album is a departure from what you would typically expect from BT – strong vocals, whimsical sound effects, and sweeping piano melodies make way into something more like what you would find in a club, but with the dramatic flair and musical complexity that is the hallmark of BT’s productions. The third track on the album, “Flaming June” quickly became its biggest hit. A co-production with trance legend and founder of Vandit Records, Paul van Dyk, “Flaming June” cycles through layers upon layers of sound in this eight-and-a-half-minute epic – a basic rhythmic structure builds into dramatic chord progressions, leading into a series of sweeping arpeggios, all the while incubating an intense, hard-hitting bassline that finally fades to reveal the soaring melody that made this track a mainstay on the dance floor.
Flaming June was one of the first trance tracks that I ever heard, and it’s this track and music like it that first interested me in electronic music and recaptured my interest years later when I came back to it. Listening to it today surfaces memories of the halcyon days of my youth when finding the perfect soundtrack for driving around in my car in the summer with the windows down was the most important item on my to-do list. It seems appropriate, then, that during this strange February heat wave that’s sweeping across the nation, it appeared in my Spotify shuffle, a reminder of summers past and the warm festival season to come. Despite my obsession with this track, it wasn’t until years later that I had an opportunity to see it played. I finally had that opportunity when Paul van Dyk’s tour brought him to my hometown of Chicago, and nothing really prepared me for the moment when I heard those first few chords. Something about it was like coming home.
Check out BT – Flaming June on YouTube: