A friend of mine refers to all electronic music as "techno." Doesn't matter if it's drum 'n' bass, jungle, house, down-tempo -- to him, "it's all fucking techno, man." And with a little encouragement, he'll launch into a rant that includes dead-on onomatopoeia of what techno sounds like: Sst. Umph. Sst. Umph. Sst. Umph. You know exactly what he's talking about; too bad he doesn't know what he's talking about. The style of music he's mocking isn't techno; it's trance. And no doubt DJ Tiësto is one of the cats who provided him with inspirational source material. Rest assured, however, that hard-core trance-heads not only can tell the difference, but consider Tiësto their favorite DJ. DJ magazine's readers ranked Tiësto number one in the 2002 and 2003 polls, and this year he was tapped as America's second-favorite DJ by BPM magazine. But what really sets Tiësto apart from all the others, what's helped him earn those titles, is that the tunes he's spinning are his own. His latest platters, Just Be and Parade of the Athletes, released by the Nettwerk imprint, give you a snapshot of his sound: classic, swirling trance cuts, with synthetic blips and beats interspersed with more ethereal, down-tempo numbers. To truly experience Tiësto's essence, you have to see him live -- and you'll get your trance this Tuesday, December 14, at Myst in Scottsdale. Techno-ly speaking, it should be the shit.