Sunday, 9 December 2012
Like lots of the known subcultures Psytrance is revolved around a genre of music, just like rockers, metal heads, grungers, punks revolve and base their styles around rock, metal, grunge and punk bands.
Psytrance is a genre of rave music. You could say that the subculture is “NU-Hippie”.
Psy is derived from the Greek word “psyche” which means mind; soul; breath; spirit. Psytrance is a sub-genre of Goa-trance.
Hippie which is subculture in it's own right, emerged in the 60’s, it was a youth movement with a fundamental ethos including peace, harmony with nature, communal living, artistic experimentation (particularly in music), and the widespread use of recreational drugs, spread around the world.
In the 1970’s many hippies followed the “hippie trail” and ended up in India, many of them hung out in Goa where the Goa-trance party/music scene started to emerge. During the 1970s the first Goa DJs were generally playing psychedelic rock bands such as the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd and The Doors. Later In 1979 the beginnings of electronic dance music could occasionally be heard in Goa by artists such as Kraftwerk but it wasn’t until 1983 that DJs Laurent, Fred Disko, and Goa Gil, began switching the Goa style over to electro-industrial/EBM (Electric Body Music).
Goa trance had its commercial peak between 1996 and 1997 with media attention and some recognized names in the DJ scene joining the movement. The commercial peak was short-lived and music sales died, resulting in the failure of record labels, promotion networks and also some artists, but despite this an underground scene has been very much alive since then, although it has been changing and evolving into what has become now.
“Goa-trance” is no longer a suitable term for the scene since the music has been developed and made by DJ’s who have not experienced the Indian religion/culture inspired “Goa lifestyle”.
Psytrance is the new term given to the genre.
I would say this scene is very much underground, with “illegal” and “secret” raves taking place regularly which details for are given to only those who know where to get them from.
For me Psytrance is still a relatively new world and I’m still discovering what it’s all about.
My first experience of the scene was at forest rave. Hidden deep in the woods, with a sound system and lights powered by a generator. Under the starry night sky, fairy lights adorned the trees; which surrounded a big bright campfire. People were sat around the campfire talking and many people were dancing to the deep and trippy Psytrance music. This night signifies to me what this subculture is all about, it's was what it was, it was pure and it was simple, people in the woods surrounded by nature, drinking from bottles and cans, smoking joints that were being passed around the place, with music so they can dance and fulfill that basic human need and fire for warmth. After this night I wanted so badly to be a part of this tribe, I finally found a bunch of people who seemed to be on the same wavelength as me, and that is what a subculture is all about.