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Trance Forum » » Forum  Trance - homogeneity, identity politics, and the closing of the trance mind

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homogeneity, identity politics, and the closing of the trance mind


Started Topics :  94
Posts :  783
Posted : Mar 1, 2008 19:23:02
if you listen to much older psy and goa music you find much more variety both inside of compilations and inside individual tracks...

today its all about homegeneity.
its all about playing more and more of the same kind of trance (whatever it is) that you already play.

if you buy a compilation its about 8-10 tracks of more or less the same exact music. same kind of track structure and same kinds of sounds...

people are choosing their comps based on HOMOGENEITY

i see it as reinforcing the identity politics aspect and reducing the psychedelic and open minded aspects.

i am posting this to bitch and hopefully get some people thinking or talking about this subject.

its gotten really bad people- you go to a party and only hear one kind of psytrance the whole night- no one imagines the other sounds could POSSIBLY have anything to offer them... mixes of different sounds scare labels and organizers. many of those guys just want consistency so they can project how much MONEY they are going to make.

someone can become popular only within the existing genres of psytrance- even an older artist coming back into trance needs to fit one of the formulas! thats strange to me...

this is the opposite of psychedelic.
its the opposite of open minded.
its the opposite of evolution.

we are KILLING the evolution of psytrance in favor of plastic static formulas that dont actually reflect the people we are.

real people have more complex emotions and feelings than just "dark, fullon, progressive, electro, goa" etc...

even to use the term goa to refer the the mind boggling body of music that ranges from UX to KoxBox to Astral Projection- thats a serious dis-service..

if someone were to listen to one of the biggest albums of psychedelic trance- XDream Radio- one might say its a tad dark at points, a bit techno-ish and proggy at points, a bit fullon at points...

if you listen to one of the early TIP singles you find a wide variety of tracks. GMS were CRAZY in those days! tracks that are way to subtle for the "STOOPID" approach of todays labels and organizers- like The Deviant- like Orichalcum.... strange psychedelic sounds with subtle beauty... right next to straightforward dancefloor bangers...

but somewhere around 2000-2004 it all went to shit and split in a social sense and the reactions went too far away from each other and now they dont even talk...

by the way=- since when did we ditch the spiritual "raising consciousness" story ?

IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  13
Posts :  163
Posted : Mar 1, 2008 20:56
I think the notion of trance music having spiritual connotations makes a lot of people very uncomfortable. I think part of the problem with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert’s attempt at starting a new spiritual and psychological age was that they lacked a serious sustainable practice. Timothy Leary suggested that people take LSD every day or every week to reprogram their brains and to induce the type of personal religious experience he favored. This is very hard for mainstream America to swallow because it is not built on any long lasting spiritual doctrine or philosophy. I think trance music as a spiritual experience faces similar problems.

Now I know I have and will continue to have intense and meaningful transpersonal experiences with electronic music and psychedelic drugs. I wonder if perhaps it is best if we as trance music fans present the trance dance concept as extremely personal. Everyone has a different take on god, spirit and ego. The metaphysical implications of trance should be no different. I don’t trance music is a church of LSD and it shouldn’t feel like it either.

As for the issue of ingenuity, well I for one am always looking for people who shake things up. I was at a party not long ago and found that in the back room the music had far more variety and seemed to tell a greater story. The main floor was full on but I felt like I have heard it before. I knew how it was going to keep building and breaking. As a hobbyist dj I have been finding myself weaving Dubstep, Drum and Bass, Classical, experimental noise and Idm into my sets. I think a lot of good Acts within the great psy trance community do the same. It’s more of an issue of being conscientious to weed through all the releases today and find the one that truly have life and ingenuity to them.

I would love to see a bigger diversity in the organization of the parties in general, Why not put some break-core on at like 5 am or some euphoric progressive at 2 am, that would really put the zap on you. Anyway, I am glad this conversation is taking place. Revolution is healthy. Build, destroy reprogram, paint over, scrap away and build it again. Only the strong will survive.
-Peace and Love
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  20
Posts :  2095
Posted : Mar 1, 2008 22:34
I think many of us may have our "psychedelic" radars tuned too much into one particular sound, and if it doesn't have the mindbending, twisted, sound distorted sounds or whatever the description may be, then it's just not considered worth while listening or attending to.            "On the path of spirituality, one ventures to vanquish one’s own faults rather than to judge others"
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  26
Posts :  907
Posted : Mar 2, 2008 02:41
all good points. i dont think the scene is hopeless though. maybe these notions of fitting into a particular sound have taken over in todays psy scene, but i still think that there is a good enough number of artists who make very original music. its true that every one of these subgenres have a formula, but dont you feel that this kind of thing is bound to happen to any genre of music? a sound is created, people dig the sound and then artists keep releasing music to satisfy those people with the same sound. it works and they feel safe, these artists are afraid to try anything else. theres only a handful of listeners who will go out and look for different sounds nowadays. and nowadays psytrance is pretty well established so these formulas are bound to happen. maybe back in the day goa/psy wasnt a concrete genre so people were more experimental. whatever it is i feel its the artists responsibility to stay innovative and to be experimental and the organizers responsibility to book these acts. maybe a festival should be planned where the main focus is avoiding these formulated psytrance sub genres. it would also be good if there were more record labels that focus purely on new sounds and that ignore formulated music.

watever it is i still believe that within psytrance, the most unique and creative music exists, much more than other styles of music. there just has to be more focus on the artists who ignore formulas.

Started Topics :  1
Posts :  77
Posted : Mar 2, 2008 04:11
Personally, I blame vsts/computer DAWs and mp3s for the current state of psytrance.
I don't think its a coincidence that as this music became cheaper and cheaper to make, the creativity become less and less.
In the 90s you had to make a serious commitment to music and spend at least 5k to even come close to being able to assemble a track. Now in a day you can download everything for free to assemble a track. What this has ultimately done is squeaze out the artist who want to make a living at this from taking risks and simply make music with the best possiblity to reach the largest audience. Sure there are exceptions like the thread starters music but I know if I was a professional artist I would make the most cookie cutter full on since you have to pay bills and buy food.
There isn't a solution to this, you can't put this genie back in the bottle.
Inactive User

Started Topics :  118
Posts :  4445
Posted : Mar 2, 2008 05:03

On 2008-03-01 19:23:02, ocelot wrote:
by the way=- since when did we ditch the spiritual "raising consciousness" story ?

99 ?
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  168
Posts :  2984
Posted : Mar 2, 2008 07:00
I agree with the general assessment that psytrance culture has been facing a broad downturn in overall creativity since about 2004. Great music is still coming out but I've heard from so many artists how difficult it is to get released when their style doesn't fit into one of the established categories. I think a lot of this can be blamed on the raw economics of the psytrance industry. Commercial CD manufacturers usually deal in a minimum of 1,000 units (sometimes 500). Put these numbers in perspective: CD sales figures reported on Isratrance were not much better than 200, 300, or sometimes 1,000--with the notable exception of a few of the bigger, more established labels and the odd break-out hit cracking into the thousands. But that's quite rare.

Now, we've gone over the issue of market saturation here on Isratrance many times--essentially, there are many more labels and artists seeking an increasingly smaller audience share, and this only exacerbates the issue.

With these economic conditions in place, conservative/risk-averse behaviour is a more sustainable strategy than experimentation and creative exploration. Labels that take risks often falter and then fold. Labels that play it safe survive to build an audience and corner a niche. Have a look at some of the more long-lived and prolific labels in our scene: Neurobiotic, 3D Vision, Utopia, Hom-Mega, Com.Pact, etc. You probably know exactly what to expect from each of these. They're consistent, not overly creative.

What can be done about this situation? Well, if the problem ultimately boils down to profit margins and the bottom line... how about removing money as a necessary part of the equation? I'm not saying that psytrance needs to move toward a cashless economy--far from it. Commerce will always have a place in the underground. Over the last few years I have been tirelessly advocating the adoption of a viable alternative to the commercial distribution system. And, as some of you know, I think substantial progress is being made on this front.

My appreciation of psychedelic trance covers an immense spectrum of sound. I can't think of many other DJs playing everything from Psykovsky to La Baaz--in a single set no less. There aren't any labels that cover this kind of ground. It would be financial suicide to even try it. I think Moonsun tried it--and faithful Isratrance readers know how that turned out. This is why Psylife and Halu Beats are separate labels. Commercial labels rely on brand recognition to some extent. I don't think that netlabels need to specialize nearly as much... simply because the standards of success are vastly different. When you are selling music you are looking at sales numbers and critical response. When you are giving music away... well, the main thing is simply reaching people. And this you can do much easier than when you are attempting to sell plastic. 50,000 releases have been downloaded from my site in the last month and a half. I wonder how many CDs have been sold in that same time period?
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  14
Posts :  3784
Posted : Mar 2, 2008 07:08
I don't think there is a problem with labels choosing compilations based on homogeneity. With more & more labels cropping up & more compilations releasing every month labels are trying to keep each compilation 'theme based' & hence are choosing tracks with similar vibes/structures/sounds. I personally don't see anything wrong in this but i see only a few labels doing this well. Other labels such as Parvati for example, have their very own unique trademark sound going on since ages & the only reason why their sales are relatively higher than most other labels is because people enjoy & want to hear that particular style when they buy a Parvati release.

With regard to parties...the great thing about the party 'scene' if i may say in countries such as the US is the buffet of psychedelic sounds available to party-goers. Whether it is through separation of stages playing different styles, or whether it is shorter dj time slots, one definitely gets to hear quite a range of sounds which is something i never came across until i came to the US.

As subjective as music tastes maybe i'd rather have hours & hours of night time music when im lost somewhere in space, rather than having a rude intrusion of isreali cheese somewhere in the middle that would personally create a train-wreck.

I think its always great to have 2 different stages at every party, each showcasing say maybe 2-3 different slots of various sounds. This way things remain diverse & one has the option of being exposed to a greater variety of sounds at a party.

Nice topic

IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  50
Posts :  8780
Posted : Mar 2, 2008 13:34
I think it's 'we' who are making things go this way..... because 'we' are liking it.

If you don't like it; don't buy. Simple. Labels ares elling because people are buying & liking it that way.

It's subjective, you cannot blame the scene for this.

You choose whatever you like & wish to support.

PS: Though i myself wish that we should lose all the possibilities of categorizing music, will make things easy & smooth
          We were born naked & grow up to become wicked.

Started Topics :  0
Posts :  380
Posted : Mar 2, 2008 14:31

hi ocelot ,
cant clearly get ur POV across from what u have mentioned ))

which labels are releasing such compilations ? i mean A degree labels only if ur talking so , the ones who are releasing good twisted psychedelc music or the one's which are more oriented towards releasing daytime music with lots of melodies and happy moments rather than the earlier mentioned type of labels who intend to release much more of twisted mind trip dance moods

lately there has been a lot of variety in the compilations released or by that i mean compilations released from good labels such as Tantrumm , Insomnia , Drop-out ,Phreex Network , Might Quinn , Organic Alchemy , Underground sound productions n some more ..

they are surely taking a next step towards a new evolution in psychedelic music

or is it just that u want people to start producing more of oldschool stuff like koxbox n astral projection as mentioned..( full respect to them )

i mean it was great in that time when koxbox , astral projection used to be THE thing . cant always stay the same

this way u will also find many people who have made a transition from that type of psychedelic music ( i.e koxbox era )to what it is now known as twisted music or ( night music n dark n all those terms)

so if it fits well in some places , surely there is something right about it , because there r many people who enjoy this music , all around the globe from brazil to russia


Mad Purple State
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  39
Posts :  1468
Posted : Mar 2, 2008 15:18
I think what hez trying to say here is the freshness of the material thats coming out these days is not upto the mark...

And I have to agree with him on that to a point...

May it be dark or morning... Out of every 5 albums released... 2 - 3 of them dont suprise you at all.

I think to make good music you need to spend a lot of time with it ... and in dark too i see artists releasing in quantity rather than quality.

But all said and done... there are some really really good acts still out there who are still bringing some wicked stuff into the scene... whatever genre you choose.

Mad           No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness...

Started Topics :  1
Posts :  77
Posted : Mar 2, 2008 18:26

What can be done about this situation? Well, if the problem ultimately boils down to profit margins and the bottom line... how about removing money as a necessary part of the equation?

That is just not going to happen though. To me the only thing that can be done is the true artist to make things that can't be done by those who are just downloading cracked software and faking it. I seriously question the point in even bothering to put out a cd. Why not put out a dvd with artwork, video, hell tape yourself messing around in the studio, interviews about your daily life. Print different runs of 200 with different artwork on the cover so people would want to have the earlier one.
Ultimately this is on the artist and no one else is to blame. Artist need to take things to a higher level that can't be easily reproduced by those lacking in talent.
No matter how weird or how different things are, truely astounding art will sell. Floyd's Darkside of The Moon is a perfect example.
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  60
Posts :  1151
Posted : Mar 2, 2008 20:36
you may be right about compilations as they mostly have a concept behind them and the music thats chosen to the compilation fits the comp's concept, and to be honest for most of the releases (im speaking about artist albums) its true the sounds are the same, but, and thats a big but - in most of the parties i go to the music varies throughout the whole party and encompasses a very wide range of music... and in my opinion its the parties that have a higher measure of influence and reflect the state of todays scene - so aside of picking your albums carefully and looking for that extra something in each album - i think were doing ok
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  56
Posts :  1221
Posted : Mar 3, 2008 11:53
I completly agree with Ocelot.....

New sounds, new concepts are necessary ones!!!!! I dont agree (its more i dont like) that the "new-sounds" of psycadelia are the "old-sounds" in other genres....And a lot of the artists, mentioned here, once played deep, intense, new, psycadelic-trance music, but they dont play it anymore. At least we have Suomi (sorry for the labelling!!!!!).....

Its , at the same time, a big Hypocrasy someone who doesnt play psycadelic-trance anymore (but some other already "invented" genre) appear saying that "i dont play psy-trance because its all the same and its not new"....and when you go listen to their new stuff, there is nothing new about it....they just jumped to a different type of music!!!!

Please new sounds, new concepts....evolution not substitution!!!!!!  

Started Topics :  2
Posts :  115
Posted : Mar 3, 2008 13:35
The porblem is that mostly producers forget about magic, mission, romantic and mystic in psychedelic trance. They dont read spiritual books, they dont practice anything, they dont searching for ... They start talking that psychedelic trance just music. Its just art. Its just parties. Its just people. Its just drugs. So, what they trying to give us when they made sounds...
Ocelot, great respect for you, for sure you know how It should be! 
Trance Forum » » Forum  Trance - homogeneity, identity politics, and the closing of the trance mind

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