Started Topics :
Posted : May 25, 2018 08:35
On 2018-05-09 08:30, vector_0 wrote:
well, since no one has been the doom-sayer and death pronouncer cliché, i'll bite. I'd also like to take this moment to double down on my assertion that this place is depressing, pointless, and should be put out of its misery.
**TLDR; the music sucks, artists get treated like crap, we're old, psytrance is old, people have moved on, there's no new blood, the world is fkd, my opinions are my own and possibly irrelevant and/or uninformed**
sulibaba is right, other forums are indeed flourishing as people get sick of social media, but that is not happening here for a few reasons.
the first is the music. the standards of quality has decreased significantly since we collectively decided that the music isn't worth paying for and doesn't deserve the dignity of being officially released. People who make really good sounding psytrance do so out of a nearly-pathological "love" for the music. Once they've spent 200 hours of time on their songs, they pay out of pocket for mastering, art, distro, and promotion maybe. If no distro, they pay Basilisk his 20 quid or whatever to literally give the music away to anyone who might listen. As a reward for all this time and money spent, the artist gets a few comments and people rate the album. Thats it.
I think we've all talked to death about how "live PA," or whatever they're calling it these days, is shite and DJs are more fun at parties. A lot of artists will even admit that they think "playing live" is stupid and maybe even a bit embarrassing. There's a reason why Shpongle's live sets became more about showcasing trippy visual & performance art than about Simon playing his tunes. Even if producers want to play gigs, no one will pay them to do so. Nearly everyone is expected to play for free, and +1's to festivals are treated as compensation. Many talented artists have made intentional moves to other genres where they will be treated professionally, or they have welcomed being co-opted by, and adjusted their sound for, "bass heads," "festies", "clubbers" ...or in the case of infected mushroom, "idiots."
In addition to these logistical considerations as to why the quality of the music has gone down, the people who've been pushing the boundaries and innovating the psy sound have, IMO, gone in a foul & obnoxious direction. Darkpsy, Hi-tech, Psycore, and general "avant garde" psytrance just doesn't work. sorry guys. Fine for home listening, i guess, if that's your thing...I listen to much weirder music in my free time at home or in the car...but really i don't find this stuff that compelling. And the dancefloor agrees. way too many people, at parties of primarily this musical style, spend the whole night around the fire or at camps socializing and networking... except for the 9 people who took the dangerously high dosages of drug cocktails required to feel compelled to dance to this music. I've witnessed and talked to countless party people who give it a shot but, its just not well suited to be dance music. the ebb & flow of the rhythms are too minimal, and tonal quality has been reduced to a 5 minute recording of someone dicking around with an analog synth. there seems to be so little intention in these tracks, just experimentation, and popularization through politics (hence all the socializing and networking at darkpsy parties). The person who would come to one of these parties for the first time and be hooked, doesn't exist. And to be a little more insulting to this genre, when it comes to the merits of home-listening avant garde music, i think there was more far out stuff being created in the 1960s even, than this. I swear i'm gonna come back to a psytrance festival in 10 years and DJs are gonna be spinning binaural beats through a loud speaker while the crowd sits in chairs on the dancefloor watching a pre-programmed light show in their iGlasses or whatever.
So with this kind of sonic innovation, the "good" psytrance releases merely aim to be representative of something in the past that we used to know. Despite all odds to the contrary, I hear it sometimes, and it sounds great. It makes me want to get up and dance...but it makes me dance to remember, whereas I used to dance to forget. The foreign, twisted, alien, sound I fell in love with is now either 1) familiar and comforting, or 2) repulsive (see above paragraph).
Add to all this that the relevance of the psychedelic underground is eroding in the face of legitimization. Lots of psy freaks either burnt out chasing their tails through an endless trip called "dissociative substance abuse," cashed out by making the move into cryptocurrency space, or washed out lobbying for medical/clinical use of psychedelics. I can fully understand all three of those groups and their motivations, tbqh.
Sometimes I meet people who I knew from back in my heyday, who are still very active in the scene, and they seem like they're stuck in a loop (with exceptions, of course; there are some wonderful, brilliant, inspiring people who've never left the scene). I feel sad for them and wonder what they are looking for that they will never find here. I see them fighting disillusionment behind their eyes, out of a sense of identity, loyalty, or something else, i dunno. doing the same things, going to the same parties, hanging with the same people, wondering (or ignoring) why their lives have stagnated. The washed out people I mentioned, lobbying for formalized, normalized use of psychedelics, are more than happy to see the pool of freaks drying up, because for their cause, these people just tarnish the polished academic appearance they are so desperately trying to establish/maintain. and who can blame them?
as a disclaimer, i'll note that this is a limited perspective of someone from North America. maybe somewhere else in the world there's a new generation of wild-eyed enthusiastic psytrancers taking all the time to comb through all the released to find the gold, putting on parties for the fun of it, and inspiring/supporting budding artists who want to create. and maybe they just don't wanna hang out with a bunch of grumpy ol' fuddy duddies like me here on the blue pages, and are forging their own new communities. If you know of this place, let me know, because i'd love to visit. But last I heard, goa is now a condominium farm, koh phangan is a creepazoid budget ibiza, and israelis have moved on from trance; meanwhile the symptoms of cancer in the wider european and north american society/culture have become too prevalent and overt to deny. Art, of any kind, being a hard thing to grow in the looming desert of neo-fascism, is troubling and depressing, but not at the top of the list of concerns for most people.
I don't really know whats going on in Oz, South Africa, or Japan, but like in all things, their isolation makes penetrating a global audience challenging. I've got a feeling its going to be up to South America to keep this flame going, and I hope they do.
times they are a changin'
Am I wrong?
Not wrong nor right, somewhere between.
South America still has nice Festivals, although most of them insist placing 24 one hour live acts in the line up, when you correctly mentioned that DJ sets are usually better. Also in terms of producing music we're still far, far away from creative/innovative/psychedelic.
rich mentioned Finland, and I tend to agree, although it is difficult to limit it to a country, and even Scandinavian Peninsula would be too restrictive. But it is far better than South America IMO.
...Be gentle with the earth...
...Dance like nobody's watching...
...I don't mind not going to Heaven, as long as they've got Coffee in Hell...