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Trance Forum » » Forum  Trance - The Problem With Psytrance (warning, it's a long post)

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The Problem With Psytrance (warning, it's a long post)

Pete Sideburner


Started Topics :  4
Posts :  67
Posted : Mar 22, 2007 23:30
I think the psy scene is in kinda trouble since a few years. As usual and as it has happened to other subcultural movements before, many different styles have evaporated out of the oldschool, original sound. They address lots of different people and/or states of minds, which is really a great thing. But it kinda got stuck and repetitive - but why?

I think it’s just the usual: business and hedonism.

Isn’t it funny, that in such an international, globally widespread scene (I think there never has been any comparable movement before, at least from the being absolutly globalized perspective) CD-realeases rarely sell more than a few hundred copies and still you have like a total jungle of different labels popping out the “killah releases” like a catholic hausfrau is popping out babies?

And in the quest of success most labels are just greedy of popping out the “newest”, “freshest” – well, or whatever that means – so that for most labels the recency became more important than the quality. If I read the descriptions from psyshop, which I guess do all come from the releasing labels, it is mostly brainless, proposterous hokum. It usually sounds like a sleazy washing powder commercial, just that the target group isn’t middle-class houswives but some slightly bemused fringe group that chose to live a tightrope between drug madness, drug addiction, keeping it somehow alltogether and believing that this lifestyle would really have some spiritual potential to it.

And most of the music sounds excactly like that. Italy’s musical embaressment Eros Ramazotti is for mid-aged, female clerks with widish asses who still believe some day they got picked by a magic prince. Britney Spears is for teenaged school girls who hope that their braces won’t keep them from getting their first kiss this summer holiday. Eminem is for their counterparts: teen-aged school boys with ugly, shiny sneakers and ridiculously gay belt-buckles who struggle with severe acne and hope that their summer holiday conquest won’t have any braces. Well, most Goa music nowadays is for malnourished, anemic wanna-be Terence McKennas who masquerade their addiction to drugs and their lust for transient, meaningless fun with a bunch of colorful, weird clothes, kitschy accessoirs and a mostly verbally spiritual correct habit, that often comes off a little overblown and out of place.

But the truth is: The majority of Goa fraggles are basically just big consumers. Consumers of new “killah releases”, heavy consumers of drugs, of course, consumers of laser shows, consumers of dancefloors and, most of all, consumers of an old and long vanished idea of a better life as a hippie. Even the conversation often seems like some kind of conspicuous consumption, as the topics often seem very much to go around in circels (drugs, high dosed drug-experiences, which is my favourite drug, myths about safer use of drugs, the most apprecciated artist that is about to play next night and is by no means to be missed, and, of course, boom shanka, mind & soul, just be yourself and all that pseudo spiritual load of crap).

Uh, and btw: Of course, you don’t have to *dance* on a dancefloor to consume it. You don’t even have to *listen* to the music that’s being played, it’s much more simpler: Just stand there in the middle of everybody, scream, cheer and whistle your ass off, with a can of warm, moldy beer in your hand and some amphetamines circling your metabolism and making your lower jaw compulsively nibble somewhere around the hair line over your ears, is all you have to do. Being such a drooly, gasping and noisy drug monster, you can always say, who ever is on stage just right now, makes the dancefloor “go crazy”.

May, 2006. I was at the tragically dreadful wet and rainy Sonnentanz festival in Austria (still, the irony of that name makes me titter ) and the second night or so, when I walked towards the dancefloor alone, there was this group of – hm, well, I think I’m gonna call them Goa hooligans – behind me that sang that famous soccer tune: “Oléééé, olé, olé, oléééé”, just they didn’t put their favorite soccer team in it, but the phrase “super Goa, oléééé, olééééé.”

It was at that moment, it hit me: I am at a soccer match in some British stadium, or at an overcrowed beach in front of ugly white tourist blocks in Spain, or at a ski piste in Switzerland, or at an camping site in Italy, or at Disneyland in Florida, or Mardi Gras in former New Orleans (now known as Atlantis), or at the local Burger King just next to the local charts disco, or at the Love Parade in Berlin, or just sitting at home after work watching those spirit crushing so called comedy shows. I’m just at another place where that mob-driven, hedonistic numbness is the idealized behaviour-pattern of that streamlined common sense that degenerates our little planet so much. Basically, I could be anywhere except nature - there isn’t much difference anymore between a psyparty and any other civilized place where people consume things some vibrant business-men have arranged for them.

It used to be a huge difference between psyparties and the crappy ordinary world. The latter is so utterly contaminated with mindless consumerism that makes *things* becoming more important than *people*, while the former used to be more about *just being people*. But today, psytrance has become ordinary, or: The ordinary people with their ordinary interests and ordinary habits have arrived at psytrance.

And that is the problem: On the one side, you have those, who want to make a shit-load of money, or to get appreciated by the masses, and on the other hand, you have those, who want to have some brainless, absent-minded weekend-fun. So you have Skazi, Domestic, Infected Mushroom and all that Goa-Rave-Pop-Trance-musical-warfare-against-good-taste-shit behind and on the stage and all those dimwits screaming like it is some kind of a Tokyo Hotel concert at the dancefloor in front of it.

Or you have some pointless noise that sounds like a vacuum cleaner dubbed over a traction engine for those who obviously want to keep it undahground, man!

Don’t get me wrong, there is still lots of good freaky music out there, but the market forces in psy aren’t different from those at the New York stock exchange, so you just don’t get to hear it on parties - or at least very rarely. You rather hear that mass produced CCC-Trance (crappy, childish and cheesy) for the masses, which is, from a musical point-of-view, simply a catastrophe and an embarresment for the whole scene.

So, who’s with me? Who wants that difference back that it once used to make? How are we gonna get it? Where? I don’t want to ditch or snub anyone here. These are just my personal observations after dawdling away 11 years in psytrance wonderland. I really miss the un-normality that I thought the term psychedelic always referred to: That simple, basic and sometimes very hard “be-it”. No attitude, no fashion, no style, no raving madness, no narcism. Just let the woofs hittin’ your vulnerable brain cells and getting yourself brutally kicked out of reality into reality simply by the music, which is impossible with all that stopstarts, snare roles, siren sounds and that one special consistently emerging melody, that tries so hard to be utterly euphoric but just manages to be as poetic as the emotional and spiritual profundity of a barbie doll.

So what to do? Could it really be that this whole scene and its basic non-verbal idea of just *purely being* had have so little real substance? Or have I been so fuckin’ delusional all this years, thinking of that idea as sharing it with others without having to talk about it? Or is the idea still there, but those parties aren’t the “place-to-be” anymore? So, where is it then?

Maybe it’s just a fuckin’ awful decade we are living in. When some US-warmongers and their European poodles try to bring up World War 3, when religious and political conservatism is gaining more and more relevance in most of our societies and when our so called elites try their best in fulfilling Orson Welles’ and Aldous Huxley’s darkest prophecies, while those who would have got the potential to make some difference rave their nights and brains away with mind-crushing doses of MDMA and crappy kindergarten-guitar-riffs over some hectic, neurotically discontinuous basslines.

Or maybe I’m just getting old and turned into a severe cynic at the abyss of my thirties!?

Well, anyway, just some thoughts.

Cheers.
          I love humanity but I hate people.
Spiritual_mind
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  29
Posts :  246
Posted : Mar 22, 2007 23:57
Lovely.....





Boom Boom.
DJ_420


Started Topics :  1
Posts :  123
Posted : Mar 23, 2007 01:54
yay, neurotically discontinuous basslines, sounds like fun.

lighten up!
soulfood
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  10
Posts :  875
Posted : Mar 23, 2007 02:54
I think you need to keep your memories and recreate them somewhere special and secluded. Just tell your nearest and dearest and don't send flyers to god knows where, because god knows who will turn up with god knows what which leads to god knows what else.

Either that or just learn to play with the degenerates. I hear that they'll love all your jokes
Pavel
Troll

Started Topics :  311
Posts :  8629
Posted : Mar 23, 2007 07:46
Some good points there.
A vacuum cleaner dubbed over a traction engine for those who obviously want to keep it undahground, man!

          Everyone in the world is doing something without me
lokus
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  12
Posts :  684
Posted : Mar 23, 2007 08:30
very nice
"those dimwits screaming like it is some kind of a Tokyo Hotel concert at the dancefloor"
hehe

i bet you were on the "sonnenklang" festival
not "sonnentanz"
          - last possible solution
- trick music
- ambivalent records
myspace.com/lokuz

ps: y trance?
Magox
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  20
Posts :  2095
Posted : Mar 23, 2007 11:03
"Or maybe I’m just getting old and turned into a severe cynic at the abyss of my thirties!? "


you said it....


           "On the path of spirituality, one ventures to vanquish one’s own faults rather than to judge others"
onelove


Started Topics :  0
Posts :  43
Posted : Mar 23, 2007 11:13
You are not alone in thinking so brother.Ironically democracy has made everyone self important. Yes freedom is the best thing but then self effacement has been forgotten along the way. To me trance is all about forgetting the ego, but the who cares attitude has been perversely moulded to mean who cares about you dude, I am the king/ queen.
onelove


Started Topics :  0
Posts :  43
Posted : Mar 23, 2007 11:14
Anyway lets hope things will change.For the better.
Magox
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  20
Posts :  2095
Posted : Mar 23, 2007 11:28
Quote:

On 2007-03-23 11:13, onelove wrote:
You are not alone in thinking so brother.Ironically democracy has made everyone self important. Yes freedom is the best thing but then self effacement has been forgotten along the way. To me trance is all about forgetting the ego, but the who cares attitude has been perversely moulded to mean who cares about you dude, I am the king/ queen.


I thank God that I dont share the same acquaintances as you do..... It must be a little distressing associating yourself with the "I am the king/queen" array of people.            "On the path of spirituality, one ventures to vanquish one’s own faults rather than to judge others"
oggabogga
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  10
Posts :  62
Posted : Mar 23, 2007 11:47
Pete, that is one amazing post. I thank you for your words. To bad some people can't understand your message and takes it as an personal offence. fortunally / unfortunally, depends on how you look at it, I see my self as something like this (give and take):
Quote:
consumers of an old and long vanished idea of a better life as a hippie. Even the conversation often seems like some kind of conspicuous consumption, as the topics often seem very much to go around in circles (drugs, high dosed drug-experiences, which is my favourite drug, myths about safer use of drugs, the most appreciated artist that is about to play next night and is by no means to be missed, and, of course, boom shanka, mind & soul, just be yourself and all that pseudo spiritual load of crap).

Either way, a fantastic post/thread and your words are appreciated to the fullest. All I know is that peace, love & psychedelic is in my heart.

Deus


Started Topics :  1
Posts :  48
Posted : Mar 23, 2007 17:16
I agree 100%.Food for thought for the newer people of this scene.           Dance For Paradise!
rica
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  11
Posts :  251
Posted : Mar 23, 2007 18:53
Quote:
On 2007-03-22 23:30, Pete Sideburner wrote:
So, who’s with me?


me, me!

Quote:
Who wants that difference back that it once used to make?


yea me, me!

Quote:
How are we gonna get it?


oh boi, that's the point i think. my answer'd be, we won't. we could wait until the next underground movement, or make it happen (or does it just happen?). meanwhile, let's live with the fact that it's gone for good, it *will never* return. find something else to do, work, internet, beer, do the same old stuff - accept it, it's gone for good.
          Bhavatu sabba mangalam
rich
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  103
Posts :  2184
Posted : Mar 23, 2007 19:45
Quote:

On 2007-03-22 23:30, Pete Sideburner wrote:
So, who’s with me? Who wants that difference back that it once used to make? How are we gonna get it? Where?



I feel like everything I've gained personally from psychedelic trance over the years is there for me to carry and manifest out into the world. Now is the time to put all the gifts to use.
I don't lament what the scene and music have become cos I understand it's just the natural progression of things. And I certainly don't want to try to 'get back' to how it used to be. That seems totally unnatural, or even an indication of some unhealthy dependence on something not quite healed.
I've grown, and expect the things that help me continue to grow are not going to be the same things as before. New music (yes it can be psychedelic trance), new friends (or better, friends that have grown with me), new challenges in life.

Bring it.
rich
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  103
Posts :  2184
Posted : Mar 23, 2007 19:49
Have to say, Pete, your post cracked me up. Funny shit man

Trance Forum » » Forum  Trance - The Problem With Psytrance (warning, it's a long post)

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