Psytrance: Local Scenes and Global Culture:::This volume seeks contributions to the study of psytrance (psychedelic trance) culture. In particular, it will feature research attending to psytrance as a product of intersecting local and global trajectories. International and interdisciplinary, the collection will host contributions from scholars researching psytrance in worldwide locations, employing various methods, within multiple disciplines: including anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, media studies, ethnomusicology and studies in religion.Rooted in Full Moon parties held on the beaches of Goa, India, in the 1970s and 1980s and incubated within “Goa Trance” scenes flourishing around the world in the mid-1990s, psytrance culture mushroomed globally over the past ten years. Inheriting from ecstatic and visionary pursuits of 1960s psychedelia, sharing music production technologies, DJ techniques and the culture of electronic dance music scenes, and harnessing the communication capabilities of the internet, psytrance would develop distinctive sonic and visual aesthetics, organizations and events, discourse and practice. This cultural proliferation would depend upon the growth of exotic sites of travel, exchange and performance (from Goa to Koh Phangan, Thailand, Bahia to Bali, Ibiza to Nevada’s Burning Man and so on). With events attracting enthusiasts from dozens of nations, in the early 2000s psytrance festivals would become what are likely the most culturally diverse music and dance events on the planet. By 2008, psytrance music, style, and texile fashions are evident in scenes the world over, with the music and culture translated among populations across Europe, in Israel, North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, South America, Mexico, Japan, and elsewhere
Since the early 1990s, what became known as psytrance (or psychedelic trance) has flourished with scenes proliferating around the globe. Global Trance Culture will be the achievement of over ten years of research experience in the world of psytrance.Drawing on the author's fieldwork experience at events and within scenes on five continents, the book explores the interfacing of youth culture, religion and technology in a multi-sited nomadic ethnography. A critical ethnography of global psytrance culture, the book investigates the reputed religious and spiritual claims perculiar to this "trance-national" dance phenomenon. The book addresses specific countercultural and popular musical tensions informing the evolution of psytrance. In particular, it explores the ecstatic (or expressive) and visionary (reflexive) pathways travelled, amplified and remixed by the "trance community". With chapters addressing experiential spirituality, techno-tribalism, neotrance, extreme and conscious rituals, and technological utopias and revitalization movements, the project affords insights on popular trance, neoshamanism, new music technologies and religion, and alternative cultural movements offering a useful contribution to the anthropology of contemporary religion.This comprehensive study of psytrance draws upon a multi-sited ethnography to chart the role of new technologies and non-traditional religion in the contemporary. Rooted in dance events held on the beaches of Goa, India, in the 1980s and incubated within ‘Goa Trance’ scenes in San Francisco and London in the mid 1990s, psytrance (or psychedelic trance) would become a truly global cultural phenomenon by the turn of the millennium. Inheriting substantively from the earlier counterculture and sharing music production technologies, DJ techniques and a dance party culture in common with escalating club and rave scenes, Trance would develop its own sonic and visual aesthetics, organizations and events, discourse and practice. By 2005, it enjoyed massive international appeal among an alternative, highly mobile and techno-savvy subculture.
Networked with the assistance of the internet, psytrance music, style, fashion and discourse are evident in scenes the world over.Offering valuable insights on the character of dance and religion in contemporary life, the book pursues several lines of inquiry:How do the ecstatic and visionary dimensions of the counterculture manifest within psytrance culture?What is the character of ‘trance’ within this culture?What is the self-identified "tribal" character of psytrance organizations, music and culture; and how might the recognition that psytrance is inherently self-experiential further delineate this tribalism?What is the role of cultural appropriation (e.g. of indigenous cultures and Eastern religions) within this culture?If and how does psytrance constitute ritual? What might it mean to squat the liminal and defer what, in his study of rites of passage, van Gennep called "aggregation"?Why has this sophisticated movement become a widely assumed catalyst for liberation, freedom and becoming? Vast numbers of contemporary youth have attached primary significance to raving and post-rave experiences. This collection of essays explores the socio-cultural and religious dimensions of the rave, 'raving' and rave-derived phenomena. Rave Culture and Religion provides insights on developments in post-traditional religiosity (especially 'New Age' and 'Neo-Paganism') through studies of rave's Gnostic narratives of ascensionism and re-enchantment, explorations of the embodied spirituality and millennialist predispositions of dance culture, and investigations of transnational digital-art countercultures manifesting at geographic locations as diverse as Goa, India, and Nevada's Burning Man festival.
Contributors examine raving as a new religious or revitalization movement; a powerful locus of sacrifice and transgression; a lived bodily experience; a practice comparable with world entheogenic rituals; and as evidencing a new Orientalism. Rave Culture and Religion will be essential reading for advanced students and academics in the fields of sociology, cultural studies and religious studies. Psychedelic trance or psytrance is a form of electronic music that evolved from Goa trance in the early 1990s when it first began hitting the mainstream.The original Goa trance was often made with popular Modular synthesizers and hardware samplers, but the preference in Psychedelic trance has moved to sample manipulation and storage in VST and AU software sampler applications. The use of analog synthesizers for sound synthesis has given way to digital "virtual analog" instruments like the Nord Lead, Access Virus, Korg MS-2000, Roland JP-8000 and computer VST and AU plugins like Native Instruments Reaktor. These are usually controlled by MIDI sequencers within Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) applications.The name psychedelic provides an umbrella term for the many divergent styles of psychedelic electronica, including: Goa; melodic; dark; progressive; progressive trance; suomi; psybreaks; sometimes even psybient; and "classic" psy. Some of these styles have very little similarity except that they are all a psychedelic variety of electronic music such that many in the scene believe the name "psytrance" is completely meaningless. Most people who have been with the music and the surrounding scene for years, simply refer to the breed of electronica as "psychedelic". Referring to it as "psychedelic" also distinguishes the style from the 'clubbier' trance music and reinforces the roots of Goa trance in the psychedelic community.Psychedelic trance used to be distinguished by a fast tempo, in the range 140 to 150 BPM. The emphasis in melodic psychedelic trance is placed strongly on purely synthesized timbres for programming and lead melodies.