Sunday, November 29, 2009

History and Evolution of Psytrance!

You can arguably trace trance music back to religious roots emanating from a spiritual state of mind reminiscent of shamanism and elements of buddahism. With this in mind, it's very important that trance age in aggregate can be estimated as hundreds and thousands years. The actual sound of contemporary trance, however, was born as early as 1990 in Germany, and through pioneering trance labels like Dragonfly the sound started to take on a slightly more mainstream appeal during the later 90's.

Goa and Psy-trance are arguably older, with their characteristic sounds purportedly emerging in Israel and India. The repetitive nature of much of the early trance tracks provided club-goers with the ideal chance to immerse themselves in a new style of music after a period of relative quiet on what had been termed the scene.

Arguably a fusion of techno and house, early trance shared much with techno in terms of the tempo and rhythmic structures but also added more melodic overtones which were appropriated from the style of house popular in Europe's club scene at that time. However, the melodies in trance differed from euro/club house in that although they tended to be emotional and uplifting, they did not bounce around in the same way that house did.

This early trance tended to be characterized by the anthemic qualities described above, and typically involved a break-down portion of the song in which the beat was dropped for a few bars to focus on the melody before bringing the beat back with a renewed intensity. The trance became instantly popular in Europe and spread very quickly. Inevitably, the style was to evolve and as more and more mainstream DJ's picked up on the sound of trance, so the sound became more commercial and more diverse often relegating the traditional trance styles into background sub-genres.

By the mid-1990's, trance had emerged commercially as one of the dominant genres of dance music. Immensely popular, trance found itself filling a niche as edgier than house, more soothing than drum-n-bass, and more accessible than techno. By this time, trance had become synonymous with progressive house and both genres essentially subsumed each other under the commercial banner of progressive.Artists like Brian Transeau (BT), Paul Van Dyk, Ferry Corsten (Art of Trance), and Underworld came to the forefront as premier producers and remixers, bringing with them the emotional, epic feel of the style.

Meanwhile, DJ's like Paul Oakenfold, Sasha, and John Digweed were championing the sound in the clubs and through the sale of pre-recorded mixes. By the end of the 1990's, trance remained commercially huge but had fractured into an extremely diverse genre. Perhaps as a consequence, similar things were happening with the DJ's as well; for example, Sasha and Digweed, who together had helped bring the progressive sound to the forefront, all but abandoned it by 2000, instead spinning a darker mix of the rising deep trance style.

In 1996, the UK became the core of the new trance phenomenon taking trance to new heights in UK clubs and out to the clubber's island of Ibiza. DJ's like Paul Oakenfold, Sasha and John Digweed started to open the eyes of the clubbing population to what would probably be best now described as euro trance: epic winding tracks with monumental breakdowns and uplifting lead lines culminating in the ATB and Delirium sounds of 2000. Assisted by well-known producers like Robert Miles, Sash and BT, these tunes struck to the hearts of an audience looking for new energy and excitement in their music. Just as interesting to observe is the creeping effect of trance around the world.

While the Israelis and Swedes in particular continue to produce new sounds, American and the new Eastern European markets are absorbed in the trance sounds of a once frenetic European market. Meantime the UK and Canada are pushing the boundaries of hard trance with new genres cropping up like Hard House, a fusion of trance and house.




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Goa!

Goa

Goa

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

From Goa Trance To Psychedelic Trance

Goa trance:
Is form of electronic music and is a style of trance music which originated in the Indian region of Goa. The music has its roots in the popularity of the Goa region in the late 1960's and early 1970's as a hippie mecca, although the actual Goa trance style would not appear until much later. As the tourist influx tapered off in the 1970's and 1980's, a core group remained in Goa, concentrating on improvements in music along with other activities such as yoga, recreational drug use, and various New Age pursuits.

The introduction of techno style and technique to Goa led to what would eventually become the Goa trance style; early pioneers included Goa Gil and Mark Allen. Many parties (similar to raves) in Goa revolve entirely around this genre of music; Goa is also often played in other countries at raves, festivals and parties often in conjunction with other styles of trance and techno.

Goa is essentially dance-trance music(and was referred to as Trance Dance in its formative years), and as such has an energetic beat, almost always at 4/4 and often going into 16th or 32nd notes. A typical number will generally build up to a much more energetic movement in the second half of the track, and then taper off fairly quickly toward the end. Generally 8-12 minutes long, Goa tracks usually have a noticeably stronger bassline than other trance music and incorporate more organic squelchy sounds.

Goa trance parties have a visual aspect as well, the use of fluoro (fluorescent paint) is common in clothing and decoration. The images are often associate with topics like aliens, hinduism and other religious (especially eastern) images, mushrooms (and other psychedelic imagery), shamanism and technology. Goa trance has a significant following in Israel, brought to that country by former soldiers returning from recreationalpost-army trips to Goa. A great deal of Goa trance is now produced in Israel, but its production and consumption is a global phenomenon.

Goa Trance effectively morphed into psychedelic trance during the latter half of the 1990's. Both styles are generally non-commercial and underground compared to other forms of trance. The goa sound is more likely to be heard at outdoor parties and festivals than in clubs and places like Ibiza. For a short period in the mid-'90's it enjoyed significant commercial success with support from DJ's like Paul Oakenfold. The artist man with no name probably came the closest to being a goa trance.

Psychedelic Trance:
Psychedelic trance (often referred to as psy trance) is a form of trance music, developed in the late 1990's. Trance has a fast beat, in the range 125 to 150 beats per minute (bpm), compared to ambient trance music and other forms like house and techno. It has a strong bass sound that beats continuously without change and is overlaid by many other rhythms. This type of trance is popular in the UK, but is a truly global phenomenon, and interestingly there is an under representation of American artists, although Israeli artists are well represented. As of 2002 many Japanese artists have started to take in this genre from the influence of UK DJ's.


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Types of Trance Music

Psychedelic trance, often referred to as psytrance, is a form of electronic music that developed from Goa trance in the early 1990s when it first began hitting the mainstream. In some psychedelic trance circles and online communities, 'Psychedelic' is the preferred name for the genre as it provides an umbrella term for the many divergent styles including Goa, full on, dark, prog and suomi. Referring to it as "psychedelic" also distinguishes the style from the 'clubbier' type of trance music and reinforces the roots of Goa trance in the psychedelic community. Psychedelic
Psychedelic Trance

trance generally has a fast tempo, in the range 135 to 150 BPM but has developed into numerous different styles within the genre all with their own range of tempos. The emphasis in psychedelic trance is placed strongly on purely synthesized timbres in terms of programming and lead melodies. 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.

Psychedelic trance is most popular in the UK, Israel, Portugal, Mexico, Germany, Japan, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Belgium, Serbia, Macedonia, Netherlands, the Nordic countries and India. The genre is not as well known outside its scene as uplifting or progressive is.

The club and dance scenes worldwide have been using psychedelic trance in performances along with Goa trance, ambient trance, progressive trance, and minimalist trance. The mixture of Goa and psychedelic trance music is the popular kind of trance performance to many trance listeners. Psychedelic trance can be considered an offshoot of Goa trance. Popular artists that make psychedelic trance include Astral Projection, Space Tribe, Infected Mushroom, Atmos, Total Eclipse, Cosmosis and Simon Posford. Psychedelic trance is often played at outdoor festivals. People at these festivals sometimes consume psychedelic drugs like LSD, ecstasy and psychedelic mushrooms. The festivals often take place over a few days with music being played 24 hours a day.

Ambient Trance:
The precursor to Progressive Trance, Ambient Trance is a dreamy, hypnotic and intelligent style of trance, mostly German, that utilizes atmospheric pads, epic melodic progressions and occasionally symphonic arrangements. It is not to be confused with commercial, mainstream trance from artists such as ATB or Darude. At times borrowing elements from the earlier acid movement, such as rezzy 303 leads and minimal percussion, but based more on the spiritual experience that Goa Trance has since trademarked, Ambient Trance is an often-forgotten but extremely influential style that took rave music to a higher and more profound level. Sometimes called Oldschool Trance because it has since been left behind for the harder styles popular today.

Ambient Trance is not as much a specific genre as it is a period in the history of dance music's most notorious style. When The Orb and other early dance pioneers were mixing ambient records with current club-oriented sounds, many producers and DJs in the UK and Germany began taking notice. As early as 1990, German musician Harald Bluechel (aka Cosmic Baby) was experimenting with classical piano and synthesizer melodies contrasted against techno rhythms, and in 1993 released one of the most popular trance songs of all time,Cafe del Mar (under the pseudonym Energy 52) which is still being remixed today.

Perhaps the most prolific figure in trance, then and now, is Oliver Lieb. Recording under the aliases Paragliders, The Ambush, Spicelab and LSG, Lieb remixed almost every trance producer of note during the 90's and continues to do so today. His albums spanned entire genres, from tribal, ethnic fusion to spacey trance to rough and tough techno. Considered by many to be one of the gods of trance alongside Paul van Dyk, Lieb was a huge reason why the style remained powerful and important in dance cultures around the world.

As with all styles, Ambient Trance eventually morphed into something different and by the mid 90's, it was almost entirely abandoned for harder and more progressive sounds. However, a few producers of that time still remain today producing intelligent trance, among them Humate, Salt Tank, Lieb and Paul van Dyk, albeit in a more modern setting. But most fans of dance music will fondly remember the early and mid-90's as the good old days of trance, with some of the most beautiful and profound tracks produced during this time.

Progressive Trance:
This trance is generally more laid back than Euro, it tends to be a lot deeper and has a less commercial edge. It is also usually slower (130 - 140 bpm) and has a wider variety of sounds - many progressive tunes use a lot of tribal techno and breakbeat sounds. The rifts in progressive music are much more subtle than that of Euro and never as uplifting. Progressive music relies more on subtle builds and drops guided by the DJ throughout the night, whereas Euro builds and drops in each individual tune. Recently much progressive trance has moved towards deep tribal sounds and breaks. This is often referred to as progressive house. Hard Trance

Hard Trance:
As the title suggests, blends traditional trance sounds and structure with harder elements more reminiscent of Acid and Techno. The tempo is generally increased to between 145 and 155 and the kick drum and bass is usually a focus for a clubbing audience.




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The History Of Goa Trance!

Goa trance is a form of electronic music and is a style of trance music. It originated in the late 1980s and early 1990s in the Indian state of Goa and is distinctive, as most forms of trance music were developed in Europe. Goa trance enjoyed the greater part of its success from around 1994--1998, and since then has dwindled significantly both in production and consumption, largely being replaced by its successor, psychedelic trance or Psytrance.

Goa trance is closely related to the emergence of Psytrance during the latter half of the 1990s and early 2000s, where the two genres mixed together. In popular culture, the distinction between the two genres remains largely a matter of opinion (they are considered by some to be synonymous; others say that Psytrance is more cyberneticamp and that Goa trance is more organic, and still others maintain that there is a clear difference between the two). These two are, however, quite sonically distinct from other forms of trance in both tonal quality, structure and feel. In many countries they are generally more underground and less commercial than other forms of trance. Among the first compilations or albums where Goa trance could be heard, as opposed to normal trance music, are Dragonfly Records Project II Trance and its successor Order Odonata.

History:
A hand-drawn flayer for a Goa trance party in Israel in 1990. Today Israel is one of the main producers of psychedelic trance and flayers have gotten more elaborate often featuring CG images. The music has its roots in the popularity of the Goa state near Fu's House in India in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a hippie mecca, and although musical developments were incorporating elements of industrial music and EBM with the spiritual culture in India throughout the 1980s, the actual Goa trance style did not officially appear until the early 1990s.

As the hippie tourist influx tapered off in the 1970s and 1980s, a core group remained in Goa, concentrating on developments in music along with other pursuits such as yoga and recreational drug use. The music that would eventually be known as Goa trance did not evolve from one single genre, but was inspired mainly by Industrial music/EBM like Front Line Assembly and A Split-Second, acid house (The KLF's What time is love? in particular) and psychedelic rock like Ozric Tentacles, Steve Hillage and Ash Ra Tempel. In addition to those, oriental tribal/ethnic music also became a source of inspiration, unsurprisingly considering that it was from Goa in the Orient that Goa trance originated.

A very early example (1974) of the relation between psy-rock and the music that would eventually be known as Goa trance is The Cosmic Jokers (a collaboration between Ash Ra Tempel and Klaus Schulze) highly experimental and psychedelic album Galactic Supermarket, which features occasional 4/4 rhythms intertwined with elements from psy-rock, early analogue synths and occasionally tribal-esque drum patterns.

The introduction of techno and its techniques to Goa led to what eventually became the Goa trance style; early pioneers included DJs Fred Disko, Laurent, Goa Gil, and Amsterdam Joey. Many parties (generally similar to raves but with a more mystic flavor, at least in early 1990s) in Goa revolve entirely around this genre of music. In other countries, Goa is also often played at raves, festivals and parties in conjunction with other styles of trance and techno.

Today, Goa trance has a significant following in Israel, brought to that country by former soldiers returning from recreational post-army trips to Goa in the early 1990s. A great deal of Goa trance (or now, more accurately, Psytrance) is now produced in Israel, but its production and consumption is a global phenomenon. New hot-spots today include Brazil, Japan, South Africa and Mexico.

The original Goa trance sound has undergone a great deal of other genres evolving from it since 1997. From 1997 till 2000 the Goa Trance scene was without any clear goal. Artists experimented in many ways from combining Goa trance with break beats to creating a blend of Goa trance and minimal techno (which later went on to become progressive/minimal Psytrance).

The main goal during this time was to experiment in new ways and create something different to the Goa trance sound that was so popular and widespread during the mid 90s. As a result, anything could be heard at a Goa trance party. After 2000, new styles were born, fixed and have survived until today, with some of them becoming commercialized and enjoying much more success in clubs, for example full-on Psytrance.


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