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d.leerium

Present-day Psy/Goa parties puzzle me.

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d.leerium    3

I was wondering whether there are some veterans here who could enlighten me. As I've stated elsewhere, I'm relatively new to both Goa and Psytrance and have been trying to explore the various subgenres for about half a year now. Although I still have some difficulty recognising the subtle differences between some subgenres and there are fields I don't have much of a clue of so far, I do have a rough idea of what it's all about and have discovered a lot of material that I enjoy.

 

The more this style of music grew on me, the more I wanted to attend an event to see what it would be like. I was curious as to the atmosphere, the decoration, the exact style of music played there and so on. In the meantime I've been to three and a half local parties, two of which took place at the same location with "Psychedelic & Progressive Trance" in the description, the other one being labelled a "Goa" party (other subgenres were listed). Of course I expected to hear some sort of 'mainstream Psy' and not exactly the total underground stuff, but to be frank, I hardly heard any proper Goa or Psytrance at all at either of the events (and no Progressive Trance either, for that matter - as far as I can tell). The predominant style is hard to describe: it's mostly very monotonous, often rather dark, maybe somewhere near Minimal and/or Techtrance. There are few climaxes, and the psychedelic elements are rare and subtle. The music tends to be more atmospheric and melodic in the beginning (on a relative scale - there's still not very much going on!) and gets more and more minimal as the night progresses.

 

I understand that according to cliché, Full-On is predominant on most parties these days, but isn't Full-On supposed to have rolling basslines and be fast, catchy, clubby and so on? Well, none of that is true for the music I heard at the parties for the most part. In fact, the rolling bassline that is so typical for most modern Psytrance was almost completely absent. I was surprised that this strangely nondescript style seems to be the 'mainstream' these days - I wouldn't have expected people to have the attention span it requires! I'm not saying it's all bad, some of the tracks were actually really nice, namely those that lay more emphasis on dark atmosphere and have at least a slight trace of melody. But apart from one DJ's particularly atmospheric set, I could never dance intensely for longer periods of time because soon the music would always return to such monotony that it took the wind out of my sails. I require some sort of atmosphere and psychedelic vibe to relate to; if everything I hear is a kick drum, bass line and some odd effects here and there, I might as well go to a Minimal Techno party right away!

 

Since I haven't followed the scene in earlier years, I have no comparison and need your input: what is this style? Is its predominance typical of the entire present-day Psy-scene, or is it possibly a local, regional or national phenomenon? I doubt that other parties in the vicinity will be very different since they often feature the same DJs. Do proper Psytrance (or even old school Goa) parties even exist these days? I mean, parties where they actually play psychedelic music?

 

Here's a small anecdote from my last experience to top things off: last Thursday I was at a free 'Goa' party. It started in the afternoon and ended at midnight to be continued at another, smaller venue which then wasn't free anymore. They even had a chill area there, but rather than playing Psychill/Downtempo/whatever, they played the exact same style of minimal Pseudo-Trance that you could hear at the main floor. In the course of the evening, I was approached by one of the organisers - he told me that if I paid the admission for the later party now, it'd be cheaper (a great gesture as such, of course). Referring to the other venue, he announced that they'd be playing "Harder Goa - y'know, Full-On, Psy etc." there. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that this entire statement is hilarious and makes no sense whatsoever in terms of genres! Well, when I finally arrived at the other venue, I found that the music hadn't changed much apart from maybe being 3-4 BMP faster. I left after 20 minutes or so since, frankly, it bored the hell out of me! (Hence the rather strange remark above about having been at "three and a half" parties). I'm having trouble taking this whole thing seriously - they have their psychedelic decoration all over the place and jump around with neon lights around their arms, but there's no psychedelic music at all. What's the point?

 

I'm probably taking this all much too seriously, but being a dedicated music fan, I can't help wondering. And of course I'd love to dance to 'proper' Psytrance someday! What I find strange is that in everything I've learned about the scene so far and also everything I've come across on this forum, the style I've described above has never been discussed, at least not to my knowledge. Still, they all refer to it as 'Goa' as though that was the most natural thing in the world. I bet 90% of the people that attend these parties don't even know Goa's a place in India. :P

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Ormion    423

I agree. I stopped going to festivals because of the large amount of progressive artists. The last one I went was the Aurora in 2009 and half of the dance stage was minimal/clubby stuff.

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Shpongled247    76

The only way to know for sure beforehand is to know the artists that are playing. If its just djs, at least look up their soundcloud to get an idea of what u will hear. Then from that decide to attend or not.

 

Sounds like you unfortunately stumbled upon a predominantly minimal/progressive type party.. What country are you in I wonder?

 

Ps: chances of ever hearing real goa are very very slim apart from in Belgium or at major festivals or one off random nights. But yes there is some real proper psychedelic music being played around. Lost Theory this year would be the pinnacle of that.

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K-BAN    30

d.leerium, did you happen to ask someone at the party what kind of music was playing to see if you would get some kind of answer? I wonder if you were just hearing a lot of progressive type music or prog psy..? but even then it shouldn't of been that bland at each party. I sometimes find some dark psy minimal cuz as you said, it can turn out to be just bass and effects. no leads and melody. full-on styles can do the same too and they bore me to death. If you come across this sound, post a link so we can hear it. I've heard all types of PSY at parties but still, no oldschool or goa of any kind. this year, that will change with the parties I plan to attend ;D Are you in the US? if so - message me or say here and we should tag-team an event! ^_^ I have 3 planned for me currently.

oh, and to answer an earlier question - Yes REAL psychedelic parties still exit. take care, friend!

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Paul Eye    457

Well, unfortunately you seem to have stumbled upon what modern psy trance parties are like. A monotonous combination of a kick, a bassline and some random noises and/or percussion which is not really psychedelic at all, as you've noticed.

Here's a slightly tongue-in-cheek, but still rather truthful view on the whole thing: http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/a-big-night-out-ata-psy-trance-party

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d.leerium    3

Thanks a lot for the answers so far! To answer the question about my location: no, I'm not in the US, I currently reside in Northern Germany. Unfortunately, long trips to festivals are almost completely out of the question for me since I don't have a car and don't know any people who could take me along, and it's often very difficult (and expensive!) to get there with public transportation. So right now, I don't have much of a choice - if I want to attend parties, I have to take what I can get in the direct vicinity, but apparently that's not much. It's good to know that this tendency apparently isn't just local. Sad, though!

 

In some cases I wondered myself whether it may have been Progressive Psy; I'm not very familiar with the style since everything I've heard so far (mostly random tracks on Ektoplazm labelled 'Progressive') was somewhere between boring and annoying to me, but even for Progressive standards, the majority of the music played at those parties was surprisingly minimal and sterile. Some tracks also seemed too aggressive and 'stomping' to be Progressive, yet they lacked all the typical characteristics of Full-On. Indeed, K-BAN, some of it did remind me a bit of Dark Minimal as heard on Ambivalent Records compilations, but it's still somehow different - and less interesting. On the other hand, I really enjoyed some of the music that was played early last Thursday, but don't know anything that could serve as a reference. The frustrating thing about these parties is that the more interesting tracks tend to be played at an early hour when the venue is still quite empty and hardly anyone is dancing - and I for one can't make myself dance as long as I'm almost the only one and would feel like everybody's watching me. When I can finally join in, the music sucks - it's a vicious circle. :(

 

It's an interesting idea to ask people at the party, though I doubt I would've gotten any answer other than 'Goa' - that's the term they generally seem to use as far as I can tell from what I caught from people talking, and also from people I know who have been to similar parties. And even the organisers themselves didn't seem to have much of a clue of the styles if they consider 'Full-On' and 'Psy' subgenres of 'Harder Goa'... It's like stating that Alternative Rock and Darkwave were both subgenres of hard Blues Rock, totally absurd.

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Procyon    12

Sorry to tell you this, but the train of really good atmospheric parties with smiling people, incenses, real fluo deco and hypnotic trance that couldn't let you even go to drink water has long departed. Parties nowadays look like a zombie zone, with music matching.

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d.leerium    3

Well, unfortunately you seem to have stumbled upon what modern psy trance parties are like. A monotonous combination of a kick, a bassline and some random noises and/or percussion which is not really psychedelic at all, as you've noticed.

Here's a slightly tongue-in-cheek, but still rather truthful view on the whole thing: http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/a-big-night-out-ata-psy-trance-party

 

Thanks for this - an entertaining read! Unfortunately, even the counterculture feel didn't really transpire at the parties I've been too; for the most part, the people looked perfectly normal and also behaved accordingly. The only hints that I was at a slightly different event than your usual club night (not that I knew what such a usual club night would be like since I've never been to one) were the occasional neon-light wristbands and - at the other two parties - a guy in a strange hat. And some psychedelic decoration randomly scattered across the room.

 

Sorry to tell you this, but the train of really good atmospheric parties with smiling people, incenses, real fluo deco and hypnotic trance that couldn't let you even go to drink water has long departed. Parties nowadays look like a zombie zone, with music matching.

Well, thanks for the heads-up - this confirms the impression I've had so far. Seems like I've come too late, as always... Over the last few days, I've been thinking about trying to do some DJ'ing myself someday and play some proper music, but then again, I guess nobody would come to attend such an event! You know, I've been trying to tell myself I have to go out more, try and enjoy life a little rather than sitting here moaning, but it's a lost cause when there's really no place to go. 99% of the cultural sphere has been irreparably corrupted by mainstream tendencies that bore me at the very best (mostly they put me off entirely), so it's really quite a challenge to find interesting events. It's a shame that even the Psy movement doesn't seem to be an exception. Strangely enough, though, this forum proves that there's a significant amount of people who still appreciate the 'real thing'. Wouldn't they be able to constitute an audience for proper events? I don't understand why nobody has the courage to organise something real. But I guess I'd better stop ranting... ;)

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Procyon    12

@d.leeriun: I back pedal a little on what I have said. Although most parties are really boring nowadays, there are still some good ones - but you have to use a magnifying lens to find them. As a party organizer, I think the problem is that there are two generations of psy-trancers: the old one and the new one. The new one is who is organizing most parties, but as they knew psytrance from mid-2000 on, they think that psytrance is full-on, minimal and dark, and goa is progressive psy. These 3 subgenres are rich enough to keep a good party going on for days. But, unfortunately, the 2000s were the bottom line for these 3 subgenres too. Full on circa 2006 was so bad we joke about it now. Minimal replaced proper tech-trance, and click-click trance we hear currently is boredom at its best. Dark psy is good, sometimes. In short, people who know what good trance is are not in the scene anymore. The ones doing parties don't know what they are doing and how bad their taste is, music-wise. Some guys don't know the difference between goa and progressive psy (hello YSE Records!), between minimal and tech-trance, full-on and forest and dark psy. Thus you see these flyers promising Goa trance, just to find out at the party that they're playing progressive and forest.

Don't give up though, there good stuff around. Nice parties too.

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healium    9

To be honest I've never liked dancing to psytrance or goatrance that much - but progressive would be my favorite subgenre to dance to so long as it has some good layers and rythms..

 

In general though psytrance is just too fast for me - house music, breakbeats, psychill, sometimes dubstep - those genres are more danceable IMO - house and breakbeats though often aren't very psychedelic - finding the right mix is just great when it happens..

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Penzoline    342

Well, unfortunately you seem to have stumbled upon what modern psy trance parties are like. A monotonous combination of a kick, a bassline and some random noises and/or percussion which is not really psychedelic at all, as you've noticed.

Here's a slightly tongue-in-cheek, but still rather truthful view on the whole thing: http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/a-big-night-out-ata-psy-trance-party

Despairingly tapping in "Psy-Ko-Logi-Kal" and finding out there was already a DJ in Rotterdam with that name, slamming their fist on the table when they found out there was a clairvoyant impersonator named "Psymon Cowell".

:D :D :D

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Blubber    25

hi d.leerium, thanks for your skeptic insights, i think you came in touch with one of the bigger worries, which alot of the goatrancers suffer from. the tendency to see things only through the eyes of a goatrance-maniac. goa-parties, like the name suggest, have to be parties where goatrance is the main music. well, it's not like that - at least not in germany and i think that's also the case in most other european countries. from the beginning, goa parties have been places where alot more was going on. it had much more to do with - let's talk in terms of stereotypes: hippie-culture, counter-culture, escapism - than only playing goamusic. but what had been transformed into many different trance-genres after a while, also transformed the parties. that said, it means that you can't find parties which capture the goafeeling in the 90's anymore, but parties which live from the stigmatic term goatrance and try or try not to revive certain aspects of the so-called golden era. may it be in terms of organisation, location, decoration or music or lots of other things. there are multiple "families" or friendly societies who gather their friends more or less regularly outside of the club scene, to have a good time and to share their view of a goaparty. that differs of course alot.

 

if you live in northern germany, it shouldn't be a problem for you to visit some of the bigger branches of the goaparty-tree. years of experience in organising big events with all the conveniences you can have (except hot showers), the biggest sound systems, the most popular names, the freakiest decorations and thousands of people having and selling a good time. have a look here and here. of course, the biggest parties doesn't mean the best, but as a starting point to see what goatrance or goaparties had become in the last two decades it will be very insightful. also as a starting point to gather the freaks you want to. but as you said, mainstream tendencies corrupt the events, and as evolutions always carry both side of the things, you will see what makes you really spitting, but maybe even more because you have a stereotyped picture of "the" party.

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Procyon    12

@blubber: I disagree with your saying that old schoolers narrow the definition of "good parties" to Goa music only. Back in the 1990s, I had been to wonderful full-on and tech-trance parties. But the end of the 2000s leveled everything down for every psy and goa subgenre. That is why I saíd it's hard to find atmospheric parties nowadays, no matter what subgenre.

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Padmapani    408

no wonder you didn't get a proper response from the people there. in the whole german sprachraum it's all called "goa". when talking about goa you have to say "oldschool".

as to what kind of music you heard there, i'm not sure. the last from i heard from northern germany (especially hamburg), the parties there were very progressive focues. but both progressive and fullon have become very minimal-techno influenced in the past few years. you are saying that it was very monotonous with no rolling bassline rather than stop-and-go with way too many breaks and pointless buildups, my money is on progressive.

 

if you posted a link to the party (on goabase) you were, it would probably be easier for us to judge :)

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d.leerium    3

Thanks for the info about the German-speaking parts of the world, I didn't know that! Also, thanks for all the input in general - it's good to know a bit more about the background as to how things developed over the years, this does explain some of the confusion. I don't think I had a particularly stereotypical idea of what a party should be like, by the way; but I did expect to hear some music from within the Psy spectrum, and frankly, what I heard didn't have that much to do with what I perceive as Psy, apart from the occasional stereotypical warping synth effect. I had to smile about one particular track which kept repeating a speech sample saying something with "psychedelic" while the music was totally unpsychedelic. More in-depth comments from me as soon as I find the time...

 

The twin-party on Thursday that I mentioned above cannot be found on Goabase, but here's a link to the respective Facebook pages: The main, free event and the "aftershow" party (not that there was any kind of show to begin with) that I fled after 20 minutes despite having paid the admission fee. To be fair, though, I didn't only flee it due to the terrible music, but also because I disliked the venue very much.

 

The other two parties (or rather, two installments of the same regular event) are on Goabase: http://www.goabase.net/70910 and http://www.goabase.net/71835 - Note that I didn't catch all the DJ sets since I left relatively early on both occasions, not so much because I didn't like it (I did enjoy myself, especially at the second one in May) but simply because I'm not used to being out all night. Butshi's set in May was the clear highlight since it was fairly atmospheric throughout, albeit minimalist. I think that much of what he played was more Progressive Trance than Psy (and I don't mean Progressive Psytrance!), though I'm not entirely sure since Progressive Trance is still a somewhat vague genre term for me.

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Padmapani    408

Thanks for the info about the German-speaking parts of the world, I didn't know that! Also, thanks for all the input in general - it's good to know a bit more about the background as to how things developed over the years, this does explain some of the confusion. I don't think I had a particularly stereotypical idea of what a party should be like, by the way; but I did expect to hear some music from within the Psy spectrum, and frankly, what I heard didn't have that much to do with what I perceive as Psy, apart from the occasional stereotypical warping synth effect. I had to smile about one particular track which kept repeating a speech sample saying something with "psychedelic" while the music was totally unpsychedelic. More in-depth comments from me as soon as I find the time...

 

The twin-party on Thursday that I mentioned above cannot be found on Goabase, but here's a link to the respective Facebook pages: The main, free event[/ulr] and the "aftershow" party (not that there was any kind of show to begin with) that I fled after 20 minutes despite having paid the admission fee. To be fair, though, I didn't only flee it due to the terrible music, but also because I disliked the venue very much.

 

The other two parties (or rather, two installments of the same regular event) are on Goabase: http://www.goabase.net/70910 and http://www.goabase.net/71835 - Note that I didn't catch all the DJ sets since I left relatively early on both occasions, not so much because I didn't like it (I did enjoy myself, especially at the second one in May) but simply because I'm not used to being out all night. Butshi's set in May was the clear highlight since it was fairly atmospheric throughout, albeit minimalist. I think that much of what he played was more Progressive Trance than Psy (and I don't mean Progressive Psytrance!), though I'm not entirely sure since Progressive Trance is still a somewhat vague genre term for me.

ah, that lineup explains it :)

 

the headliner of the first party is drollkoppz. like all the other panzar productions artists, that means a very special kind of progressive (hard, minimal, based on some progressive that was popular for a short period around 2000-2001). it's virtually nonexistant here, so i'd love to hear that sound at a party once. going by the soundcloud link to the dj before him, that was dark progressive (a.k.a. zenonesque), which is still a comparatively rare style to be played, but more popular than the panzar productions stuff. imho one set of this is quite good (especially the more maximal tracks), but to listen to that for extended periods of time can be a bit boring (except when it's winter and i'm in a depressed mood ;) ).

for the second party we're looking more at something like "normal" progressive, the better half of which is "fairly atmospheric, albeit minimalist" as you put it, while the worse half is more like minimal techno with house influences and occasional psy sounds.

 

there's a lot of confusion about the terms progressive trance and progressive psytrance. generally in the psy scene progressive trance is just a short form for progressive psytrance and afaik the newer "normal" trance (tiesto and all that stuff) is also called progressive trance, but obviously has nothing to do with psy prog. others differentiate between the music they find psychedelic, calling that progressive psytrance, and similar music they don't find psychedelic (progressive trance obviously), which does have a point, but is highly subjective. imho it's best to just call it all progressive (or "proggy" as is usual where you live); that can prevent a lot of confusion :)

 

i hope that has helped clear the whole thing up a little

 

and btw: it's usual for most parties to start out with progressive, so if you come early and leave early, that is most likely what you will hear.

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northern germany is pretty special as already described. There is really a lot of progressive sound around there.. starting with the popular spwin twist guys like neelix, day.din, audiomatic & co that play the mainstream progressive like you would probably expect it.. up to this very special kind of proggy like panzar or PSR guys play it. It's called "bunker sound" in germany, not everyone's taste, I must agree =)

But the good thing on northern germany is the huge number of parties.. if you wanna listen to fullon, go visit a fullon party rather than a goa or progressive trance party ;) If they don't write it on the flyer, lookup the artists -- there are quite a lot of good fullon and night-psy acts around there if you'r looking for something more rolling/powerfull than the bunker beats :D

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Blair Thaumic    139

I'll just point out that techno -- real techno, not the psytekk sound -- is quite polyrhythmic and musically interesting. It's only within the psytrance scene that "techno" means "a hard kick, bassline, and a few noises". The psytrance and techno scenes never understood the essential appeal of each other... trance is the rock of dance music, techno is the jazz of dance music.

 

For me, house, techno, and breaks are OK to dance to for a little while, but I need more intense sounds to let myself go on the dancefloor. Goa and EBM are what really do it for me in a dance setting.

 

And I'm going to a Goa party in a couple of weeks. ^^ https://www.facebook.com/events/143084919220280/

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d.leerium    3

I've corrected the Facebook links in my former post - didn't even notice that they didn't work, sorry for that...

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Anoebis    420

Go to Freqs of nature starting thursday, and you'll get to hear all kinds of psychedelic music... :) Pure goa (D5, E-Mantra, me, Ghost on Acid, Green Nuns Talpa,...), suomi, progressive, forest trance,... :) It will broaden your mind, and show you goa is not dead! (yet) :) And we are also working on a Suntrip party in Hamburg the 15th of february :)

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darkill    1

Im coming late in this thread because I was back yesterday from a Goa festival !

 

So I would said that most of the goa party and festival nowadays are mostly playing boring progressive, dark psytrance or psytrance music. Sometimes they make an ascent with the sounds just for make an ascent, and it sound very bad, but the Dj does it in the only idea of making a fucking ascent.

 

But there's few party / festival where good music are still playing...And I unfortunately don't know much about this. I know that Suntrip record let their dj play at some festival, which is very good, since they mostly play newschool goa trance ! Also as said before, you have good goa festival in Belgium. On youtube I could see a Belgium goa festival where agneton were playing ! It looked like it was awesome !

 

I've something else to say. This weekend I went to see a lot of artist...Most of them played progressive and most of them were labelled by YSE. Ok guys, YSE give a lot of shit, but they still label few good artist, like Sirion. Sirion were playing and I could hear "Without music", an awesome song in my opinion.

Another guys playing there were Atma, probably the best show of the whole festival. Unfortunely, during the whole weekend, the bass and low frequencies were too present and big, and we couldn't hear enough the melodies and high frequencies stuff, which is damned when you're attempting to hear the good melody of Atma's song. Still I could here them, but the bass and kick were way to big during whole festival...

 

Last thing : that's definitly right, most people don't know about genre. Some think they do, but they only talk shit. I could rarely someone name me the "Oldschool goa trance" genre. And no one ever told me about "new school goa trance" genre. Most of people know only 3 fucking words : Goa, Prog...And dark psy trance. They think they hear to goa when most of time its fucking progressive or just psytrance. No one of them know the term full on.

That's for most of people. But some people still does know about genre - hard to find them, but they still exist. Im one of them in my region of sure, and another friend of me know too about genres.

It's clear a lot of people only know what get played since the 2000' and totally wided apart of Goa trance. But this is like with those kids playing the last Call of Duty or Halo games and saying "this is the base of the FPS game !". And few people know that this is a bullshit, since the game that revolutionized the FPS genre were "Counter strike 1.5", so we can say Half life, and before this Wolfstein 3D and some older one I could never play.

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Rotwang    323

They think they hear to goa when most of time its fucking progressive or just psytrance.

To be fair, the meaning of the term "Goa trance" is not universally agreed upon. Although most people on psynews use it the same way you do, many other people just use it interchangeably with "psytrance". Both are widespread enough that neither can be said to be the "correct" usage.

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Legov    0

Also living in Germany, i do not go to any Goa parties anymore. Most of the sound is totally boring generic and has nothing to do with the kind of sounds I like. Also the people at the parties are not my cup of tea. However, also in the 90ies where I frequently went to parties, I had the impression that mostly harder and minimalistic stuff was played which was not so much my taste at that time. One notable exception is a Matsuri label party i went to. I wish I would have lived in the Uk!

I have to confess that I always had a delay with the evolution of the popular Trance sounds.With some 5 years delay I enjoyed also harder progressive Trance, the like of Ticon, Atmos, early Vibrasphere. And today I would prefer this sound for the dancefloor over caleidoscopic sounds that are too fast to dance, but nice to listen to. However, todays progressive/ full on and whatsoever is different and doesn't give me anything. From 2004 onwards I focused more on downtempo, because I lost track and most stuff didn't went well for me. After many years I went to a Goa party and was surprised that is so boring, exactly as you wrote in the first post.

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GagaISM    18

I'll just point out that techno -- real techno, not the psytekk sound -- is quite polyrhythmic and musically interesting. It's only within the psytrance scene that "techno" means "a hard kick, bassline, and a few noises". The psytrance and techno scenes never understood the essential appeal of each other... trance is the rock of dance music, techno is the jazz of dance music.

Amen!

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pedro    8

Tastes change. I remember being very excited with the rise of more minimal music at the end of 90s (led by X-Dream Radio) as well as other genres of psy trance while others hated it. At Boom Festival in 2000 there were plenty of people unhappy with things like Atmos as well as Texas Faggott.

 

The old goa-trance vs psy-trance debate was one of many to come. Like trying to set clear markers between progressive trance and progressive psy-trance.

 

I think it is a good thing that the scene has so many sub-genres. The trick to going to festivals is to take a close look at the line-up before you commit.

 

 

Pedro

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