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Fractally structured trance?


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Guest zee-werp

Hello people :)


I went to a small psytrance rave on Saturday down here in the deep south of Aotearoa. Overall, a beautiful experience. I could not imagine any better location than out there in the middle of the native forests.


Anyway, at some stages of the night / morning, the DJ was playing some psytrance that was what I would describe as deep psychedelic. While I was trancing out, I began to notice that the music seemed to be what I can only describe as 'Fractally structured'. Like an audio version of a fractal image. Now, granted, I was on LSD at the time so this did enhance my visualisation abilities, however I don't think that this was purely illusion.


This trance had an amazing feel to it, and it acted as the framework for me to navigate the true fractal realities. It was not like your standard 'doof doof doof' trance, it had a slower, lighter feel to it. Thats about all I can describe about it, other than it tripped me the fuck out and catalysed the most intense psychedelic experience of my life.


Anyway, I am wondering, is there such a thing as fractally structured trance? And, if you can understand the style I am describing here, can anyone please suggest some artists which I should check out?


Any help much appreciated :)

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Guest volvox box

Hey zee-werp,

Try to get a hand on infect insect, it is not trance but another state of sound, not even music tought. I can describe it as linear chaos, people call it psycore, but dunno. You Can find it www.insected.com, i was always interested how does it act on different states of mind, so if you get it and test it on a new state tell me how was the drive.

Light and Energy

Dame Insected

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quite allot of the new more minimal progressive stuff, seems to work on a subtle other planes when heard live on psychedelics..

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Guest zee-werp

Thanks for the replies guys...I'm so excited about exploring the more 'subtle' facets of this genre. I will be checking out those artists you mentioned...hopefully psyshop has some in stock.


And afa, I like the sound of minimal progressive, and this does seem closer to the genre of the stuff I heard rather than straight out psytrance. Could you suggest some artists that you think are some quality minimal progressive?

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Hi zee-werp,

The experience you had while listening to those vibes on acid sounds very familiar to me. Firstly I can tell u that what you've experienced is not an illusion. It is caused by a deeper/higher level of awareness, potentiated by the LSD and then boosted by the music (or is it the other way round?). I believe that it is the relationship between substance & music that triggers this particular state of awareness. Needless to say choice of music plays an important role - a little bit may depend on personal taste, but generally music specifically aimed at inducing trance-like states are most effective. - and from what you've described (being aware of the fractal nature of the music, etc.) it sounds like what u experienced was SYNAESTHESIA - although it does'nt seem to me like you had a full-blown synaesthesia xp.

Try it with different styles of psytrance, there's also some VERY trippy 'ambient' vibes you should experiment with!

You didn't say how much acid u took but increasing the dosage can have some unexpected effects.

over & out!


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" quality minimal progressive? " <--- try maybe ticon, phony orphants, antix

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Guest zee-werp

WARNING: Ramble follows...general experience report, for anyone interested


Yes, this experience was rather full blown synasthesia, truely awesome. And Mike, I agree with you completely in pointing out that this was not an illusion, but rather an extremely enhanced perception of the music, which was played out in a predominantly visual way. By the way, I took what I am told was approximatley 400 mics of LSD (two decent tabs). I am keen on raising the doseage, though I might just experiment with high dose shroom trips since the season is fast approaching down here (acid is $30-$40 per tab here so a bit expensive)


Anyway, during this part of my experience, the visual reality seemed to be being built directly from the audio input. Though I would say that this was much more than a simple 'eye candy' experience.


First, a flat plane which went on for infinity into a horizon line appeared, and gradually became embossed with more and more detailed fractal patterns (swirls, dots, lines, curves...unexplainable really). The colour, shape and 'vibe' of these would change with different parts in the music. As I became more and more entranced with this new visual reality, which I was experiencing as a (metaphorical?) symbolisation of the underlying systems which govern every facet of our reality.

Slowly, the plane became more and more angled, until it was facing towards me. I noticed that the horizon line had become seriously abstracted...in that it was now flowing off ad infinium, in all of the directions around my periforal vision.

As I noticed this, the 'horizon' stretched further and further backwards, behind my eyeballs, behind my head. Before I realised it, I could not see any horizon lines or any 'edges' of my vision anymore, I had essentially become a floating dot of energy / conciousness surrounded by a complete 360 degree sphere of these amazing fractals, which could be viewed at any magnification.

While this had been developing, I was still aware of my physical body, and I was trance-dancing to these sounds. However as the sphere engulfed me, it felt as though my body 'froze' in space, like I was paralysed. It felt like I'd stopped moving, and that my body was not even there anymore.

I was now totally enveloped within this new dimension. And, although I was surrounded by the sphere, until now, the patterns had retained a more or less 2D quality. But when my body froze, suddenly there was an amazing depth to all of it. Peaks and valleys developed within the sacred swirls (strange loops?). As 'I' (though 'I' was rather abstracted by now) examined this depth, it became more and more pronounced, until I could see literally infinite depth in this 'landscape'. This is extremely difficult to explain, especially with the 360 degree aspect. There was no one 'place' I could pinpoint 'me' to be...this had taken on a serious aspect of infinity, and indefineability. Total intertwined reality. Engulfed in the beautiful chaos system. This was such an intense phase that at times the music would completely dissapear, possibly converted completely into visual format.

I have no idea how long this lasted, maybe 10 minutes or so...however I think it is fair to say that time was really non existent (or super existent) during this trance. One of the craziest things was, when I finally opened my eyes again, there was two girls and a guy standing in front of me just looking totally perplexed / amazed. They told me that I'd been doing extremely complex gestures with my arms and body, with my hands and fingers 'tracing crazy trangular patterns and spirals'...which is pretty much what I had been experiencing, with no awareness of my physical body. I found it quite cool to realise that dance can be a pretty effective method of communication of the psychedelic experience, even on an unconcious level.


The whole experience has left me utterly amazed at life, the universe, and the potential of the human mind. Not to mention re-affirming the life-enhancing properties of psychedelic drugs, and the goodness of progressive trance music. Some sacred moments indeed.


This was not the first time I've heard the fractally structured trance, but this was probably some of the crazier shit I've heard, out of all sound waves, period. When the DJ came down from the tables (it was pretty cool, the main dance area was under a large willow tree, with the turn tables perched up in the tree about 3 metres or so) I asked him what was that he was playing just before? He just said 'psychedelic trance' and I'm like yeah no shit but I mean what exactly...unfortunatley, he had been DJing for about 6 hours straight so it was hard for me to pinpoint which stuff I was asking about. I meant to talk to him later but we were both pretty twisted and still totally enveloped in the music. He said something about it being freshly stomped vinyl, and I think he mentioned 'Liquid Crystal Vision' or something...


And to the Wellington dude...the rave was at Waipori Falls, about 45 mins SW of Dunedin...a fucking amazing location, pristine native bush surrounding, which mimics the fractally structured nature of the music. This rave really re-enforced my appreciation for the psychedelic nature of the South Island, in geography, flora, fauna and weather...such a refreshing morning it was. And no council permission required for that site either. The DJ's name is Mickey...and he is a Dunedin-ite so hopefully I will bump into him sometime soon and discuss this mystery further!


Also, if you're going to be heading to the South Island at all soon, there are some decent events coming up...in Dunedin, there is a Eudaenomy rave on the peninsula March 20th minimal psy-tech, then Crave on the 3rd of April or so...Winter Solstice (fucking good party) around June 20th...and of course there is the Nelson regions Psychedelic flip-out, Stardust, coming up easter saturday on top of Takaka hill...they will be spinning some sweet psytrance there, and again an awesome location. Thats just off the top of my head...there should be other parties coming up soon as well...though perhaps you already know all this.


Shit, this has been a long ramble...I must be stoned...

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Guest Nomad

I allways remember (for some reason) I allways remember a track from around 92 'It's a state of mind not a 'Substance'.


Because of this lately I've been figuring of where Psy-trance should go next.

Sometimes it still 'Feels' as if there is some thing 'Missing' still. I've been around Dance Music for nigh on 25years now, from The High energy stuff of the 80's through to the Birth of Rave and allthough I left the scene for about 8 years (94-2002) I recently returned as psy-trance had appeared and it has what I have been searching for but still it is only 2 dimentional.


Using substances we can shift that dimension and experiance the four dimensions through time and space and physical interaction.

How then to do it a as state of mind where the sound will take you to the ethereal dimensions without even the use of a substance.


I feel the answer is to start 'Patterning the sound.


As we use four beats i.e 1, 2, 3, 4 we place four seperate speaker banks in the four corners of a space. we then add a sub-woofer central in front of the Dj ( I have lately extended this idea to Octonian setup) We then set up so a sound kind be played, (The rythmical bass beat) and say we start with the front speakers 1&2 then switch to the rear speakers 3&4 so example: 1,2 - 3, 4 - 1, 2 - 3, 4 - 1, 2 ,- 1, 3 - 2, 4 - 1 , 4- 2 , 3 etc switching back and forth through patterns like this.


We then take our mid and treble (especially the treble) and we can have these spinning around the area. take for instance a high end swirling lift sound imagine that being 'spun' around a given area and Skittered about in patterns - even just thinking of it gives me a shiver of Joy and I just know in my heart should I ever be able to reproduce this sound (Help) Never mind substances - This is the substance....I've been trying to figure this now ever since I first heard that above track State of Mind.


I want to use an 8/4 setup 8 main banks of speakers woith 4 cenrals/and subs - reckon I could take folk into a dimension of there wildest imaginations where dreams become reality


Nice to hope I suppose


Nomad :)

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Guest zee-werp



Those are some excellent ideas you mentioned there man! Just thinking about it was tripping me out. I can fully appreciate what your saying, with the texture etc. This is an area I myself have also been thinking heavily about...I have pages and pages in my notebook on possible ways of creating a 3-Dimensional soundscape. I was planning on basing these soundscapes on 3-D visual templates, but I won't go into detail about that right now...


The reason I began wanting to work with this overall idea of more than just stereo, was that I have infact heard it be done, on a simple level. This was at a psytrance rave about a year or so ago. The sound system was what I would describe as 'quadraphonic'...four speaker stacks, one in each corner of the dance area, facing inwards.


Most of the tracks were played in the standard format, with each stereo channel going to two of the speakers. Then, at around 3 AM or so, when things were getting really crazy and everyone was in a full psychedelic state, they fucked with my mind in a way that really impressed me.


Basically, the main bass beat began to spin around, each speaker individually, spinning in a spiral, fading out from one as it faded in to the other. Meanwhile, with the 'other' aspects of the track other than the bass, were raising and lowering pitch / tone.


The overall effect was the feeling of being inside a psychedelic whirlwind. It felt like us, the people, and the music, were channeling magical energies in from the sky, and sending our own back out. The trebel gave the feeling extreme altitude. In other words, when the pitch got really high, it felt as though my actual conciousness was floating like 100 meters above the dance floor. They kept it spinning for about a minute or so, it was fucking amazing. The trebel pitch finally reached a nearly inaudiable height, and then it began to drop. It then underwent a rapid drop, the feeling of falling from that spot 100m in the air to right back on the dance floor in about 3 seconds. With this drop, came a fucking phat bass line and the whole party went crazy!!!!!


So now, in my own psytrance productions, I am very keen on developing these techniques further, and I love your ideas man! Its just a matter of figuring out how to do it, and getting some good samples to use with it.

I have no idea who this quadrophonic stuff was or where it came from, and the DJ was very secretive about it when I asked him, avoiding telling me all together. Damn the secretive DJ's!


But anyway, I wish you the best of luck with your experimentations...if you feel like discussing any ideas further (brainstorming is always good :)) feel free to add me to MSN if you use it...thats electricneverending@hotmail.com...or just post back here.


I think one of the key things to look at here is the aspect of creating artificial altitude, and raising and lowering of that altitude, and also applying this to the horizontal aspect. Once these aspects are played with / honed in on, more detailed soundscapes can be built....what do you think?

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Guest miKeLogic

Yeah, digital surround sound DJ mixer was my MSc music technology project last year. I didn't build it, but did most of the hardware design. It had many features, and ran on a PC/AT linux platform. I got the idea from the guy who does www.tweakheadz.com on his site.


Anyhow, the problem with these type of things is the sound systems in the clubs are barely in stereo, never mind quad. Many clubs just run in mono. Maybe we could have an outdoor "surround" festival then!


Oh yeah, it was hit on about the sound spiralling around between four speaker stacks. Thats not difficult, just need a four channel soundcard and say Logic, you have surround panning available there. Otherwise, just use MAX/MSP and program it in midi. Just imagine two pan controls for the same sound, one for left right, one for front back. We did this during uni as an exercise, with clouds of random notes spinning around the room.





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Guest grahf

very interesting discussion here...


I have often thought about, shall we say, the synaesthetic connection between sound and visual data. I love watching winamp plugins (milkdrop and g-force are my favorites), and seeing how they react to the music, but I always feel like more could and should be done. For instance, creating a new unique visual element on the screen for each aural element in the track. I have heard of VJ's doing this for live acts... probably not terribly hard, just make a timed script to trigger the effects or something. What would be far cooler would be to do it dynamically and on the fly. I suspect this is actually theoretically possible (somebody who knows more about math, fourier transforms, and computer science can weigh in on this question), given a lot of processing power.


In other words, what I am describing is a cheap digital version of the reality that zee-werp entered on acid. The way that he describes the tones of the music modifying his visions could be represented by good beat detection (if you've ever watched milkdrop a lot, it'll occasionally change presets right as the song makes a big change, it's cool), and perhaps some kind of tone recognition for melodies? On a live setup, one could just directly use MIDI data as visualization input.


There is another aspect of all this I wish to discuss... I find it extremely interesting that zee-werp was doing some complex dancing while in his trance state. When I go out on the dancefloor, I wiggle around somewhat similarly to what raver kids call "fluid dancing..." but in a more freeform manner. I do it best when listening to psychedelic trance, and even better when stoned. What I find myself doing is making body movements that reflect the actual sounds and mood of the music. This definitely involves complex hand motions, especially for melodies. If I can make my hands move corresponding to the music, then surely I could also make music corresponding to my hand motions. I've always wanted to connect diodes or sensors or something up to my hands, wave them around and make music. I know there is such as a thing as a theremin, but that is not near precise enough for what i envision. Each finger could correspond to a key, bending fingers could bend the pitch, etc...


Why exactly do we dance, and not something else when we hear music? It seems somehow meant to be so, and dancing is one of the most self-fullfilling activities one can possibly engage in, when used as a tool for ecstatic self-expression. Waving one's arms around in interesting patterns is merely a consequence of this.


Now I have to go learn a whole lot of music theory and computer science and make this actually happen.... hehe, yeah sure.


ah crap, class tomorrow morning,... goodnight y'all.

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Guest miKeLogic

Yeah, dancing rules :)


It's a bit of a paradox really though, trying to make music as you dance. One of my lecturers made a simple system of micro switches on a 1Mx1M board. The idea was you could dance on it, and it was all linked up to a computer which made music as you danced. It would change the elements in the track being played and also the tempo and so on depending on how you were jumping on the switches.


They gave up on it in the end. Firstly because the board he made didn't work too well as your foot could fall between the switches(!), and secondly they realised that it's difficult to maintain a proper rhythm if you are making the music and dancing at the same time. Maybe people in the psytrance community could keep a better groove


But yeah, there's stuff like a conductors jacket fitted with strips which relay the position of the arms to the computer, and they were trying to figure out what makes a good conductor! And you have the cordless batton as well, gives info from sensors like HAL effect (for acceleration I think) and tilt switches. So you may see DJ's waving these around at gigs in the future, who knows.


Funny inventions were the java mug which played a techno/latin groove when you picked it up. The groove changed slightly depending on how tight you were holding the handle and how much you tilted the cup. Of course the comptuer wasn't built into the mug, at least not yet :)


Check out experimental musical instruments for more, I think the MIT lab did some music stuff also...





I just found an article on DNA based music a few mins ago on experimental musical instruments (EMI). I mean, how "organic" can you get....


Thats what makes psytrance so good, the fact that you can "Waving one's arms around in interesting patterns", cause the melodies are linked to the rhythm, rather than being forced on top as in some other styles which shall remain nameless, IMHO





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