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Psychrobatic

Why nobody cares for DJs in the psytrance scene?

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In pretty much every other genre of electronic music there is people that got very popular because of their skills as a DJ. This doesn't seem to be the case in the psy scene (name one famous DJ that got his fame because of his DJ sets and not his productions).

This is something that after more than 10 years in the scene I still don't understand. To me, a good set is much more important in psytrance than in any other genre (where DJs can just cut and drop the current mainstream hit and everybody will be happy). Psytrance is about creating a story, taking the crowd into a journey. And, in my opinion, that can only be done with proper technical skills, good track selection and the ability to read the crowd.

When I'm part of the crowd and I'm really into the playing track, really into, I always get disconnected by a choppy or off transition. Like I feel I'm getting deeper in trance and suddenly somebody pulls me out and now we're starting all over again with a new track. This happened to me in most parties, every 5 minutes when the DJ is mixing the next track in. This is the reason why I started mixing in the first place.

The best parties I experienced where 10 years ago. Outdoor events (not huge) where everybody was on their own, dancing and feeling the music. Not everybody was facing the DJ as he was some kind of god. A good psytrance DJ should pass unnoticed in my opinion (and I say this as a DJ myself). But it seems like psytrance is getting more and more similar to the mainstream EDM genres where everybody is idolizing the person standing behind the decks, even is he's just waving his hands while the pre-recorded set is playing on the computer (but let's not get into this topic now...).

Am I alone on this?

Do you guys not care at all how the set is build and mixed?

Are you just happy with a pre-recorded set and a guy waving his hands for the entire time?

 

And please, don't get me wrong, producing psytrance is extremely hard and I value the work of the producers that spend whole days working on them. I'd just like that when I go to an event I get to experience a good well built set and not just a a showcase of the producer's latest tracks without any coherence.

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Name one? Ok, goa gil. 

More recently? I can name a couple actually that I would go see strictly cause I know they are good at what they do. :)

Just in my hometown back in the 00s I knew a dozen djs that I would avoid and about 4-5 that I favored. And the good djs where praised and properly appreciated :)

As far as them not being as popular or widely known as the artists speaks for itself. 

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1 minute ago, astralprojection said:

Name one? Ok, goa gil

I knew this one would come up, I should have include that exception. You know Goa GIl is not just a DJ.

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Just now, Psychrobatic said:

 

I knew this one would come up, I should have include that exception. You know Goa GIl is not just a DJ.

I'm not getting your point i guess :)

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yerg    12

Paul Oakenfold played some goa trance back in the days.

Today, it's mainly Chrostopher Lawrence and John OO Fleming. Both are primarily DJs that focus on psy-trance, although they do mix other stuff.

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technosomy    235

if you name goa gil, then you have to mention riktam and bansi and 1200 mics and raja ram, infected mushroom talamaca, yahel etc
buy yes they all produce, but when you see the crowd reaction, kinda same as other trance genres

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What? You're fucking kidding, right?

Goa Gil is a DJ. Period. He has produced a couple of mediocre tracks but he is not a Producer first. He is not equivalent to Riktam, Bansi, Raja, Infected, etc. At all. 
That's just bloody ridiculous.

I'd say James Monro is FAR more known for his DJ sets than his productions, but he is very much a Producer and I'd not really count him in this anyway.

DJ Dado was definitely a DJ and did contribute to some tracks but is mainly a DJ

Nick Taylor was a bit like James Monro. Very much a producer but also quite well known for his DJ sets

Lucas eventually produced a few tracks and collaborations but was always mainly a DJ

Jean Borelli and Mark Allen were both highly respected DJs. Mark had mad success producing as well but that never diminished his DJ prowess. Jean Borelli produced a bit but I always considered to be more of a DJ than a producer.

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2 hours ago, yerg said:

Paul Oakenfold played some goa trance back in the days.

Today, it's mainly Chrostopher Lawrence and John OO Fleming. Both are primarily DJs that focus on psy-trance, although they do mix other stuff.

Those are trance djs... They often play something usually called "Psy Tech-Trance" a lot of people don't consider psychedelic trance.

 

11 minutes ago, the goa constrictor said:

What? You're fucking kidding, right?

Goa Gil is a DJ. Period. He has produced a couple of mediocre tracks but he is not a Producer first. He is not equivalent to Riktam, Bansi, Raja, Infected, etc. At all. 
That's just bloody ridiculous.

I'd say James Monro is FAR more known for his DJ sets than his productions, but he is very much a Producer and I'd not really count him in this anyway.

DJ Dado was definitely a DJ and did contribute to some tracks but is mainly a DJ

Nick Taylor was a bit like James Monro. Very much a producer but also quite well known for his DJ sets

Lucas eventually produced a few tracks and collaborations but was always mainly a DJ

Jean Borelli and Mark Allen were both highly respected DJs. Mark had mad success producing as well but that never diminished his DJ prowess. Jean Borelli produced a bit but I always considered to be more of a DJ than a producer.

I meant Goa Gil is more than a DJ not because of his productions, but because he was there when the whole psytrance scene started to become something.

The others you mentioned... I have no clue who they are. But googling them around a bit, they mostly don't seem to play psytrance at all... and I'm guessing they are not popular enough to play in Ozora, Boom, Universo Parallelo, etc...

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(also, i have no idea why I got so intense and worked up about this topic. Apologies for that. I'm at work now, so i might not reply again until later, but there is still much to unpack with this...)

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Aspartic    87

DJ Solitare had me in a grip during his whole set last time at an old is gold party. Steady start, but growing to a grand finale.

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yerg    12
3 hours ago, Psychrobatic said:

Those are trance djs... They often play something usually called "Psy Tech-Trance" a lot of people don't consider psychedelic trance.

really?

 

here are some of the tracks that Chris Lawrence played at his latest live set:


James Monro - Halcyon Daze - Nan
James Monro - Expansion - Nano
4D - Void - Nano
GMS & Ajja Feat. Pixel - What Makes a Man - Stereo Society
Atmos - The Only Process (Protonica Remix) - Atmotech/Iboga Records
Liquid Soul & Outsiders - Life Frequency - Sacred Technology
Protonica - Gravity - Iboga Records
Shadow Chronicles - Indigo Sequence - Future Music Records
Liquid Soul & Protonica - Levitate - Iboga Records

 

if this ain't psytrance, then I don't know what is :blink:

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strong feelings isnt bad at all :)

 

the first guy pops to mind is anoebis, i remember his mix "storm in your mind" or something along those lines. it was great and he is apparantly cofounder of some rinkydink label :P  and just recently had a gig at ZNA :) so thats a pretty big name i think.

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Tsotsi    89

I get what you're saying @Psychrobatic although as mentioned there are a few exceptions. I think its easier to get a gig when you have your own tunes to play. On top of that, seeing a DJ with good stage presence is pretty exciting. Illiuchina who I've seen thrice is an amazing high energy DJ who makes her sets more enjoyable because you can see how into the sets she is (producer). 

In Australia though we have probably one of the most talented DJ's in the hemisphere called Boogs. He does the journey you are talking about. He can mix techno into psytrance into deep house into trap and the flow never stops. Very low energy stage presence but soooo talented. I think that's just how it is, great DJ's are regarded locally and need to build a steady rep, producers can put out a track that hits globally. 

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Padmapani    379
7 hours ago, Psychrobatic said:

The others you mentioned... I have no clue who they are. But googling them around a bit, they mostly don't seem to play psytrance at all... and I'm guessing they are not popular enough to play in Ozora, Boom, Universo Parallelo, etc...

i've seen james monro play at ozora. and i've also met people there who were really excited for his set. boom shankar is another one who's pretty popular around these parts (and who sometimes plays at ozora). and of course we have anoebis.

howeve i agree with the notion that djs and artists should not be the main point of attention at parties, but rather situated behind the speakers. psytrance shouldn't need any sort of star cult, let the music speak for itself. that's one thing where i've always prefered how things are handled in the freetekno scene as compared to psytrance.

 

i think the main point is that dj sets are often, as you say, less consistent and not so great compared to live sets. so in most cases i'd rather have the latter if a have a choice. i vividly remember when i saw talamasca the only time (when zodiac was still fresh). his live was perfectly on point, but his dj set was an utter cheese fest.
as ap has said there are always some local guys you know are good djs and others you know to avoid (mostly because they'll always play at least some ultra-commercial tracks even if it does fit neither to the mood of the party nor any of the other music played there).
bad transitions are something that sort of has tradition in the psy scene, starting with people like goa gil who "mixed" simply by pressing stop/play on dat players back then (no vinyl in hot goa). partly also because goa trance is notoriously difficult to mix. the tracks are produced in a way that they can stand on their own and don't have dj friendly intros or outros at all. personally, i don't need supter sophisticated transitions at all. as long as the track selection is good and the transitions aren't total crap, i'm happy.

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30 minutes ago, Padmapani said:

i've seen james monro play at ozora. and i've also met people there who were really excited for his set. boom shankar is another one who's pretty popular around these parts (and who sometimes plays at ozora). and of course we have anoebis.

howeve i agree with the notion that djs and artists should not be the main point of attention at parties, but rather situated behind the speakers. psytrance shouldn't need any sort of star cult, let the music speak for itself. that's one thing where i've always prefered how things are handled in the freetekno scene as compared to psytrance.

 

i think the main point is that dj sets are often, as you say, less consistent and not so great compared to live sets. so in most cases i'd rather have the latter if a have a choice. i vividly remember when i saw talamasca the only time (when zodiac was still fresh). his live was perfectly on point, but his dj set was an utter cheese fest.
as ap has said there are always some local guys you know are good djs and others you know to avoid (mostly because they'll always play at least some ultra-commercial tracks even if it does fit neither to the mood of the party nor any of the other music played there).
bad transitions are something that sort of has tradition in the psy scene, starting with people like goa gil who "mixed" simply by pressing stop/play on dat players back then (no vinyl in hot goa). partly also because goa trance is notoriously difficult to mix. the tracks are produced in a way that they can stand on their own and don't have dj friendly intros or outros at all. personally, i don't need supter sophisticated transitions at all. as long as the track selection is good and the transitions aren't total crap, i'm happy.

Yes, Boom Shankar is one I like.

Well, the only reason his live was perfectly on point is because it was pre-mixed in the studio, nothing live at all. Obviously it will sound better than a DJ set. But let's agreed that there's nothing live on that, certainly no more live than a pure DJ set.

I also agree that bad mixing is kind of the tradition in psytrance, I've seen Goa Gil pressing stop/play on DAT players 10 years ago in Argentina. But he's "the father of psytrance" so we cannot say anything to him...

I wish this "tradition" would end at some point. I don't think psytrance is extremely hard to mix. There are some sub-genres more difficult than others (old-school goa is hard), but is no more difficult than a pure trance mix... And certain sub-genres allows for more creative mixing than just mixing intros into outros...

I know this is not the DJ Promotion forum, but if you head to my Youtube channel you'll find videos showing how I think there's a lot of stuff to do while mixing psytrance: https://www.youtube.com/c/psychrobatic

I don't know, I just think a good psy set should keep the flow going, even if the tracks are not the most amazing or the latest unreleased or ultra head-bangers...

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Tsotsi    89

I watched your tutorials like 4 years ago when I was trying to learn how to DJ. That last transition is the hottest.

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Padmapani    379
3 hours ago, Psychrobatic said:

Yes, Boom Shankar is one I like.

Well, the only reason his live was perfectly on point is because it was pre-mixed in the studio, nothing live at all. Obviously it will sound better than a DJ set. But let's agreed that there's nothing live on that, certainly no more live than a pure DJ set.

I also agree that bad mixing is kind of the tradition in psytrance, I've seen Goa Gil pressing stop/play on DAT players 10 years ago in Argentina. But he's "the father of psytrance" so we cannot say anything to him...

I wish this "tradition" would end at some point. I don't think psytrance is extremely hard to mix. There are some sub-genres more difficult than others (old-school goa is hard), but is no more difficult than a pure trance mix... And certain sub-genres allows for more creative mixing than just mixing intros into outros...

I know this is not the DJ Promotion forum, but if you head to my Youtube channel you'll find videos showing how I think there's a lot of stuff to do while mixing psytrance: https://www.youtube.com/c/psychrobatic

I don't know, I just think a good psy set should keep the flow going, even if the tracks are not the most amazing or the latest unreleased or ultra head-bangers...

i thought we wanted not to get into that topic. tbh i don't care if it's mixed live or in the studio. if it sounds good it's good :)

i agree. fullon and esp. progressive are a lot easier to mix than goa trance (newschool goa often is most of the time even worse than oldschool. on my own adventures with virtual dj i can make an halfway ok (djing is not my speciality) oldschool set but i've never been able to make a smooth transition both to and from a filteria track).
so the reasons are not valid anymore for most subgenres but the tradition of not focusing on good mixing continues.

of course the flow should be there, but that can also be achieved without fancy or perfectly seamless transition but also with a good track selection. and i don't give a fuck about unreleaseds. i want good music, not necessarily music that no one has heard before. there is so much psy released these days that it's a rare and pleasant occurrance when i actually know the track played in a set. and i do try to keep up with new music from different subgenres.

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Anoebis    404

Interesting topic, 

it is true that, to become a respected international dj, producing is more or less a must. There are very few exceptions, and I think I am one of those few (another name that pops up in my mind is Boom Shankar of BMSS?). For some reason I made it to Boom, Psyfi, ZNA,... without creating 1 track (because of no time, I still think I will do it one day :D ). I always wondered why me, and no others, and the only logical conclusion I had is: that I kept playing pure goa, not being stuck in a timeframe. Suntrip helped as well of course, but in the beginning it was too unknown and I already played internationally. 

So I agree that dj's in the psy-trance scene are far less important as producers. Its a shame really, as djs still have the possibility to play 1000 times more music as any producer, and thus, create a real journey. But well, its the way it is. One day it will change again I guess, maybe one day djs will get the respect as in the techno scene, would be awesome :D In Belgium Charlotte De Witte or whatever get 10.000 people, while the producers that make the music for her... 50? :p 

 

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Well techno is way different noone knows the tracks everyone just knows the djs :p

And on and on that goes. Also I think most of that music is explicitly produced and released directly to the djs. At least a big bulk of it. 

edit: i mean the big names like carl cox and the likes. they have those massive 10k people gatherings and i dont fully get it.

i think most of the music on those sets are produced for that dj. i may be wrong ofc. i just think it works more exclusive like that since the dj is what brings the crowd ($$$) not the artist.

 

and in goa trance its the exact oppsite. obviously. (to me, its obvious anyway :P ) the expection being ofc local smaller parties where the dj is the center figure. but that also goes without saying i think. i dont know if im making myself very clear :)

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Oopie    159

Here's my 2c:

Psychedelic trance music is, within a track, often a journey. The very aesthetic is that the tracks are usually 7+ minutes long following a certain philosophy of drama. It is thought/expected that the tracks end with a bang. No self respecting DJ would mix out the track before the best part, that's obvious no? We pretty much have a genre where technical "grandeur" is hard to show in your sets as there are such big gaps between the tracks. I won't go into detail, but techno and house music, widdem big starz, have more "use the tracks as tools" philosophy and it's just bound to be that in these genres you've got a bit more of that DJ charisma. 

The point of the story: Within psytrance genre I think almost anyone can become a good DJ! Really why not? With the modern day technology you don't even have to care about the beat matching anymore. Really this "hobby" is for whoever so wishes. There are more DJs wanting to play than there are organizers lol...

Becoming a great producer though... if going a bit beyond great production quality and talking in terms of musicality - some will never achieve this. Like me! I can tell you I've tried. xD 

 

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26 minutes ago, Oopie said:

Here's my 2c:

Psychedelic trance music is, within a track, often a journey. The very aesthetic is that the tracks are usually 7+ minutes long following a certain philosophy of drama. It is thought/expected that the tracks end with a bang. No self respecting DJ would mix out the track before the best part, that's obvious no? We pretty much have a genre where technical "grandeur" is hard to show in your sets as there are such big gaps between the tracks. I won't go into detail, but techno and house music, widdem big starz, have more "use the tracks as tools" philosophy and it's just bound to be that in these genres you've got a bit more of that DJ charisma. 

The point of the story: Within psytrance genre I think almost anyone can become a good DJ! Really why not? With the modern day technology you don't even have to care about the beat matching anymore. Really this "hobby" is for whoever so wishes. There are more DJs wanting to play than there are organizers lol...

Becoming a great producer though... if going a bit beyond great production quality and talking in terms of musicality - some will never achieve this. Like me! I can tell you I've tried. xD 

 

Yes, that's true. A track is usually a 7 minute journey itself and anybody can get a a controller and some DJ software and mix one track's into onto another's outro and so on. Thus creating several 7-minute journeys and not a single long one. I do not think the genre is what limits DJs to do more stuff. 
My philosophy is exactly that, the tracks are tools, and not always the entire track, sometimes just some part of it. I don't see a whole track as a the minimum unit that builds my sets. And by doing that, I think there are great things that can be achieved. The most easy example I can say is skipping the breakdowns. In the +10 years I've been in the scene, if I have to single out what I think people can't stand of a set is having a break every 3 minutes (which is usually what happens in most psytrance and full-on tracks, a break in the middle, sometimes two breaks). I think there was a thread in this forum where someone was asking "what makes a good set for you?" and the "avoid having a break every 3 minutes" got many points. I can't find it now though.

To me, the idea of creating a set is about extending those different parts of a track, like making a 1 hour track with parts of different tracks. Like, extending the peak high energy part, which usually on a single track, it lasts about 16 to 32 bars (which at 145bpm is just about 30-40s at best). Then right after that, the outro where the tracks starts to come down and where the DJ will usually mix the next track's bassline drop, usually with a bass-swap. And then we're starting over again, with a new track.
But, if you mix a build-up there instead, you can extend that peak and keep the energy high for more than 30s.

So yeah, I'm a strongly believer that for some reason, mixing psytrance has not evolved as much as other genres did.

And finally, yeah, producing is hard and takes a lot of time. It's not for everybody certainly. I've tried it too. You have to enjoy spending days in front of the computer.

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ulmehagen    13

3 Names:

Mark Allen
DJ Cosmix
Tsuyoshi Suzuki



They had a name before they started producing. Because they could mix / sync and had skills before there were little helpers like bpm counter or sync functions. (Joske, that applies to you as well)
Actually the normal basic knowledge of a dj for electronic music. But that does not apply to the goa scene. The people wanted to be dj's and be famous but without any basic knowledge. So they mixed dats and they did not have to apologize for bad transitions. And have invented reasons like: the music is not meant to mix or because of the heat you can't play records in Goa. Such a nonsense, was refuted in the 90ies by several dj's impressive in Goa. Until today unbelievable and incomprehensible and says a lot about the scene.

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I find it ironic that the O.P. wasn't aware of the list of DJs noted within this thread.
It's almost as if it was less about the ideas of DJs in general and more that they were feeling snubbed by not being more well known and famous.
Then they post videos of their DJing as a way to support the concept that it's less about "DJs" and is more about them.

So yeah, this topic is fucking comical...

lmfao

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7 minutes ago, the goa constrictor said:

I find it ironic that the O.P. wasn't aware of the list of DJs noted within this thread.
It's almost as if it was less about the ideas of DJs in general and more that they were feeling snubbed by not being more well known and famous.
Then they post videos of their DJing as a way to support the concept that it's less about "DJs" and is more about them.

So yeah, this topic is fucking comical...

lmfao

Are you having a bad day at work again? Chill out dude.

Again, those DJs you mentioned are not pure psytrance DJs, they mix several genres like techno, house, tech-trance, etc. and are well known because of those genres, where the DJ is indeed known for its work.

I couldn't care less about being famous, I have my gigs and I'm happy with that. I just want the scene to evolve and leave that idea that psytrance is not meant to be mixed more than just intro-outro behind.

 

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On 9/19/2019 at 3:54 AM, astralprojection said:

Name one? Ok, goa gil. 

More recently? I can name a couple actually that I would go see strictly cause I know they are good at what they do. :)

Just in my hometown back in the 00s I knew a dozen djs that I would avoid and about 4-5 that I favored. And the good djs where praised and properly appreciated :)

As far as them not being as popular or widely known as the artists speaks for itself. 

Are you serious?

Goa Gil???

Hes a legend and all but as far as skills? Hes terrible. I never understood why the record labels he was signed to that released his CDs allowed his horribly un beatmatched transitions to appear on his albums.. 

I mean no offense by saying this but the fact that you said Goa Gil is a clear indicator that you have no idea what a good DJ is..

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