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underslunky

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Hi folks!

My name's Rob, I'm a student at the University of Salford and I'm writing my PhD thesis on psychedelic dance music culture in the UK! The main area I'm investigating is the relationship of the psy scene to other dance music genres, how and why it is largely ignored even by specialist dance music magazines etc. In a nutshell, my theory is that psy is viewed with suspicion because of the associations and links with spirituality, free festivals, hippies/travellers/freaks, 'uncool' forms of music (psychedelic rock bands like Gong and the Ozrics) etc.

Anyway, I'm going to be conducting research into people who are involved in the scene (i.e. you guys!), so you'll probably be hearing a lot more from me! I'm planning to do quite a bit of research into psy trance clubs so will be looking for people to 'show me around' so to speak!
 

BeatNik

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underslunky said:
Hi folks!

I'm writing my PhD thesis on psychedelic dance music culture in the UK!

Now that is an interesting topic... but i'm wondering what subject that's part of, Sociology, Anthropology, Music?
I'm interested in what the angle/questions/data you are asking concering the scene are?

Psytrance is getting bigger by the way, fact is is (in my opinion) it's complexity is something that automatically makes it not (necessarily) catchy, not (necessarily) pop and therefore more inaccessible.

However i guess you'll find out.

Tell more...:iyes:
 

trancetheory

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Hi welcome to Psy Forum :Grin: :dancey:

dont mean to put a damper on your theory, but, Psy Trance wasnt the way the 'hippy scene' used to be in london.....partiez like Mindscapes, The Warp Experience, etc etc where Acid Tekno, TeknoTrance, Euphoric Trance, Hard House and Psy... :irolleyes:

Of course this does add another dimension to your thesis, because Psy and the other forms of Trance/Tekno interacted and crossed over a huge amount, although allot of people wouldnt like to admit it, Hard House and Psy have had huge amounts of influence on one another, although these days the two are very rarly found together, and often very diffrent people (aestheticaly at least..) go to the parties

Well, have to say, sounds like a damn good topic to be doing your thesis on! Hope your gonna publish it online or somthing coz I'd love to take a look once itz finished :Grin:

welcome again :Grin:
 

LOLITA

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Hey I love to be studied...........I spend my life studying myself anf always find out something new:ibiggrin:
 

lettis

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welcome to the forum and would be up for helping with ya research. have just completed my disertation on whether rave culture can be considered as a 'postmodern' culture and its impact on contemporary society.

nearly drove me mad!!:icry: :ilol:
 

JohnM

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It might be worth having a word with Dr Rupert Till or Dr Chill in his other career as DJ/founder memeber of Chillage People - he lectures in popular music at Huddersfield Uni. He actually took his students on a field trip to the Que club in Brum once which is pretty impressive - though obviously not as much as writing a thesis on your hobby!

The sociological aspects will be interesting - especially its attraction for hippies (probably quite obvious) as well posh (semi) rebellious kids which seem to make up most of its audience.. maybe its the ready made lifestyle that goes with it? Who knows - but it'll no doubt keep you busy for a while looking into it.

:Smile3:
 

underslunky

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miszt said:
Hi welcome to Psy Forum :Grin: :dancey:

dont mean to put a damper on your theory, but, Psy Trance wasnt the way the 'hippy scene' used to be in london.....partiez like Mindscapes, The Warp Experience, etc etc where Acid Tekno, TeknoTrance, Euphoric Trance, Hard House and Psy... :irolleyes:

Of course this does add another dimension to your thesis, because Psy and the other forms of Trance/Tekno interacted and crossed over a huge amount, although allot of people wouldnt like to admit it, Hard House and Psy have had huge amounts of influence on one another, although these days the two are very rarly found together, and often very diffrent people (aestheticaly at least..) go to the parties

I agree- certainly you can't ignore that the psy scene has crossed over with other genres. Actually I wasn't aware of the cross-over with hard house- can you expand on this a bit?

However, I don't think you can deny that the psy scene stands out from other dance genres in that it does seem to hark back to a lost golden age- particularly to the free festivals and the counterculture linked to them (that itself can be traced back to the '60s). For example, take many of the '90s Megadog/'crusty techno' scene, which was essentially the foundation for today's psy scene- many of the artists such as Eat Static, Astralasia, System 7 etc were originally in psychedelic rock bands that frequented the festivals. The fact that many of these groups are still around and highly respected on the scene, despite hardly being in their first flush of youth is also unique. Look at Raja Ram for example- the guy's in his sixties, lived with the Beatniks in New York in the '60s and is one of the most well known artists on the scene. I can't imagine the drum and bass scene being tolerant of a 60 yr old DJ! Then if we look at the psy club scene, ranging from Megadog and Whirl-y-Gig through to Tribe of Frog, there definitely seems to be an attempt to recreate a festival vibe in a club enviroment (stalls, attention to decor etc). And why is that there's always at least one stall selling psy stuff at the more alternative (hippy-ish) festivals (Beautiful Days, Off the Tracks, Wickerman etc)? All the characteristics of the scene, whether it's the psychedelic/Indian spiritual imagery or ethnic samples common in the more downtempo tunes link back to another era.

It's these inversions of the norm (in dance music terms) that I'm interested in...

(I apologise for my waffling!)
 

JohnM

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There’s a lot of interesting discussion to be had here - maybe an idea to start a thread in the General Discussion or Music part.

Re: Hard House – I’m not convinced there are that many similarities. The uk free party/festival scene discovering pills and mxing it witth acid spawned a whole host of music and nights ranging from hard techno through acid techno to trance techno and trance, as well as goa trance which brought elements back from people’s hols in (strangely enough goa). The décor and venues and lot of the crowd were not dissimilar. Whereas hard house (in London anyway) came out of the gay club scene and places like trade. You did get some cross over at places like Escape from Samsara in its latter years – but that was more to do with the trance techno scene merging briefly with the more mainstream clubbing scene (eg Logic) before dying a death. Though it is fair to say a lot of hard house producers have been using psy trance production techniques and some Israeli full on stuff doesnt sound that dissimilar to hard house.

I suppose the big question is why psy trance has continued and many of the other mid/late 90s styles that it had so many similarities with haven’t. As I touched on briefly before – I think its perceived ready made lifestyle is a selling point as well as a hinderance in much the same way as Heavy Metal…

oh and its has nice parties!

Anyway – I’ll stop here before I waffle on too much with drivvle

:Smile3:
 

trancetheory

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its true Hard House did have some roots in the gay club scene, but if you look at early hard house, its very similar to Euphorik Trance (eg Moonman), Hard Trance (DaRude) and Hard Style (later neucleus), it changed, turned into its own genre in the end, but even that is devided up, some hard house is still pretty euphoric, some is heavily sample based with not allot of melody, some is more like minimal acid tekno....and some is very 'psy like', I have a few hard house tunes in my collection, which would happily play along side most full on psy without being noticed (eg Tales From the Krypt) with there wobbeling sub-heavy basslines and crunchy squelchy sounds & weird samples

Well anywayz, back to Psy, originally, Goa/Psy Tranc, was very melodic, but allot more minimal than Euphoric trance, they both however graduly become faster and harder, pretty much at the same rate, frequently being played in the same parties as Hard Trance/Hard Style and tekno (although Trance/Tekno speeded up a bit more than Psy...some of my hard house stuff is @ 150, and even a few tekno choonz @ 155...opposed to Psy 135-145(?))

Although most Psy is nothing like most hard house, the crossovers are there, Psy (progressive) often has euphoric elements that would be just as happy in a Hard House build up, and Hard house as taken the weird sounds and basslines, at least some hard house has.......most of it to be honest is crap, but its been around for a long time, and thatz what happens

I dont think its suprising that they influenced each other, you used to find them at parties together all the time....its a shame you dont so much anymore....although Antiworld do I believe, really need to get down to one of there parties, coz I havent been for years (cue antiworld abuse...leave it out guyz, we all know how much you hate them)

The décor and venues and lot of the crowd were not dissimilar.

my early memories of Trance/HardHouse parties where very psycadelic decor, similar to what we have now in the Psy scene, but it shifted to more cybernetik styles...and eventually turned into really minimalistic crap (imo)...some hard house parties still have amazing decor, but one of the reasons I love psy is because they are visual interesting partiez as well as the music.......also the people where the same, although that shifted, became more of a main stream crowd, not quiet 'chavy' by the time I left the parties, but getting there, very 'trendy' anyway, but the atmosphere was still really nice.....untill I came bak to parties, and it had changed completly, like the smile had gone......but not in the Psy world, if anything that woz fluffier than ever :Grin: :dancey:

well, thats how I see it anyway, from the last 8 yearz...imo as they say :iyes:
 

Red five

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wotcha.

try a book called "Strange Sounds" by Timothy Taylor.

most of the book is from a sociological aspects and examines psy/goa in terms of small, specialised cultures, might be worth checking out. i found it really handy whilst writing my dissertation on how technology has changed the way music is written, accessability and creation of specialised culture etc...

i'll look though my old books and mail you any titles that might suit your subject.
 

underslunky

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Cheers Red Five, I've already read 'Strange Sounds'- I found the chapter on the NYC psy scene very relevant to what I'm doing. I think I've pretty much found most of relevant stuff in terms of what's been written- there's been a few papers published on psy trance and a few odd chapters in books but not a great deal. More than I originally thought though!
 

Green Knight

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Yes, it's a fascinating topic. As someone who used to flit between the house scene and the psy scence in late nineties. I would say it has a lot to do with what is perceived as cool. House was always cool but then generally the people who went to house nights were very much into ego i.e concerned with their self image. The psy trance scene because of the nature of the experience was about transcendence of the ego for a lot of people. This involved going completely crazy or letting go which of course you couldn't get away with at a house night because you had to look cool. However, that is not say there isn't plenty of ego in the psy scene. Because it is trance music it is going to connect you with an altered state of consciousness perhaps to a cosmic consciousness. Hence you get an eco-activist element out of psy love peace unity and other values which you'd never get from the house scene. And then there is the creativity in a psy trance party the giving of oneself to create a party atmosphere is terms of self expression dress, decoration etc. This again is anathema to most other dance scenes which are dominated by the ego, looking cool self interest.

Also..I mean..well psy doesn't make a lot of sense to people unless you do acid. So many facets to this conversation
 

trancetheory

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This involved going completely crazy or letting go which of course you couldn't get away with at a house night because you had to look cool.

Agree, but not with Hard House, Hard House and Trance where frequently found together, and later with Psy aswell....and I remeber the partiez where about letting go and goin nutz and bein free :dancey:
 

Green Knight

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Yeah you're right. You don't have to do acid to enjoy psy. But I don't think there is any music that makes as much sense when you listen to it with it. Well..of course..it is psy after all and it is a common thing to find at psy parties. Dance music has branched out and psy has become much more specialised. Though because of the hard house and club trance scene there has been some more cross over in recent years. Have you listened to John OO Flemings White Label Republic that is quite a crossover? When I used to go to Return to the Source parties in 95 the music was much more of a mix of hard house, acid techno, psy and techno shortly after that it became only psy.

I guess the main reasons why it has been ignored by the main stream, is this thing with hippies not being cool and because psy fans. When the fashion cycle comes around to hippies the victims will think it's cool again. I dread that day. I think psy is doing well enough thanks. :iyes:
 
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