Archive of Press Clipping about the psy-scene


Surfing the Zuvuya
Reaction score
Manchester / Goa / The Worrrld
To get things started:,6903,1185378,00.html

Full text follows, apparently we're about to go "mainstream" :hehe: :

Clubbers fall under spell of Psytrance :bananada: :bananada:

Anushka Asthana
Sunday April 4, 2004
The Observer

It was a scene once found only on the beaches of Goa. Women with dreadlocked hair stood by the sea swinging leather straps around their bodies making patterns out of the fire-lit ends.
Ageing hippies sat on the sand beating their drums, and a mass of bodies dressed in luminous clothes and adorned with beads and piercings would dance as one to the deep trance beats and electro notes. Soon it made it to winter squat parties in London basements and summer free parties in fields - a few travellers wanting to relive their Indian experience would re-create the theme.

But last night Psytrance - a mix of psychedelic and trance music - made the final move out of the underground and exploded on the national club scene when 4,500 people descended on London's Brixton Academy for The Psychedelic Academy, the largest indoor festival of its type in the UK.

Old and young danced under three huge lasers and seven screens showing psychedelic images. Entranced by the music, travellers, professionals, students and city workers had the time of their lives, bringing together a more diverse group than that found in any other type of music.

You may not have heard of it, but Psytrance is about to hit the big time. The music has electronic, tribal and thumping layers that can almost instil a meditative state in the clubber. It is a producers' dream, with a wealth of opportunity to experiment. Originating from peace-loving travellers, it carries the philosophies of peace and free thinking. But now it has moved from the circles who adore yoga and meditation to a mainstream crowd.

For the first time last night, the organisers put the hard trance into room two and dedicated the main stage to this new trend. 'We always had this music in the smaller room,' says promoter Enrico Sorbello, 'but more and more people were packing in. It has gone from a time when you would get 200 people in a basement to now, when we can sell more than 4,000 tickets.'

And this summer it will become even bigger when Glastonbury dedicates a full day on the Glade stage to it and some of the same organisers branch off to produce the first ever, three-day-long Glade Festival.

'Psytrance is absolutely huge within dance music now,' says Gavin Herlihy, features editor at Mixmag. 'There have been loads of nights springing up and they are all getting packed. It has come from people travelling to places like Goa, and it is about a hippy culture that more people have tagged on to because they feel alienated about things like the war. It carries with it a lot of psychedelic drugs, many of which are legal, such as mushrooms and leaves like Salvia divanorium. Lots of kids who have taken ecstasy for years at mainstream clubs are trying Psytrance as something different.'

At a pre-party in Camden's Dream Temple, clubbers are getting themselves ready for a big night. Eleanor is dressed in a nylon skirt with a zip up the front and yellow, luminous edges, a plain black top and trainers. She is excited about the night ahead.

'I went to a party with a friend a few months ago and I have been a regular ever since,' she says. 'Everyone is incredibly friendly and you meet loads of new people.' She looks sheepish when drugs are mentioned. 'I am going to take some mushrooms and maybe some MDMA tonight, but it is the one type of music that I can go out to without anything. It is not just about getting trashed.'

Although this scene is more interested in herbal highs than illegal drugs, there is no doubt that much of the production is inspired by hallucinogenic experiences with big-name acts called suggestive names like Infected Mushroom and Hal lucinogen. Now it is attracting an array of new types of people, from pill-popping kids, to professionals, to the older hippies who have loved it for years. There is no snobbery between them.

At Access All Areas, an information network in Camden that promotes the music, customers were last week discussing mushroom experiences. 'I just closed my eyes, but I could see a sheep,' says one young man.

Promoters are revelling in the boom. 'I don't mind it going overground at all,' says one of the organisers of the festival and co-owner of Nano Records, Anselm Guise. 'The more people who listen to it the better. I just saw 6,000 people having a great time at the stage at Glastonbury last year and thought it was amazing.'

The success of the music has been replicated in the record industry, with a proliferation of new labels. One of the larger British labels, Organic, has seen sales more than double in the past year.

At the Dream Temple, a music, clothes and books shop, the owner, Nigel, says: 'This used to be about the person who went to India with their dreadlocks and didgeridoo, but now there are so many more parties and promoters have done a fantastic job bringing everyone together.'

Good man :Wink3: Be interesting to hear if there are any further press articles about the scene :smoke:
At Access All Areas, an information network in Camden that promotes the music, customers were last week discussing mushroom experiences. 'I just closed my eyes, but I could see a sheep,' says one young man.

:Grin: :Grin: :Grin: LOL

....'and then i woke up in a field with no underwear on'? :P

sorry :huh:

anyhoo, good idea to have a section like this! :Smile3:
Biased coverage ... what was the sheep's opinion ?

Sheepies ... that reminds me - where's DJChoppa these days ?
Fact is, it is happening. All over the world. Some governments are fearful of it and close it down (Mexico recently).

When I was at Full Moon, I stood back from the Main stage one evening and just watched the massive audio, visual and physical energy being emitted and could just feel this massive positive energy boiling away.

I wasn't the only one. Locals would stop and stare throughout the festival, not with a look of horror, but one of wonder. Local kids stopped playing football when certain tracks came on, started to dance. Local people in their late 50's stared, then moved gently, complying with the overwhelming power that was around them, but enjoying it.

Now that was awesome, truly left me speechless and amazed several times. Discussions with other middle aged party peeps drew the same conclusion.

I can normally foresee where things will lead quite clearly, but here, there are so many elements, wow! One thing I do know. No matter how 'overground' the scene becomes, there will always be parties that have that special anything anyone weird wonderful happy peaceful energetic vibe.

Best ever so far, best ever to come :bananada: :bananada: :bananada:
VAT on Magic Mushrooms?!

Independant Mushroom VAT article clipped from General Discussion:

:shrooms: :shrooms: :shrooms: :shrooms: :shrooms:

Customs to rake in £1m from VAT on magic mushrooms
By Robert Verkaik, Legal Affairs Correspondent
10 August 2004

Magic mushroom traders are facing a £1m tax bill after a Customs and Excise ruling that the hallucinogenic fungus is to be treated as a drug and not a food.

The move comes just weeks after ministers ordered a clamp-down on the increasing number of shops and market stalls that sell the mushrooms. Guidance issued by Customs makes it clear that the magic mushroom must be subject to a 17.5 per cent VAT charge because it is eaten for its "stimulant" rather than "nutritional" effect.

In a letter written in response to an inquiry from a north London shop owner, the Customs' National Advice Service said: "Unfortunately the said mushroom does not qualify for zero-rating under ... the VAT Act 1994 and is therefore standard rated for VAT purposes at 17.5 per cent."

Customs argued: "It is evident from various magic mushrooms websites that you do not use it based on the amount required in a recipe, you use amounts based on what sort of 'trip' you want."

The letter, based on guidance from the Customs and Excise unit of expertise, added: "In these recipes, the foodstuffs are used as a vehicle for consuming the drug as opposed to ... an essential ingredient. Accordingly the amount recommended to be used in recipes dictates how much you 'trip' as opposed to any ordinary reason."

There are estimated to be between 200 and 300 shops selling magic mushrooms and many other businesses trading online. The bulk of the produce is imported from the Netherlands. It has been suggested that the Treasury could be in line for a £1m mushroom tax windfall.

Mushroom traders argue that the Government is guilty of hypocrisy by making it a criminal offence to sell prepared mushrooms while at the same time making money from taxing the sale of fresh mushrooms after shops were raided.

Chris Territt, from the Psyche Deli in north London, said: "Customs and Excise have reviewed the situation for us and, in their opinion, the mushrooms, which are mostly imported under their supervision, are not only legal but VAT-able. Consequently the Government is taking 17.5 per cent of every mushroom transaction. If the Government thinks we're breaking the law, how can it be taking our money?"

Another mushroom trader said she was having to pay backdated VAT. Sylvia Chandler, of the Federation of Shamanic Entheogens Retailers and Wholesalers, said: "It's ridiculous that the Government thinks the mushroom is a drug and not a food. The chemical in the mushroom belongs to the same series of serotonin chemicals that naturally occur in the human body."

Customs argues that the average person would "consider" the magic mushroom to be a drug. A spokeswoman said the VAT advice applied only to "fresh" mushrooms and that once they were "prepared" for sale, by freezing, drying or making tea, the mushrooms were classified as a class A drug.


Gingerbread men dipped in chocolate are subject to VAT at 17.5 per cent, but those covered with caramel are not. The chocolate makes it a sweet rather than a tax-free biscuit.
The great debate over whether Jaffa Cakes are a VAT-able chocolate-covered biscuit, or a tax-free cake caused such disagreement that it went to tribunal in 1991. McVitie's won its argument that its product was a cake by baking a foot wide Jaffa Cake and passing it around in the hearing.
Women used to pay £45m a year in VAT on tampons until Gordon Brown decided to treat them as a non-luxury item and lifted the tax four years ago.
Women who buy size five or larger shoes have to pay VAT whereas those with smaller feet qualify for children's tax exemptions.
It will be interesting to see what happens if psytrance gets <b>really</b> big, eg. grunge big.

The eternal cynic in me thinks the massive massive parties will be watered down, full of copycat artists and party-goers who only listen to psytrance because it's the trendy thing of the moment.

The optimist in me hopes to see thousands instead of hundreds of fluffy friendly people stomping and having a great time to wonderful wonderful music, who go home as tired but happier and more caring people.