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On September 15, 2012 the psytrancers of the Northeast assembled to create one of the best overnight outdoor parties in regional history. Continue reading SYNC: Noctilucent
It’s something you would never ever really expect. Something you can never truly see coming. You can kind of, sort of, just maybe catch a glimpse of something on the horizon, but you’re not exactly sure of what it is. You’re out looking for a good time. It finds you, instead. In the prospect of a fun night- you dive into the rabbit hole.
Maybe you’re a bit worried- you wonder if you’ll become another gruesome cautionary tale- overheating, dehydrating, the life of you literally pouring out through your pores as your heart has no choice but to give in.
But the fear plays a distant second to your curiosity (the victorious force that will steer destiny tonight). You know you’re about to experience something, but you’re completely oblivious as to what. So you wait… And wait… And…. BAM!
Like a brick smack dab in the face, it announces its presence, “I’m here!” And before you have a chance to object, it engulfs you in its warm embrace. There’s no way out- but given the opportunity, you’d allow it to hold you forever. Your surroundings are the same, but now exist on a backdrop of neon magic.
How have you failed to note before the pleasant gentle ripples the texture of the wall forms beneath your fingertips? How is it that you’ve never appreciated how GOOD and even almost orgasmic it feels to breathe-inhale-exhale- you’re alive.
Yes, you’re living! The mechanical moderately mobile shell that used to define your existence reveals it’s true form- pink flesh, warm blood rushing through your veins, bones rubbing against one another in togetherness. You begin to fall in love, most likely for the first time in your life, with your physical self. All the flaws you saw just moments ago vanish before your eyes. You’re a perfect being. And the love which you were denied from others becomes irrelevant because no one can love you as purely and selflessly as you love your self in the moment.
As you make your peace with your physical self, you gain an acceptance for your inner being as well. While your mind does not transform into the pinnacle of perfection you often aspire to, you realize that the aspiration is no longer there. The yin and yang’s of your conscious unlock from their choke hold on one another. And for the first time ever, you don’t feel asphyxiated. And for the first time ever, you’re aware that you have been a slave your whole life, to yourself.
You’ve tried so hard with every step to retain some sort of control, but all you’ve accomplished is cold, cruel tyranny over the single being that is you. You have been blinded by the cataracts the time has superimposed upon your field of vision. Years of learned fear, hatred, and resentment have caused you to forget how wonderfully simple The Now could be. You delve deeper into the unchartered territories of this intriguing abyss.
Sound- it’s really just a wave of pressure. It travels through a compressible medium until it collides with our bodies and we become aware of it. Right? But it is so much more! Sound! Waves of sound intertwine with one another. They organize and form audible patterns translated by our bodies- you hear music. It moves you and invigorates you. Your body moves in harmony with these invisible waves of pressure. The tangible and intangible form the stanzas of the poetry read as “dance”.
Around you are others- you’re not alone! They too feel what you feel. They too move as you move. One rhythm guides all of you. You’re not separated. You’re not alienated. You’re a pivotal part of a whole. You belong.
A childlike curiosity bubble up from inside this new you. You begin to scan the crowd in front of you for another pair of burning eyes shouting out “I want to play”. Some stands out. Their energy feels right. Their aura, a perfect compliment to yours.
Introductions are made,
“Hello, I’m a human”
flashing lights illuminate an extended hand
“I’m a human, as well.”
Everything is understood. You don’t need words. In the past few hours you’ve transcended the necessity for speech. You’re just two humans beings twisting and contorting. Until you simultaneous understand that your two bodies were meant to form only one. And for once you understand that you’re not compromising yourself. You’re not giving up any part of you for someone else. Because there is no you, there is no someone else. Passion transformers the lonely “I” to “We”.
You’ve lost track of time a lifetime ago.
But you slowly become aware of the seconds passing bye. Your new found reality becomes slowly covered by a thin lackluster sheath of gray. There’s no use in holding on as it releases you from its hold and drops you back into your own inept control. Resistance only deepens the disappointment.
Don’t chase it.
Even if you manage to catch up, you’ll quickly learn the consequences of getting greedy. You’ll quickly learn why you shouldn’t be so eager as to experience an experience before it is meant to be. One day, it will find you again. When you need guidance the most. Don’t ask me how, but like a good leader, it just somehow knows.
No, not the human variety — these tiny creatures are curious about our forest dance festivals and often can be seen near the speakers, pretending to be insects. Have you seen any of them before?
The first edition of Psychedelic Traveller Magazine is available in print and for download (available here). It contains essays and scene reports from every country that contains a psytrance community. Since its a free magazine the print edition is small, and the PsyTraveler website contains additional stories, links to parties, and more in-depth information on each participating country’s scene.
Mainland China has been one of the places on earth where psychedelic trance culture has not taken root. The gradual loosening of cultural restrictions over the past 10 years, including the re-absorption of Hong Kong into the country, has perhaps increased tolerance to the point where the first psytrance club in Beijing is now running; the Party has no idea what kind of fun awaits it!
Pete Donaldson describes the state of psytrance in China in an interview with Colleen Gargan for cityweekend.com.cn.
The 604productions crew is determined to help psytrance, that high-speed, digital hippie music scene so known and loved in places like Israel, India and Thailand [and New York! –ed.], get big in Beijing. Featuring former China Doll resident and native Beijinger DJ Michael 董, Belgian DJ Gotama and Pete Donaldson, who also works for pioneering psytrance label TipWorld, the 604 crew — the name comes from the numeric version of the world Goa — furthers their cause every month at Club Obiwan.
- 604’s Chinese DJ Michael 董 has a track on which features traditional ethnic Chinese singing!
What are your thoughts on psytrance and China? Does if have a big following here or in other cities?
Psytrance is still very small in China; the 604 parties we’re throwing in Beijing are the only place you can hear psytrance at the moment. However from promoting the night and talking to people, there is definitely a following here they have just had nowhere to go up till now.
As for the rest of China i only know of two places where there are regular parties happening. One is in Shanghai. there is a psytrance crew there called Magic Garden. I think one of their recent parties had about 2000 people. The other place is Hong Kong. One of the biggest psytrance distributors is located there, and Saikosounds and psyonicboom throw regular parties.
But when compared to the rest of the world its is very small. Psytrance festivals in Europe, Brazil, and Japan have tens of thousands of people attending them. The largest I have heard of is sixty thousand!
How do you think a regular psytrance party helps contribute to the Beijing nightlife scene?
I think it helps diversify the Beijing nightlife, gives people more choice … after all variety is the spice of life. I think it also opens people up to another type of dance music.
What are you hoping to accomplish with the parties at Club Obiwan?
What were trying to do at Obiwan is establish a scene here. We’ve only just started but ideally what we want to do is to bring to Beijing the music, art and vibrancy that makes a psytrance night unique from other dance music. Every time we throw a party in Obiwan, we want to transform it in to a party that you would find in any country where Psytrance is already well established. For example, the backdrop artists in the Psytrance scene are just as important as DJs. They are even flown in for parties and spend a great deal of time getting the lighting and decorations just right to create a Psy vibe.
Also, eventually we’d like to bring over well-known artists from the international psytrance scene, and also inspire other DJs to start playing psytrance and start throwing their own Psy nights. Really get a scene going here.
Psytrance obviously has a big following in Thailand thanks to places like Ko Phangan. Do you think it can catch on here?
I think it can catch on here. Its already caught on in practically every other country on the planet so why not, right? I think the thing is that if people can identify with the vibe and culture that goes beyond the music then it will take off for sure, and in a big way.
Somnium is a seven-hour album on a DVD-video and is based on Robert Rich’s sleep concert series of the early 1980’s. Like those concerts, the music on this album was composed to influence the dreams and pre-REM hypnogogic visions of the listener.
When you play Somnium at night, you may find that you sleep less deeply, and wake up more often. The idea is to let the music incorporate itself into your perceptual framework during the night, to create a sonic surround, an environment for unique states of consciousness. The music is aimed at the nebulous territory that exists in your mind when you are hovering between awake and asleep, when you are still aware of your environment, yet detached, when your half-sleeping mind wanders into the realm of hypnogogic images and dreamlike non-linearity. You might find that this music can act as a trigger for these flowing thoughts, and the activation of the environment around you can help you to skate around the edges of sleep, with one foot in the dream world and one foot in the room where you are sleeping.
One of the more interesting recordings for Somnium took place in a lab at Scripps Oceanographic Institute, where an acquaintance was studying a species of tropical fish that creates audio fequency electrical oscillations from its skin. We placed about 16 fish in a bucket with three differential electrodes (positive, negative and reference), plugged into a battery powered Grass medical preamp designed for EEG. With the output of the preamp plugged directly into the portable DAT, we recorded a cloud of slowly shifting drones. Each fish emits a unique frequency as a sort of territorial marker, and as the fish lazily circulate around the bucket, individual tones become louder or softer in a very nonhuman slow motion symphony.
- Search for places to buy (or download) Somnium on Google.
Liner notes and listening tips