Clubbers' Decktionary: Goa Trance
Trouble's DJ Hobbes gives us a guide to the myriad genres of clubbing
aka psy-trance, proper noun, generally 130–150 BPM
Characterised by 4/4 kicks with a thickly saturated low-end, florid, arpeggiated synth melodies, equally busy drum patterns and wacky samples from sci-fi films on arcane subjects such as spirituality, parapsychology, alien life, dreams, drugs etc; the tracks last at least eight minutes, usually longer.
Although its roots stretch right back to the hippie trail/party scene of the late 60s, via 70s psychedelic rock and 80s EBM and industrial, the trance aspect didn’t really emerge until a bunch of young British and European travellers joined the older hippies at the beach in Goa on the back of London’s late 80s acid house explosion.
Ageing American hippie, DJ and promoter Goa Gil was the original party-starter. Young Londoner Graham Wood formed The Infinity Project with old Australian hippie Raja Ram (originally of 60s band Quintessence), in 1989. Juno Reactor’s debut album, Transmission (NovaMute, 1993) was highly influential. Youth (Killing Joke) started the Dragonfly label the same year, releasing all the early ‘Goan’ productions and, by 1994, Wood and Ram had started their TIP label with Ian St Paul. Simon Posford, aka Hallucinogen, got involved with the band and the label. He later had a trio of chart hits after Paul Oakenfold signed him to his Perfecto label and his Moment Of Truth album (Concept In Dance, 1996) was highly acclaimed. Recording as Doof, Nick Barber’s debut album, Let’s Turn On (TIP, 1996), is also widely credited as a seminal psy-trance release.