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Thread: The only music worth its salt is psychedelic..

  1. #1
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    Default The only music worth its salt is psychedelic..

    ...and by that I mean music which speaks to the existence of transcendent realities.

    On this the 75th anniversary of Albert Hoffman discovering LSD.

    Because I'm an old fart I'm of the opinion that the reason 99.99% of today's music, young people's music, does not speak to me is that it ISN'T psychedelic.

    And I reckon young people too (under 30s) are aware of this gaping hollowness in their music as well. That's why so many of them (and us older people) still fixate on older music that was informed by the psychedelic experience.

    I'm talking about the far out music of the 60s/70s/80s/90s.

    There are the odd breakouts of insanity after 1996 but not enough to sustain everyone's interest.

    Is there a properly modern psychedelic music? Is the dreaming going on in other arenas of culture?

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    I balk at this notion but perhaps I'm not understanding you and have too narrow a notion of what constitutes psychedelic music...

    Certainly I think a lot of music nowadays lacks ambition and a sense of meaningfulness

    If you mean something more sonically psychedelic I'm more in agreement - e.g. my thread on where are the rnb geniuses, I'm constantly astounded by Timbaland Missy Elliot and the Neptunes production from the late 90s/early aughts. The sweet spot for me is the fusion of psychedelic/out there sonics with pop music. Even ardkore had this, and of course jungle and garage and grime...

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    Will this be the thread that tempts the hermit Luka down from his cloud/cave?

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    This was always my plea to the trance crowd - psychedelic is a synonym for 'good' or 'effective'.
    Needless to say it fell on deaf ears.

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    Luka and I were talking about something related lately, the question of whether you can have truly great literature without a spiritual dimension or spiritual belief involved (even if the artist is reacting against it). I suppose the sort of psychedelica you're talking about is spiritual rather than sensual.

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    One of the only songs that's occuring to me here is Lil B's 'I'm God', with his cry 'Somebody tell the trees I'm the best out!' And Clams Casino's very psychedelic, dreamlike beat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lichen View Post
    Needless to say it fell on deaf ears.
    Well I guess that's a risk you take by going to trance nights.

    It's a scene I know nothing about and generally avoid like the plague, but isn't there a whole subgenre called 'psytrance', with the 'psy' presumably standing for 'psychedelic'? Of course whether it's actually psychedelic in any meaningful sense is probably open to debate.
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    The goa / psy end of it was the bit I got involved in.
    I lived with devotee in the early 90's and went to parties with him.
    It was essentially a public school acid cult presided over by an ageing Australian prog rocker.
    It threw up the odd good record, and the parties were often in stunning places - no wonder given that many of its acolytes owned swathes of the UK.

    Makes me feel a bit queer thinking about it all really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lichen View Post
    It was essentially a public school acid cult presided over by an ageing Australian prog rocker.
    Does sound quite good fun, put like that. Maybe not the public school bit.

    Edit: speaking of Goa, I saw Juno Reactor at a festival years back and they were quality.
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    Patrick Lundborg (RIP), the guy who wrote psych/private press bible "Acid Archives" wrote another book about psychedelic culture. He used to talk a bit on his blog (The Eternal Now) about modern psy-trance but tbh, doesn't sound like he found it a fraction as compelling as the music of the 60s & 70s. The name that sticks out in my memory is (I think) Spongle? There was a mix he did of this stuff that I always regretted not downloading.

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    Interview here: Iím too old to go dancing all-night on some beach in the Greek islands, but I can still enjoy some of the Goa/PsyTrance stuff at home. Thereís a vast difference in quality, and some of it is pretty awful, but the best vintage stuff like Hallucinogen, The Infinity Project, Man Without Name etc I think is very good and trippy music. However, I must admit that Iím not as much into the Goa style as I was when it first appeared around 1994. It hasnít aged perfectly well, and these days I rather listen to the Psybient music, which to me is the ultimate example of psychedelic music for the 2000s. When they realized they could lower the tempo to ďrockĒ beats, these talented electronica guys like Simon Posford began making music that is as perfectly psychedelic as the best late Ď60s stuff. The only difference is that itís mostly electronic, with some acoustic/analog overlays, but thatís fine with meóIíve always been a great Kraftwerk fan. I recommend any psych fan to check out the most recent Shpongle album and see what they make of it.

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    It's big in Israel, apparently. There's a group called Infected Mushroom which has record covers like this:

    infshroom.jpg

    and which I suspect may be a key reason for the near-global unpopularity of Israel.
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    I'd like to get more of an idea of how woebot is defining psychedelic, because I'm thinking of all the clichťs of psychedelica - and that psychedelic art, for example, is often aesthetically dreadful (although maybe this is because drugs decay taste)

    But by this definition of a transcendent reality, even Michelangelo could be psychedelic because he's evoking a higher spiritual plane, albeit in a representational style.

    I don't think Woebot is talking about religious music though, or religious art.
    Last edited by Corpsey; 12-04-2018 at 07:27 PM.

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    Simon Posford is an old mate of Woebot's i believe

    i'm in sympathy with the general proposition but then i keep thinking of music i love that isn't really psychedelic even if you define psychedelia really loosely and uncouple it from "druggy-sounding" or "drug-taking-conducive".

    definitely feels like something is missing - and trying to pin down and characterise the Lack is an interesting challenge

    i tried to get at it recently by writing about how there is not a sense of people releasing something in themselves through the music - a feeling of liberation and energy exploding outwards into the world

    which is something you got in Sixties rock and pop (almost of all of it, as a base level condition of its existence, i think - so that Lulu records have it as much as the Stones). Then it carried in some way with groovy 70s rock, and then it became something else compeltely with punk (are X-Ray Spex's "Let's Submerge" and "Identity" and "Warrior in Woolworths" et al psychedelic? not really, but the sound is a huge burst of liberation and raging glee even when the lyrics are absolutely cynical / despairing / nihilistic). And it's definitely a quality in the best songs by the Smiths - Morrissey finding the release through music / dance that he can't in actual life.

    And so on and so forth .. with rave in all its forms expressive of a renewed Dionysian turbulence

    But i don't feel this aspect to be around much in the contemporary listening landscape, which maybe connects or reflects w/ modern uses of technology that numbing / distracting / self-repressing

    but in terms of actively druggy music, there is trap - which is druggy but w/o spirituality maybe (different chemicals)

    oblivion without transcendence

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    Shpongle are fucking dire.

    Isn't there a distinction to be made between psychedelic and hippy? Wouldn't call miles hippy.

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