||This article may contain original research. (September 2007)|
|Stylistic origins||Trance, EBM, Indian classical music, psychedelic rock, acid house|
|Cultural origins||Late 1980s
|Typical instruments||Drum machine
|Derivative forms||Psychedelic trance|
|Music of India|
A Lady Playing the Tanpura, ca. 1735 (Rajasthan)
|Media and performance|
|Nationalistic and patriotic songs|
|National anthem||Jana Gana Mana|
The music has its roots in the popularity of Goa in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a hippie capital, and although musical developments were incorporating elements of industrial music and EBM (electronic body music) with the spiritual culture in India throughout the 1980s, the actual Goa trance style did not officially appear until the early 1990s. As the hippie tourist influx tapered off in the 1970s and 1980s, a core group remained in Goa, concentrating on developments in music along with other pursuits such as yoga and recreational drug use. The music that would eventually be known as Goa trance did not evolve from one single genre, but was inspired mainly by EBM-groups like Front Line Assembly, Meat Beat Manifesto, Front 242 and A Split-Second, acid house (The KLF's "What Time Is Love?" in particular), techno, Orbital, and psychedelic rock like Ozric Tentacles, Steve Hillage and Ash Ra Tempel. In addition to those, oriental tribal music/ethnic music also became a source of inspiration. A very early example (1974) of the relation between psychedelic rock and the music that would eventually be known as Goa trance is The Cosmic Jokers' (a collaboration between Ash Ra Tempel and Klaus Schulze) highly experimental and psychedelic album "Galactic Supermarket", which features occasional 4/4 rhythms intertwined with elements from psychedelic rock, analog synthesizers and occasionally tribal-esque drum patterns.
The introduction of techno; in 1999, a group of unknown artists played exclusively Detroit techno and Chicago house at the venue known as "Laughing Buddha" (formerly known as Klinsons) in Baga, Goa. These artists were the first people to play Techno in Goa on a regular basis. The introduction of mixing on turntables using vinyl was a first for Goa at that time. Until that point "DJs" mainly used D.A.T. and CDs, without beatmatching the mixes. The introduction of beatmatching/mixing and the industrial sound of Detroit techno had a lasting effect on the way Electronic music was played in Goa, and the sound of Goa Trance itself.
Goa trance was originally referred to as trance dance. The original goal of the music was to assist the dancers in experiencing a collective state of bodily transcendence, similar to that of ancient shamanic dancing rituals, through hypnotic, pulsing melodies and rhythms. As such, it has an energetic beat, often in a standard 4/4 dance rhythm. A typical track will generally build up to a much more energetic movement in the second half then taper off fairly quickly toward the end. The tempo typically lies in the 130–150 BPM range, although some tracks may have a tempo as low as 110 or as high as 160 BPM. Generally 8–12 minutes long, Goa Trance tracks tend to focus on steadily building energy throughout, using changes in percussion patterns and more intricate and layered synth parts as the music progresses in order to build a hypnotic and intense feel.
The kick drum often is a low, thick sound with prominent sub-bass frequencies. The music very often incorporates many audio effects that are often created through experimentation with synthesisers. A well-known sound that originated with Goa trance and became much more prevalent through its successor, psytrance, is the organic "squelchy" sound (usually a sawtooth-wave which is run through a resonant band-pass or high-pass filter).
Other music technology used in Goa trance includes popular analogue synthesizers such as the Roland TB-303, Roland Juno-60/106, Novation Bass-Station, Korg MS-10, and notably the Roland SH-101. Hardware samplers manufactured by Akai, Yamaha and Ensoniq were also popular for sample storage and manipulation.
A popular element of Goa trance is the use of samples, often from science fiction movies. Those samples mostly contain references to drugs, parapsychology, extraterrestrial life, existentialism, OBEs, dreams, science, time travel, spirituality and similar mysterious and unconventional topics.
Notable releases 
Old School Goa Trance;
Dimension 5 - Transdimensional / Pleiadians - IFO / Hallucinogen (musician) - Twisted / Prana (band) - Geomantik / Blue Planet Corporation - Blue Planet / Total Eclipse (band) - Violent Relaxation / Astral Projection (band) – Trust In Trance / Battle of the Future Buddhas - Twin Sharkfins / Etnica - Alien Protein / Electric Universe - Stardriver / The Muses Rept - Spiritual Healing / Juno Reactor - Beyond the Infinite / Green Nuns of the Revolution - Rock Bitch Mafia / Jaïa - Blue Energy / Tim Schuldt - Singels Collection / X-dream - We Created Our Own Happiness / The Infinity Project - Feeling Weird / Koxbox - Dragon Tales / Doof (musician) - Lets Turn On / Eat Static - Abduction / UX - Ultimate Expirience / Shakta - Silicon Trip / Fractal Glider - Parasite / Technosommy - Synthetic Flesh / Toï Doï - Technologic / Deviant Electronics - Brainwashing is Childs Play / Planet BEN - Trippy Future Garden / Transwave - Phototropic / Man with No Name (musician) - Momenth of Truth / Asia 2001 - Live / Colorbox - Train to Chroma City / Ominus - Ominus / Xenomorph - Cassandras Nightmare / Hunab Ku - Magik Universe / Slide - Unstable / Message from God - Project Genesis / Hux Flux - Cryptic Church / Lunar Asylum - Lunar Asylum / OOOD - Breathing Space / Cydonia - In Fear of a Red Planet / Orion - Futuristic Poetry
New School Goa Trance;
Goasia - From Other Spaces / Filteria - Daze of our Lives / Goasia - Dancing With the Blue Spirit / Filteria - Sky Input / Afgin - Astral Experiences / Mindsphere - Inner Cyclone / Khetzal - Corolle / Ethereal - Anima Mundi / Ra - 9th / Ypsilon 5 - Binary Sky / E-mantra - Arcana
There have been attempts to formalize parties, such as those held at Bamboo Forest, into commercial events, which was initially met with much resistance. The need to pay the local police baksheesh means that they're now generally staged around a bar, even though this may only be a temporary fixture in the forest or beach.
The parties around the New Year tend to be the most chaotic with bus loads of people coming in from all places such as Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and the world over. Travelers and sadhus from all over India pass by to join in.
Maybe the first "Goa party" in London was an underground TIP party in December 1990. TIP parties are legendary underground events. TIP standing for the band name The Infinity Project, consisting of Raja Ram and Graham Wood. They went on to do special, one off events and set up Tip Records in 1994 which became one of the pioneering labels of the Goa Trance genre. In 1993 a party organization called Return to the Source also brought the sound to London, UK. Starting life at the Rocket in North London with a few hundred followers, the Source went on to a long residency at Brixton's 2,000 capacity Fridge and to host several larger 6,000 capacity parties in Brixton Academy, their New Year's Eve parties gaining reputations for being very special. The club toured across the UK, Europe and Israel throughout the 1990s and went as far as two memorable parties on the slopes of Mount Fuji in Japan and New York's Liberty Science Center. By 2001 the partners Chris Deckker, Mark Allen, Phil Ross and Janice Duncan were worn out and all but gone their separate ways. The last Return to the Source party was at Brixton Academy in 2002.
With the proliferation of Goa trance music across the globe, parties are now being held at locations all over the world. Among the most notable of these parties are Boom Festival in Portugal, O.Z.O.R.A. in Hungary, Full Moon Party held monthly at Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand and several events held in Australia as well as Israel, Japan, South Africa, Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil and British Columbia, Canada.
Goa parties have a definitive visual aspect - the use of "fluoro" (fluorescent paint) is common on clothing and on decorations such as tapestries. The graphics on these decorations are usually associated with topics such as aliens, Hinduism, other religious (especially eastern) images, mushrooms (and other psychedelic art), shamanism and technology. Shrines in front of the DJ stands featuring religious items are also common decorations.
In popular culture 
For a short period in the mid-1990s, Goa trance enjoyed significant commercial success with support from DJs, who later went on to assist in developing a much more mainstream style of trance outside Goa. Only a few artists came close to being Goa trance "stars", enjoying worldwide fame.
Several artists initially started producing Goa trance music and went on to produce psytrance instead.
Further reading 
- vijendra kudnekar. & Hollands, R., Beyond Subculture and Post-subculture? The Case of Virtual Psytrance, Journal of Youth Studies, Volume 9, Number 4, September 2006, pp. 393–418(26), Routledge.
- St. John, G. 2004 (ed.), Rave Culture and Religion, Routledge. (ISBN 978-0-415-31449-7).
- St. John, G. 2001 (ed.), 'FreeNRG: Notes From the Edge of the Dance Floor' free ebook download, Common Ground, Melbourne, 2001 (ISBN 978-1-86335-084-6).
- St. John, G. 2010. (ed.), The Local Scenes and Global Culture of Psytrance. New York: Routledge. (ISBN 978-0415876964).
- St. John, G. 2011. DJ Goa Gil: Kalifornian Exile, Dark Yogi and Dreaded Anomaly. Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture 3(1): 97-128.
- St. John, G. 2012. Seasoned Exodus: The Exile Mosaic of Psyculture. Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture 4(1): 4–37.
- Taylor, T., 2001. Strange Sounds: Music, Technology and Culture, Routledge. (ISBN 978-0-415-93684-2).
See also