How is Goa famous
"A Goa party is not just a disco under coconut trees, it is an initiation" (from the film "Liquid Crystal Vision").
As the name suggests, Goa's roots lie on the western coast of the Indian subcontinent in the state of the same name. In the former Portuguese colony, more and more hippies and dropouts have found a second home under palm trees on the beach since the late 1970s. While the humid heat of the day made going from the hammock to the potty a sweaty affair, the mild nights on the beach were ideally suited to stimulate the party vibes.
Mushrooms, LSD and one or the other joint gave the fun factor an extra boost if necessary. In the moonlight, the first Goa parties were celebrated to the sounds of the Grateful Dead, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Neil Young and similar trippy sounds. In the mid-80s it was mainly European DJs who increasingly played disco, EBM, NDW and Eurodance and gave Goa a strong electronic note, which has now become their trademark.
The international mix of DJs ensured the crossover right from the start: Reggae, classical Indian music, rock, fusion, Japanese and South American sounds are mutually beneficial to this day. Fred Disko, Goa Gil and Ray Castle established Goa as an alternative party destination in the 80s. The DJ Goa Gil, a hippie from San Francisco who is now over 50 years old and who lives in India and is a recognized Sadhu (Holy Man), is extremely important for the development of Goa culture. His sets often last between 12 and 24 hours!
After the Summer of Love and the acid house wave, Goa became increasingly electronic in the 90s and popularized in Europe and the USA by DJs like Sven Väth and Paul Oakenfold.
Musically, Goa pieces are characterized by a constant 4-to-the-floor beat, which forms the foundation with a grooving bass line. All sorts of hooklines, melodies, surfaces and a multitude of bubbling, chirping, hissing and creaking sounds are then placed on it, which invite the drug-filtered perception to take off.
This complexity and the simultaneous coexistence of several musical levels is the main distinguishing feature of Goa from other types of electronic music. In addition, the selection of sounds in the Goa context is always somehow warm (similar in house), in contrast to the cool machine sounds of techno.
The genre has meanwhile been split up into various sub-genres, which differ from one another, albeit marginally and often not clearly:
Goa trance: Now also known as old school, is the game that was particularly popular in the nineties. It is characterized by the extensive use of multi-layered acid loops, sound layers and melodies (often with the help of the famous Roland TB 303 drum machine and the synthesizer sounds of the same brand). Representative bands are Har-el Prussky, Astral Projection, Transwave, Etnica, Spirallianz and California Sunshine. In old school the rhythm follows the pure 4-to-the-floor dictation, while in more modern varieties breakbeats creep in to give the rhythm more drive and groove.
Psy trance, Psychedelic trance: The rather technoid-looking continuation of the Goa trance, which emerged not least due to improved production techniques and more powerful sound systems at parties at the end of the nineties. It is characterized by fatter kicks and more massive bass lines, which give the whole sound more dynamism and groove, especially in the low frequency range. Psy-trance is also called "full-on" because it literally sweeps across the dance floor. Israeli acts like Astrix, Infected Mushroom or Vahel are mainly active here, but
Artists from other countries such as Talamasca and GMS (Growling Mad Scientists) also let it rip. In Israel, trance and psy-trance music is extremely popular. It can be found in the "normal" charts and acts like Infected Mushroom play in front of tens of thousands of people. In addition, the party scene and organization in India and Thailand is firmly in Israeli hands.
Progressive: Also arises at the turn of the millennium. Similar to psy trance, the bass pumps fat and groovy. In the medium and high frequency range, Progressive is significantly reduced. There are no or very few loops or melodies to be found here. The sounds are reduced to small creaking, crackling, bleeps and the like, which are distorted and changed in a minimalist way. More emphasis is placed on intelligent rhythm variations. Overall, the motto "less = more" applies. Mainly Scandinavian acts like Sonkite, Atmos or S-Range are active here.
Following the tradition of the hippies, Goa parties have a very peaceful, warm and respectful atmosphere. Expansion of consciousness, love, artistic and psychological self-fulfillment and a critical attitude towards a performance-oriented society characterize the Goa Fraggles. Musically, in contrast to other types of electronic dance music, the influences of psychedelic music of the 60s / 70s can be felt strongly. In this sense, the Goa scene represents the legitimate successor to the hippie culture.
Goa parties take place in the great outdoors (forest, meadows, lakes or beach and palm trees) and are not only musically but also optically a journey into another world: colorful, often UV light -active decoration with psychedelic motifs on which fairy tale landscapes (including fairies, dwarfs and mushrooms) or lunar landscapes and alien motifs are shown. 3-D installations and other visuals complete the optical trip.
Due to the spread of the Goa sound in the clubs of the old world, many original Goa freaks complain about the "lack of spirit", the commercialization of the parties and the music as well as the one-sided focus on drugs and partying. But such discussions are held everywhere - everything was always better in the past.
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