When the lineup was announced for Dreamstate SoCal, I gasped and started jumping up and down with every psytrance artist’s name I read. Being a very recent convert, I get to see almost all of my new favorites. So yeah, I’m fuckin’ PSYCHED for this year’s Trancegiving at the NOS Event Center in San Bernardino, CA on November 23rd and 24th!
Just this past weekend I was dancing around, cleaning the kitchen, and singing along to some psytrance when my roomie walked in and looked at me like I’d been replaced by an alien. “How do you know what they’re saying?” she asked. “It’s a Sanskrit mantra asking to be led from untruth to truth, dark to light, and death to immortality,” I said. “We used to sing it a lot when I was little.” Then I realized why she was looking at me so weird. I’d momentarily forgotten that I grew up in an ashram meditating and chanting Sanskrit kirtans, which is why I understand most psytrance lyrics.
Astrix was really who got me started on psytrance. My best friend recommended his He.Art album and as soon as I saw Nataraja, Hindu god of dance, on the cover, I knew I was in for a treat. (THANKS STEPH!) As instructed, I listened to the continuous mix, and within the first 3 minutes of jungle noises, tribal chanting and that rolling beat, I was hooked. And then I was left mystified as to how I’d hated it for so many years! The 3 most common elements in psytrance are all things I grew up with: nature sounds, chanting, and that unique cantering beat I can still feel in my bones from years of riding horses. This album is still one of my go-to’s, especially when I want the music to be my puppet master on long distance drives.
From there I just started clicking on Spotify’s recommendations, which led me to Ace Ventura‘s track Brave New World. In the first 30 seconds, I was transported back to my childhood. The sound of the sitar, the breathy notes of the bansuri, and the hand beat of the tabla are like a time machine. While most kids were reading about the invincibility of Superman, my comic books were filled with the heroics of Hanuman the flying monkey god and the villainy of the 10-headed demon, Ravana. I watched old Hindi movies with soundtracks that were filled with all the instruments I hear in Ace Ventura’s Paradise Engineering album.
It would be difficult to not recognize Blastoyz if you’re a Seven Lions fan cause their After Dark track with Fiora is everywhere lately. And part of what I love is that it’s not like most of the psytrance I hear. The lyrics are in English, the vocals are lush, and there’s even the metallic sound of a gun being cocked. But it’s no surprise that his most popular track is Parvati Valley, since I’ve heard it in most psy artist’s sets.
All previous opinions of psytrance were blown outta my mind at Paradiso this year. When Armin van Buuren dropped Great Spirit, his collab with Vini Vici, as always, I envisioned myself dancing around a fire in warpaint and tore up the dancefloor. So when I finally read to the end of the Dreamstate SoCal lineup and saw Vini Vici, I started squealing and did a bit of a victory dance. It seems like they’re on all the collabs these days and I LOVE IT!
So there ya have it… I’ll be splitting my time between the trance gods of my raving twenties like Paul Van Dyk, the jaw-dropping visuals of Laserface, and all my new psytrance crushes. The first 2 tiers have sold out, so you’ll be paying $145.00 for a GA ticket, or if you prefer the VIP route, tickets are only $300.00! So who will I be seeing at Dreamstate SoCal November 23rd and 24th at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, CA!?! Leave me some comments if you’re interested in attending any of the meet-ups and artist meet ‘n’ greets!