Various Artists

This Is Goa Trance

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Like hip-hop and alternative metal, electronic rave music is one of those things that underscores the generation gap between baby boomers and their Generation X offspring -- ravers love the rush they get from dancing to fast, hyper electronic grooves, but their baby boomer parents (in most cases) don't understand the rave subculture any more than the World War II generation understood psychedelic rock, Motown, or Led Zeppelin. This Is Goa Trance, a two-CD set that Cleopatra released on its Hypnotic label in 2000, is unlikely to help any baby boomers comprehend rave music. The focus of this release is pure, unapologetic techno/trance (almost all of it instrumental), and Hypnotic doesn't try to win over the uninitiated. But for those who do have a taste for this type of electronica, the compilation is exhilarating despite its limitations. Fast, frantic tracks like Bypass Unit's "Lunar Senses," DJ Man's "Cyberhornet," and DJ Baby Jane's "Synchronized Enemy" don't have an actual song structure; it's all about the beat. There are no breaks between tracks on either CD, and the nonstop electro-groove makes for a ravelike ambiance -- that is, a rave with a techno/trance focus. Rave music has also included everything from drum'n'bass/jungle to tribal and acid house, none of which are included on this double CD. This Is Goa Trance lives up to its title, and while it isn't the last word on the subject, it is among the compilations that techno/trance enthusiasts should be aware of.

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