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Goa Trance

Named after a region on the coast of southwestern India famed as a clubbing and drugging paradise ever since the '60s, Goa Trance broke away from the Teutonic bent of European trance during the early '90s and carried the torch for trance during the rest of the decade. The presence of LSD on the Goa scene -- instead of the ubiquitous club drug Ecstasy -- translated the music into an appropriately psychedelic version of trance that embraced the mystical properties of Indian music and culture. Traditional Indian instruments such as the sitar and sarod (or electronic near-equivalents) often made appearances in the music, pushed along by the driving, hypnotic sequencer music that trance had always been known for. The style is considerably less turntable-oriented than other electronic dance styles, especially since vinyl tends to melt in the heat (DATs are often used instead). As a consequence, Goa had comparatively few DJs to recommend it worldwide until the late '90s. Labels like Dragonfly, Blue Room Released, Flying Rhino, Platipus, and Paul Oakenfold's Perfecto Fluoro became important sources for the sound. Oakenfold, Britain's most popular DJ, finally gave Goa trance the cache it had lacked in the past by caning it on the radio and in clubs across the country. The British sound system known as Return to the Source also brought Goa trance to the mainstream hordes, releasing three volumes in a compilation series of the best trance music on the scene.