I was wondering when I was going to let y’all in on the fact that I’m a psychedelic trance music devotee. Now seems as good a time as any. By the way, I also organize and host intentional psychedelic trance events.
If you have no idea what psytrance is, here’s the Wiki link:
Wikipedia – Psychedelic Trance
Here, click play on this and listen to some while you read. Go on, I know you’ll like it, and this one has an awesomely wise message that I’m sure you’ll appreciate.
If that wiki link text is too much for you, or if you’re already in the know and want to bypass the link and get on with reading my post, I’ll just say. It’s dance music. The electronic variety. Also, the psychedelic variety.
Many people think psytrance is just music for people on drugs. Even from within the scene itself. For me, a psytrance event is a trance inducing ritual. Go figure. The term trance is totally in the name itself. Not by chance, it’s there on purpose.
Now (for the psy noobs), there’s many sub-genres within the umbrella of psychedelic trance. Psychill. Goa Trance. Suomisaundi. Progressive. Full On. Forest. Dark/Hi Tech. And others. They all have a different flavor. Most notably, their speed, and speed is what I’m getting at in this post.
So check it Jed’eye’s.
Wikipedia – Shamanic Music
A number of theories have been advanced to explain the importance of percussion in ritual music in general. One line of explanation is psychoacoustic, whereby the tempo of the drum enables the Shaman to enter the desired brain wave state, which corresponds to the number of beats per second of the drum.
Did you catch that? “The tempo of the drum enables the Shaman to enter the desired brain wave state.”
I’m all about trance states. It’s been the singular most important aspect of my life. Way before I was introduced to the psychedelic trance ritual I was spending most of my waking life inducing trance states and bending my consciousness/brain waves to access higher consciousness.
Shamanic Drumming Circles – Michael Drake
A steady, metronome-like pattern with precisely regular intervals, at around 180 beats per minute (or three beats per second), is the most effective. This rapid “eagle-beat” creates the sensation of inner movement, which, if you allow it, will carry you along. It is projective in nature and carries your intention, prayers, and awareness into the spirit world that underlies and sustains our physical reality.
180 BPM (beats per minute) is FAST. Like really fast. Classical music usually plays at around 60 BPM. Pop music averages 118 bpm. Hip Hop varies between 80 and 115 BPM. House music varies between 118 and 135 BPM.
Most psychedelic trance music is produced between 140 – 150 BPM. Dark psytrance (neuro, dark psy, forest trance or faster trance called Hi-Tech) has tempo ranges from 145 to 200 BPM.
Research has proven that at the 144-145 BPM mark trance states are induced. Even in people who have never practiced to change their state of consciousness.
Do you see where I’m going with this? I began practicing shamanic drum journeying as a teen. It definitely does things to you. Takes you places. Especially when you’re already open and pretty psychic.
Shamanic Drumming Circles Guide – Michael Drake
Shamanic drumming uses a repetitive rhythm that begins slowly and then gradually builds in intensity to a tempo of three to seven beats per second. The ascending tempo will induce light to deep trance states, and facilitate the shamanic techniques of journeying, shapeshifting and soul retrieval. Transported by the driving beat of the drum, the shaman or shamanic practitioner, will journey to the inner planes of consciousness. When ready to exit the trance state, the practitioner simply slows the tempo of drumming, drawing consciouness back to normal.
The progression from slower BPMs to faster BPMs induces light to deep trance states and facilitates the shamanic technique of journeying to inner planes of consciousness. Slowing the tempo brings you back to normal consciousness.
Faster psychedelic trance music does something to me. Something special. Magickal. Powerful.
When the tempo reaches 152 BPM my body is unable to resist the urge to move. Like seriously. I can’t not move. When the BPM hits 166, get out of the way, I’m in a shamanic trance state and all over the dance floor like some Native American rockin’ the Men’s Fancy Dance after eating a peyote button. And I don’t even have to partake of any sacred sacrament whatsoever.
To me, it’s sheer ecstasy.
Here’s an example of a neuro trance journey created by a good producer friend of mine, CinderVOMIT, featuring another VERY good friend, Luuli. Also featured is one of my all time favorite shamanic psytrance producers, Dark Whisper.
Warning, unless you’re experienced in shamanic journeying, accelerated brain wave entrainment, or you already listen to darker faster chaotic symphonies, this may sound like nothing more than noise. Without the ascending tempo to bring you up to it your senses may resist. I’m including it for the sake of a true example which immediately sends me into shamanic trance.
Personally, I do not listen to this type of neuro journeying music in a busy or chaotic environment as casual background music. It demands my attention, and if I can’t give it I gotta turn it off. Also, quality speakers are vital to hearing the depth of psytrance. Cheap computer speakers do it no justice. There are layers and depth in there which require a quality sound system.
Now about that traditional trance progression mentioned in the title. I already mentioned how the ascending tempo induces the trance, and the reduction of tempo brings one back down out of the trance. This is important. Not all psytrance event organizers follow a shamanic journeying style of progression in their line-up. A traditional psytrance event progression follows a specific BPM structure. Ascending. Sustaining. Descending.
I won’t even go into the negative consequences of not following a traditional progression. I’m sure you can figure out the why’s. Especially if you’re familiar with the scene as well as practiced in the art of journeying.
The events I create and enjoy the most are intentional and full spectrum. Intention is set and centered with frequency/meditation music and slower psychill or psybient. Then the progression is set in motion. I keep to a strict BPM progression and fill the time-slots accordingly. Starting slow. Increasing the tempo incrementally. Sustaining a shamanic journeying tempo for most of the wee hours of the night. Then slowing it down to a sustained mid tempo for the next day.
I do not heavily promote my events as I prefer to allow Divine Consciousness to work it’s magick and draw unto me a certain quality of people. People who know already. People who want to know. And people who don’t know but need to know, are going to know, and are lead to attend by Spirit for activation and initiation into their shamanic personality.
It feels better for me to do it that way. I don’t put on my events to have a show, and I don’t even like to call them parties. I create events to go on the journey with those who would travel with me in the sacred space I provide.
So there you have it. Why I love dark psy / neuro trance, and why I believe a traditional progression is vital.
I’ll close with a beautiful 1.5 hour full on psytrance mix. To bring you back down after sharing that neuro trance with you. Intentional. Expansive. Beautiful.
If you’re interested in learning more about shamanic journeying here’s a link with loads of resources. Shamanic Drumming