A take on the Scene!
It all began back in the mid-90s: Influenced by the first full moon gatherings in Switzerland, promoters such as Legende or Druidenzirkel started the Goa Trance movement in the South.
DJs like Cosmix or Matthias were among the first ones who gained international reputation, uniting trancers throughout the region. Munich became an international centre of the movement in the mid-90s when Natraj Temple, South Germany’s first psytrance club, opened. This was the place where SchmoX family was founded, still one of the biggest promoters and deco teams in the South.
Around Stuttgart, the Goa Noah open-air’s used to be the biggest back in the days, as well as the Gathering of the Tribes in Frankfurt. Also there were countless underground events in the Black Forest, in caves or on the hills of the Allgäu, around the Lake of Constance (Bodensee) or in old castles around Heidelberg.
Nowadays, the scene is blossoming with dozens of parties every weekend, from psytrance to progressive to dark and forest, sometimes easy to find, sometimes more hidden and completely underground. The hotspots are Heidelberg and Mannheim, the Bodensee region, Stuttgart, Karlsruhe and Freiburg, Munich in Bavaria and Marburg, Frankfurt or Darmstadt in Hessen.
Promoter wise, these names are big; SchmoX Family, I.B.W., Freshbeatz and Alice D in Munich and Bavaria, Alice in Wummerland, Jesus Raves and Harlequins Universe in the Heidelberg area and BMSS throughout Baden Württemberg and the whole region. If you head further North, Marburg Virus or Bohemica in Hessen, are the ones throwing the most respected events in the South.
The Kannibalen Massaker is one of the best known festivals in Bavaria, which used to combine trance with world and alternative music, but these days consists of two festivals: the Kannibalen Massaker and the World Music Festival; both are something very special to check out in the summer!
Alice in Wummerland in Mannheim is becoming one of the biggest parties throughout the year with more than 2500 people attending each edition. This party series takes place twice a year in the MS Connexion and has hosted all big and small artists you can imagine, guaranteeing the perfect reflection of all our scene trends. Speaking of clubs or regular venues, the Villa Nachttanz in Heidelberg or the Gotec in Karlsruhe are locations worth checking out!
Label-wise, BMSS Records and Sangoma Records are on the forefront of releasing music from a wide spectrum of psychedelic sub-genres, achieving a deep impact on the global sound. Producers such as Datacult, Android Spirit, Ioshua, Sequoya, Frechbax, Zeamon, Ri-Moticon, Shroomix or Sonic Tickle are globally known, but there is no South-German sound yet such as e.g. Hamburg with its offbeat sound.
There is a big psytrance output via DJs such as Daksinamurti, Boom Shankar, Alexsoph, Sgary, Saltaux, Maximus, Padawan, Takttrauma, Tamasukra and Marco Scherer, Fohat, Psypha, Djane Micasphere, Cosmix, or Anam Fio are well known for their progressive sound. There is also a big dark community clustered around Marburg with Astronom and Paratox or around Munich with Joshi, or Mutaro. On the other hand, Stargazer, Zeitteiler, Yoachim Augenstern, Minimus and Diadora are well known for their exquisite chill-out sets. Regarding deco, Noffi Art, SchmoX, Jamas, Freshbeatz or The Brain are heavily booked throughout the year and visual artists such as Vjane Juladi or Sumishii Aran are quite active with full 3D-mapping, interactive installations, and stunning performances.
The legal situation regarding drugs is still very strict, so make sure you don’t drive under the influence of any substance, as controls before and after parties are very common. The police have the right to carry out sweat tests if they have any doubt about the level of your sobriety, so watch out!
In clubs, security usually checks for age and for any illegal substances. It seems that a more liberal policy towards alternative cultures is finally coming, and it’s about time! In case you haven’t been partying in South Germany – no better time than now! The landscapes are astonishing; the climate is very warm, the families are united and our food (and the beer!) is as well suppa-yummy!
Text: Boom Shankar (BMSS Records / Solar United Natives)