Since the early 90s USA’s West and East Coast hubs of Psy are still San Francisco, Los Angeles & New York City at the cutting edge of our global Trance movement. Fast forward to 2016 we find the vibe has swept across middle states burning bright in surprising places. Party crews keep popping up like… Psychedelic MUSHROOMS!
The best way to explain what’s going on here is to summarize the participants in the active states. While we may not all be united, there are definitely many states of Psytrance here in America. There will always be a core audience of underground Psy-folk, but, bit by bit the mainstream electronic dance music revolution keeps stumbling across our sounds thanks to a few flag waivers like Christopher Lawrence, JOOF, Simon Patterson and even Paul Oakenfold continuing to play Psytrance at major festivals to excited and exuberant audiences who then somehow discover the bigger “real” world of international Psy. Thus we are finally getting on the EDM map a little as a sort of “more potent and grownup style” of Trance.
The Last 2 Years
The underground parties are still small, but active, getting more integrated by hosting DJs and live acts from various states. What is still lacking is some sort of unified booking route that out of town and international producers can plug into for a predictable tour schedule. In fact many USA crews will want to book an exclusive act and not share which defeats the idea of touring as well. One reason for that is in the Middle states folks are used to driving 12-18 hours to go to a party (usually an outdoor weekend event) a few states away. Because of this the draw of a “big name” would be higher if the act was not playing everywhere.
The States of Trance
California is still the epicenter of the USA Psy-scene with two main regions. “NorCal” leads the way with epic 10k-20k events including Symbiosis Festival doing both their main outdoor and some indoor shows mostly not Psytrance but usually 20% of their headliners are Psy. PulseSF (and now Pulse LA) do mostly fantastic indoor shows (but some outside) with international headliners and super top notch deco and visuals highlights include their stage at the annual How Weird Street Fair, Geomagnetic/Phoenix Family, Galaxy Unknown, and now Trance Family SF also keep the Bay Area Psy Events strong. Farther North The Shasta Star Camp crew and Mandala folks do annuals and bi-annuals, Party Babas do the Goa Gil shows.
Down South “So Cal” has the luxury of enjoying events by Psytribe & Green Sector with support from local crews Pulsar & Xexify doing sporadic Mojave Desert events. While some might not include Insomniac, they are making in-roads to Psy booking Psy acts incl. Astrix, JOOF, Christopher Lawrence, Vini Vici, Paul Oakenfold Fluro, Simon Patterson playing Prog Psy & Fullon styles to mainstream rave/Trance crowds at huge stadium size venues in LA, SF and Las Vegas Nevada EDC.
That brings us to Nevada which has two epicenters Las Vegas which hosts the EDC Megarave and upcoming Stars Psytrance Corp. Then of course in Reno there is the illustrious Burning Man Fest which hosts its annual 100,000 people, art and music event now well-known worldwide, each year manages at least one or two Psy camps, amid a constant background of every other style of music and activity you can imagine.
In all shortness, the other states
Portland, Oregon with PDX Collective & Booty Chakra Collective with Kris Mosher aka Smoke Sign.
Colorado has 11:11 Prod guided by LizE11evn and the Phoenix Collective piloted by Alexander Brooks.
Tampa, Florida has talented graphic and deco artist Kricket & the ZFG Prod crew doing the PsyFi Festival.
Atlanta, Georgia’s “Horrible Children” & Minneapolis, Minnesota “Cosmic Egg” both focus on DarkPsy.
NYC, New York, “Psycheground” Luis Campos doing a regular monthly and Radial Engine doing outdoors.
North Carolina in legendary Ashville: Touch Samadhi Kri and crew. South Carolina: Pangea Festival crew.
Dallas & Austin, Texas have two crews, Atrium Obscura & Create Culture/OneStomp both doing events.
Wisconsin & Illinois has the amazing Chilluminati with festivals Sacred Earth, Crystal Sky & Earthdance
Vermont & Boston, Massachusetts has Fractal Tribe Aaron & Rob doing Fractal Fest and indoor shows.
Geomagnetic Label Group (San Francisco) continues to spear head the musical releases coming from USA incl. managing production, distribution and releases for Goa Rec, Digital Drugs, Power House, Ovnimoon Rec, Ascending, Timewarp, Fresh Frequencies, Ascending Rec, though their A&R is mostly international so many don‘t realize these are all partly USA based.
Pharmacy (LA) is very active. United Beats (Santa Cruz, CA) is partly USA based. AntiShanti (NYC), Psycircle (SanDiego), PurePerception (North Carolina), Jellyfish Frequency, Anomalistic Rec occasionally release something too and once back in the day even Spun Rec which has not been active in the last two years.
GoaGil & Arianne / The Nommos, Random, Frost Raven, Labyr1nth, Smoke Sign, Poli, NineSense, Groove Addict, Jeto, Rony Melo, Doctor Spook/Mindstorm, Infected Mushroom, Shake, MadMaxx, Lunecell, Coral, Random Robot, Helios, Megadrop, Anyma, Aum Lab, Sausee, Triceradrops, Kabyun, Bodhi 1320, Arahat, Mubali, Parus, Ghreg On Earth, Fractal Cowboys/Quasar, Dog Of Tears, Dragon, Psypien, Justincaseboy
Nephil9, Global Village, Wizart Visions, Psylotus, Kriket, Android Jones, Alex & Allyson Grey
Text by Dr.Spook with support from Random (Ross Dubois) and Wichdokta (Richard Shattuck)
This article appeared first in our printed edition.