Psychedelic ramifications in Germany

Author: Roberdo
Date: Jun 17, 2008
Views: 2791

Psy-trance in Germany is still blooming. Just like a tree that is getting older, the scene developed several branches which are reaching out to different directions. So there is some interesting musical development going on. Although the scene gets confronted with the “c-word” from time to time there is definitely still a huge non-commercial underground with a lot of positive and creative energy.

Starting in the very south of Germany you will find a lot of mountains and large woods like the famous black forest. It’s the perfect area to go snowboarding or skiing in winter or wandering in summer. The more north you go, the less mountains you will find. In the northeast of Germany where also most of the big festivals take place you can find hundreds of beautiful lakes. Germany has a coast at the North Sea and one at the Baltic Sea where you will find nice beaches and also some great surf spots.

Interestingly enough there is not only a certain course from the south to the north concerning the countryside. The laws are also variable. The southern states are very strict in terms of drug policy, and permissions for events. The more north you go the more liberal the laws get. Of course drugs are illegal everywhere in Germany and promoters always have certain problems with the authorities but in the north you don’t feel the legal pressure that strong.

This might be one of the reasons why almost all big festivals take place in the northeast although the southern states would have a lot of beautiful venues, too. Another reason might be that the northeast states are pretty poor compared to the southern ones. That is why communities welcome festivals as an annual source of income. For example in Putlitz, the place where VuuV Experience takes places since a few years, there is a swimming pool which has only survived from the revenues they made around VuuV weekend.

Germany has been one of the most traditional countries in the psy-trance scene ever since the early 90’s. Lots of important artists and labels hail from this country and there are thousands of trance people and with them a very strong scene.

Germany has a large number of promoters and parties in around the country during both summer and winter season. Even in rather remote, small town areas you will find a psy-trance party every weekend if you are willing to travel a few kilometres. In Hamburg and Berlin, the two largest cities, you will find several parties every weekend. The Ruhr Area in Western Germany is another focus point for trance events where you will find at least three big parties with international artists every weekend.

But the southern metropolis is in no way inferior to the northern ones: Longstanding promoters from Munich, Augsburg or Nuernberg deliver huge events as well as nice family oriented parties from weekend to weekend.

But there also is a certain development going on which was already described in the edition from last year: Really a lot of festivals lost money in 2007. Well, I can name the usual reasons: The weather was not that good this summer. But hey: This is Germany, it’s quite normal! People might not have as much money as they did before to spend on parties- but people have never been really rich in this scene and they still visited a lot of events.

One plausible reason might be: There is an inflation of parties. Every year more and more promoters show and end up organizing big festivals with more or less huge lineups. When you visit an ordinary party you might sometimes get the impression that every second person is a DJ and every third one a promoter. Perhaps it's just getting too much? Are there already too much fruits on the trance branch so that it will break off? Another reason might be the musical development of the scene in Germany.

Concerning the music at parties there are big changes going on for a while now. Quite a few of the original progressive producers and DJs have become barely distinguishable from original techno artists. Sebastian Krüger aka SBK, one of the most successful progressive trance producers from Germany, might be a popular example. He plays excellent techno sets nowadays. Also Laureth from Plusquam Records is now additionally involved into Kompass Musik, an independent label from Hamburg for minimal techno and minimal House.

As an effect of this tendency the playlists from alternative floor DJs are often not really different from those from techno DJs. But it somehow seems like only a minority of the trance crowd really likes this sound on parties and those who prefer this music often change the scene and attend pure techno events.

On the other hand there have also been quite a few controversies about the always getting faster and darker psychedelic sound. A popular quote which appeared in an internet forum after a big festival this summer was: “That wasn't psychedelic trance, that was psychedelic death metal!”

It seems like its still the certain “nordic progressive” sound that makes most people go crazy on the dancefloor. Not too slow, not to hectic – not too twisted but also not boring. That’s definitely the sound people still like most at the parties in Germany – today just like yesterday.






Musician, journalist, Hedonistic Freelancer


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