Visions from Portugal

What´s going on in the trance scene in Portugal?

Author: Artur Soares da Silva
Date: Sep 26, 2007
Views: 2362

Visions from Portugal

Since 1994 Psytrance has been evolving in Portugal, but like everywhere else in music and ideas there’s a key word in the country right now: mutation.

What is Trance and psychedelic culture? The answer will encompass thousands of definitions, despite our recognition of certain aspects like nature, international crowds, summer festivals and colours...

Portugal has many definitions of Trance and its lifestyles too. You may find the freaky approach, the suburban enthusiasts or the new age communities. Another contingent are the music lovers and you also get the party rockers, who just go for banging experiences.

This spectrum shows how wide this movement has become in society since the first Psy party in 1994. The instigators were Good Mood, organisers of Boom Festival, the major Portuguese gathering for Trance and visionary culture.

In 2006, the major change from previous years was the explosion in music production. Menog, currently Portugal’s best-known producer, is a regular name both at home and abroad. N3xu5 is another producer, who went from dark to a more EBM, melodic style and has now released an album “Silent Noise” on the new label Sin Records. Acts like Quantum Leap, Paranormal Attack, Khopat and Audialize are leaders of the Portuguese sound, which has a melodic edge, even if you mix it with dark elements.

On the downtempo side, veterans released “Ambient Planet 2” with a hi-fi selection of ambient tunes. From the city of Oporto, duo Chilled C´Quence made their début with “Magic Sense”. Tjak is another band that has developed its own profile and Oxalá released “From Another World”, the best ever Ethno Ambient record from Portugal on Nazca Music.

Crystal Matrix and their sub-label Digital Oracle are a key example of how music has mutated. Known for their Full-on productions, they’ve expanded into new concepts and parties. Today they can hold a party with Eskimo or Infected Mushroom one week and then put on a club night with Martinez Tiefschwarz the next. This is a symptom of the change in music and tastes.

It’s on the boundaries, where different styles of music intersect, where you will find the most up-to-date crowd in Portugal. Some of them are still into Trance but they are no longer fundamentalists of the scene. Music is mutating and those with limited vision have missed the train into the new century…


  • Portuguese is the 5th most spoken language in the world.
  • Fado is considered the national music of Portugal. It is a mix of African, Brazilian and Portuguese influences.
  • The Portuguese islands of Azores are the best-kept secret in Europe.
  • 1994: The year of the first psychedelic party in Portugal
  • 1143: When Portugal as a country was born





This is the dog of Artur Soares da Silva, journalist, and the author of this text

Date: Sep 29, 2007
Text: Artur Soares da Silva
Photos: Sam, Jörn Meisterjahn
Taken from: "Trancer's Guide to the Galaxy 2007 magazine"




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