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Emergence of Psychedelic Trance

Psychedelic trance made its emergence in Goa, India by the name of Goatrance. It was taken up by artists like Eight Finger Eddie, Goa Gil and Raja Ram who spent their primary time playing their sets on the Goa party scenes back in the 1970’s.

Yertward Mazamanian, popularly known as "Eight Finger Eddie", was an American hippie of Armenian descent. He was credited with popularising Goa, India as a hippie destination from the mid-1960s onward. He started a soup kitchen at Anjuna, to assist the growing numbers of western travelers who came to the area as a final stopping place on the "hippie trail", and, in 1975, set up a flea market mainly for the foreign hippies wanting to barter their unwanted possessions and "hang out". The presence of Eddie and his companions were tolerated by locals, who would watch as the visitors "consulted the I Ching, performed yogic excercises, sucked earnestly on hashish pipes or argued over the true meaning of Bob Dylan's Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands." Apart from regular visits to Kathmandu, and to Bombay to renew his American passport, Eight Finger Eddie remained in Goa for the remainder of his life. The area gradually became a top tourist destination with hotels and casinos catering for a commercial tourist market quite different from its origins in the 1960s and 1970s. It was 1964 when American Yertward Mazamanian came to Anjuna beach, and put Goa on the hippie trail, making it the hub for international tourists it is today. Fondly known as Eight Finger Eddie (because he had only eight fingers), Yertward became a legend in the area. Goa Brewing Co., which makes quintessential Goan brews, pays homage to the man through their IPA, Eight Finger Eddie. A double dry-hopped oat cream ale, it has intense aromas of tropical fruits and a soft, fuller mouthfeel & creamy finish because of the oats. It boasts a creamy finish with a hint of hop bitterness.

Gil was born in 1951 and grew up in San Rafael, California. He witnessed the birth of the hippie movement and acid rock, and was involved with the freak collectives Family Dog and Sons of Champlin. Feeling that the San Francisco musical scene was falling apart, he took off in 1969, going first to Amsterdam and then to India, settling in Goa. Here he discovered the sadhus wandering holy men living off the forest, covering themselves with ash, and drinking the "elixir of the gods." Soon, Gil himself became a Sadhu, Baba Mangalanand, in the order of the Juna Akhara, under the Guru, Mahant Nirmalanand Saraswati. Gil is married to Ariane. Together they formed the band "The Nommos". The Nommos released a song called “Eight Finger Funk” which was made as a tribute to Eight Finger Eddie (Yertward Mazamanian).

Raja Ram is an Australian-born musician and the owner of the United Kingdom record label Tip World. He was a founding member of the psychedelic rock band Quintessence in the late 1960s and early 1970s, playing at the first two Glastonbury Fayres in 1970 and 1971. He later found success in the psychedelic trance scene and continues to headline at large events worldwide.

Raja Ram formed The Infinity Project in 1994 with Graham Wood and Ian St. Paul. The first TIP Records track was celebrated by throwing the first of the "TIP parties." Some of the first tracks were produced of Martin Freeland of Man with No Name fame. Richard Bloor then joined them and together they made TIP one of the best-known Goa trance labels.

Aside from The Infinity Project, Ram created Sphongle with Simon Posford and collaborated with a group of Goa musicians to make two ambient albums as The Mystery of the Yeti. He is a founder of 1200 Micrograms along with Riktam, Bansi and Chicago. He often plays the flute on both ambient and full on tracks and has played as guest flautist with Youth, Boy George and Sly and Robbie. He also has collaborated in The Zap! and Cyberbabas with Benji Vaughan.

During the early 1980s, many Goa hippies were becoming increasingly fascinated with early electronic music such as Kraftwerk. Gil and his friends soon gathered some equipment and started DJing and playing live music all night long on the Goa beaches. The mix of outdoor electronic dance parties with Eastern mystical and spiritual overtones came to define the aesthetic of the psytrance movement. For Gil, dance is an active form of meditation and the use of trance music is a way to "redefine the ancient tribal ritual for the 21st century".[3] During the 1990s, the aesthetic of the Goa trance movement spread by way of European and Israeli Backpackers who attended parties in India. He was interviewed for the 2001 documentary Last Hippie Standing which explored the scene in Goa.

Goatrance emerged as a combination of psychedelic rock and acid house coming under Electronic Dance Music (EDM) later.

Psychedelic trance roots go back to the hippies in New York who undertook the counter-culture movement and then the psychedelia movement, claiming to be on a voyage of ending the conflicts between the two super-powers and ending the unequal treatment of Africans and women of that time.

It is made with repetitive beats with a constant baseline. It stimulates the neurological pathways, and tickles the endorphins to come alive due to its hypnotic groove. The music acts as a bridge between communities of all nations and is deeply cultural, historical and psychological. It is an amalgamation of western and Indian ideals and is still prevalent in rave communities of India.


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