Global Tribe - Technology, Spirituality and Psytrance - Graham St John

Global Tribe - Technology, Spirituality and Psytrance - Graham St John

Freak out: the trance carnival

Global Tribe - Technology, Spirituality and Psytrance - Graham St John

Graham St John [+-]
Griffith University
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Graham St John is the author of several books including Global Tribe: Technology, Spirituality and Psytrance (2012), Technomad: Global Raving Countercultures (2009) and the edited collections The Local Scenes and Global Culture of Psytrance (2010), Victor Turner and Contemporary Cultural Performance (2008), Rave Culture and Religion (2004) and FreeNRG: Notes From the Edge of the Dance Floor (2001). He is Adjunct Research Fellow at Griffith University and is Executive Editor of Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture.


Chapter 6 approaches the vexing subject of trance dance itself, the raison d’être of psychedelic trance culture. Dissatisfaction with the term “trance” inspires a heuristic acknowledging a range of activity within the “weekend societies” of psyculture. The contemporary Goatrance party is rooted in the cosmic carnival, which is shown to augment the carnivalesque with a Space Age psychedelic aesthetic. In the music and the events downstream from its Goa origins, progressive and ludic sensibilities are demonstrated to comprise the trance experience. The trance culture that fomented within these recurrent events has given rise to what may more accurately be named neotrance, an ecstasic/theatrical dynamic where surrender to the funky flow and freak performance are integral to the mix.

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St John, Graham. Freak out: the trance carnival. Global Tribe - Technology, Spirituality and Psytrance. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 199-232 Nov 2012. ISBN 9781845539566. Date accessed: 19 Aug 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.20090. Nov 2012

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