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By the time the names for musical styles hit the mainstream press they’re often about to go out of fashion. However, a festival of psytrance music recently held in Brixton, south London, suggests that this genre is moving out of specialist clubs, away from the meditation and yoga crowd, and is about to become more widely popular. The Glastonbury Festival will devote a whole day to it this summer. It has had various names, such as psychedelic trance and Goa trance. As these names suggest, it’s a blend of psychedelic and trance music, essentially electronic in nature with a thumping beat and highly repetitive style which makes the average listener drift into a dissociated state. The reference to Goa is not accidental: it was originally very much linked to blissed-out hippies swaying to the beat on the beaches of south India.

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 22 Apr. 2004

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-psy1.htm
Last modified: 22 April 2004.