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Sampling Paradise
The Technofreak Legacy of Golden Goa

This nOde last updated July 23rd, 2001 and is permanently morphing...
(8 Chuen (Monkey)/8 Batz (Monkey) - 151/260 -

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by Erik Davis


DJs are the maestros of the internal linkinformation age, and not just because the discs they spin are basically internal linkdigital creations. Freed from the internal linkgravity of faces and fixed names, underground internal linkdance music finds its essence in constant mutation and total overproduction. Sifting through hundreds of records a week, DJs define themselves in part by what they comb out of the data overload. That's why many act like spies, taping over record labels, or buying all available copies of a favorite record and destroying all but one. DJs are made of information. But in internal linkGoa, where the inability to mix makes selection particularly important, they drop their guard and swap tapes.

Information in formation Digital trance formation

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I had decided not to artificially stimulate myself for his party, so I crawled into bed, setting the alarm for 5 am. But the internal linkBamboo Forest was only a few hundred yards away, and the bass beats warped my internal linkdreams. Two glowing internal linkTibetan  eyes appeared before me in the dark room, and led me up a internal linkmoonlit mountain path to an old, white-bearded yogi. He said that internal linkreality was like a television set, and then he showed me how to channel-surf. I zapped between technicolor internal linktwilight zones until a great internal linkmetaphysical boredom set in. "Techno is the sound of the universe being created and destroyed every second," he said. 
Luna Your next stop...

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Väth and Johan are friendly enough guys, but many Shore Bar insiders set themselves apart from the rave tourists (and journalists) with the same kind of snobbery you find in London or New York. Given the mystical legacy of freak India, the cliques here have a mystical air, like they're pushing the envelope of consciousness itself. As Raja Ram, an old moustached prog rocker-cum-techno musician, told me, "You have to become a neuro-naut to understand this music. We've gone from flint-rock to the moonlanding in a few thousand years, and now we're on the edge of the world opened up with information machines. This is a new inner space we're exploring."

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Whirling Dervishes boundary dissolution...

I had already heard about Gil from Genesis P. Orridge, who had filled me in earlier on the technofreak legacy of late-60s London clubs like Middle Earth (xref J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings series) and internal linkUFO. "The basic premise was smoke and internal linklight shows, large quantities of internal linkecstatic chemicals, and internal linkdancing like a internal linkdervish to accentuate your artificially-induced mental state to a point that was equal to and integrated with an ecstatic religious state." When the scene decayed, the heaviest internal linkpsychedelic warriors split, taking their musical internal linkalchemy with them. Some went to the Spanish island of Ibiza, while the more esoteric heads went east. Though Gil was from San Francisco, he had trod a similar path. "You have to find him", Genesis told me. "He's one of the links."

According to Gil, these parties are the direct ancestors of raves. Techno historians already know that English working-class kids brought raves back from Ibiza, the cheap vacation island off of Spain whose weather, slack and lack of extradition treaties made it a Goa-style hippy colony decades ago. While many DJs shuttled between Ibizan summers and Goan winters, some claim that the more authentic lineage of electronic internal linkecstasy belonged to the East. As internal linkGenesis P. Orridge put it, "The music from Ibiza was more horny disco, while Goa was more internal linkpsychedelic and tribal. In Goa, the  music was the facilitator of devotional experience. It was just functional, just to make that other state happen."

And Goa went totally electronic in 1983, when two French DJs named Fred and Laurent got sick of rock music and reggae. At the same time Derrick May and Juan Atkins created the futuristic disco-funk called "techno", Fred and Laurent used far more primitive tech—two cassette decks—to create a schizo's brew out of New Wave, electronic rock, gay Eurodisco and experimental industrial bands like internal linkCabaret Voltaire and the Residents. They slipped electro-pop like New Order and Blanc Mange into the mix, but only after cutting out all the vocals. It was heady shit, and soon hipsters started slipping them underground tapes from the West.

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There's nothing "natural" about the sounds echoing off the rocks. These melodies and beats are created, recorded, and reproduced in the digital internal linkether of micro-circuitry. Techno's frenetic datadense internal linkintensity seems totally contrary to Abé's air of bodhisattva calm. "So do you really like this music?" I ask him.      "Yes," he says, tapping a hollowed-out coconut mixing bowl hanging from his neck. "I  like primitive sounds."

And that's the paradox of the techno-freak. As we hurtle into the 21st century, these internal linktransient refugees from the First World have poached the internal linkinfo tech that's speeding up  the march of progress and made an abrupt about-face towards the archaic. Technology  is mobile, so they drag it to the rocks and jungles. Technology loves connection, so they  sync it with the ancient wheel of the heavens. Technology simulates, so they make it  mimic the fear and splendor of internal linkshamanic     internal linktrance. The internal linkGoan beaches that spawned this internal linkecstatic digital primitivism may be lost to media hype and packaged tours, but the hardcore technofreaks will just lose themselves in the porous Third World landscape.

After all, the internal linkfull moon follows you everywhere you go.

it follows me...
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