The Roots of Trance: Reflections of Space Rock, Psychedelia, Krautrock, and Post Punk Live in the 1970s and 1980s

The Roots of Trance: Reflections of Space Rock, Psychedelia, Krautrock, and Post Punk Live in the 1970s and 1980s

Peter Smith (University of Sunderland, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8665-6.ch002
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Abstract

This chapter explores the roots of trance by taking a reflective and historical view of the influences of 1970s and 1980s music on the development of trance. The author reflects on concerts which he personally attended, analysing them for music, lyrics, style, performance, and concepts which formed the roots of trance. This includes performances from the following genres: space rock, psychedelia, Krautrock, and post punk. The chapter discusses performances by the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Arthur Brown, The Edgar Broughton Band, Kraftwerk, Joy Division, and Public Image Limited. In each case those elements which have contributed to the development of trance are highlighted.
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Background

Much has been written about trance and several attempts have been made to define trance music (Rouget, 1985; Pilch, 2004). Many accounts (e.g. Cole & Hannam, 1997) attribute the roots of trance to the 1960s and dance parties in the former Portuguese colony of Goa. However, the reality is much more complex. Peril and Chan (1998) argue that the depth and dimensionality of the analysis of Cole and Hannam is limited, and imply that alternative views are needed to capture the richness, depth and complexity of trance. This chapter attempts to provide new historical perspectives by exploring alternative musical genres which exhibit some of the characteristics of trance, and by using performance to contextualise this analysis.

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