Friday, August 2, 2013

Party Babas on the party go!

PartyBabas recently visited berlin, Germany, to find out a bit about the psy-trance scene, and to see how parties are organized as well.

The first event we visited is the Antaris Festival, whose motto is "laugh and dance."  In its 19th summer, Antaris is the largest psytrance festival in Germany, with 21,000 attendees, as well as three stages.  The main stage is a custom built, eight point surround system, with killer sound.  The alternative stage was a five point surround stage, with very decent sound (we had fun finding the "sweet spot" which could be elusive.)
Antaris' music program balances many of the diverse tastes in the large Germany psy-trance scene.  Many dancers commented that Antaris was the big meet up for the extended psytrance family, and the age range of the festival reflects that.  
Dj Shore-Bar Axel has an eye for the big picture when creating a line-up, with traditional european trance in the daytime, and music that is psychedelic at night. 
The main stage was very well organized, with two tables for artists to set up, and the monitor speakers were moved back and forth, between sets.  
The weather was hot (32C), and the dance floor energy was impacted, as this is unseasonably warm for this area during July.  
The music starts at 9pm each night, and ends at 8 pm the next night, with an hour break.  
Many artists outside the mainstream were playing at Antaris, and with the positive reaction on the dance floor, its rumored that Antaris will continue to incorporate music which is not easily definable.  

This is a video of the fractal cowboys set

After Antaris, we went to Berlin for a few days.  Berlin is an amazing city, which feels instantly like the cultural center of Europe that it is.  With great conversations, and a laid back bohemian government, which is in some ways reminiscent of san francisco (and in many ways much free'er than anything that can exist in the states) Berlin is a late night city where you can easily stay up until sunrise every night, without really "partying".
For instance, you can openly drink anywhere, and all shops and bars can stay open any time they want.  There are young people, everywhere, and easily a ton of babies, unlike san francisco, which is baron less like a crone.  Rent is around 600eu a month, but with more and more people move into town, the freak density (how many freaks/normal person) is slowly decreasing, according to locals, but this certainly is not noticeable from an outsider's perspective.    Synchronistically, or randomly, we were in two documentary movies while in Berlin, and ate amazing food (including lots of veggie options).  Any one with the ability and desire to visit amazing places on Earth, go directly to Berlin.

After an amazing few days in Berlin, it was time to head to Psycrowdelica.  This is the 4th Psycrowdelica in 5 years, with the crew skipping a year last summer. This festival is the biggest "dark" music festival in the world, with the artists playing the "craziest" music there is.  There was night time psychedlic, high tech, and daytime crazy music.  Starting with a 3 hour set, at 8 am on friday, was Electrypnose, followed by Parasense, and then Quasar. By the time we went on at 2pm, the dancefloor was smoking, and so where the temperatures (35C).  
Psycrowdelica uses a long throw Funktion 1 system, which is getting rare for german parties, due to neighbors and noise complaints.  
There are many amazing performances that I saw, and i was left with the impression, where is all the "dark" music?  No babies crying, no chalk on the ears sound, everyone was smiling.  When Alex Audiopathik (a kick ass producer from Mexico) was asked about the term " dark trance", he notes, "no one asked us for our input when naming this genre, so its not surprising that the name does not match up to the energy on the dancefloor, or the dj's and artists' intentions."
I found it interesting to be at a European party, where some of the music was "too much".  In contrast to the "not enough" feeling i get from mainstream psy-trance festivals, I found it more entertaining to be faced with something something faster and crazier than I am used to, than the norm, which is music that is a bit slower and sometimes predictive.  One set was easily above 200 bpm, and it was too fast for me, but I found it entertaining to try to find the beat. 
In many ways, the scene in Antaris Project is very much like the scene in Los Angeles, just as Psycrowdelica is akin to the san francisco scene.  Except they get thousands and thousands to their parties. 
It makes me want to plea with passion to American organizers to do a better job bringing freaks together, because the alternative is being a lone freak.  and thats an unhappy freak.  

PartyBabas report
Berlin, July 2013



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