Why Psytrance Hippies are the Absolute Worst

There’s a special breed of middle-class ‘I want to reject my parents values’ sort of people who have decided to base a subculture entirely around listening to awful music in a forest whilst on drugs with names that sound like preservatives. These tribes of harem-pant-wearing, faux-spiritual, bring-a-hula hoop-to-a-rave, cultural appropriators are just the worst.

Obviously every subculture needs a soundtrack and for this particular one the soundtrack is really shit: psytrance, Goa Trance’s younger even weirder and less talented sibling. It’s basically just endless arpeggios of distorted bleeps with the occasional voice telling you to ‘expand your mind’ or ‘journey through your consciousness.’ It’s a bit like listening to a really shit self-help tape, with a backing track that consists of samples of printer noises with just about every effect plugin Fruity Loops has to offer added to it. This, if I try hard enough to imagine, could potentially sound like a Carl Cox set at Space when on a cocktail of every 2C Alex Shulgin ever discovered, but I’m still sceptical.

This brings me to the next important part of the subculture. Drugs. What would punks have done without speed? Ravers without E? And what would bankers do without cocaine? Hallucinatory drugs are seemingly the choice for psytrance hippies, but not the cool Hunter S. Thompson ones like LSD, Mescaline and Mushrooms. Instead they go for the chemically, made in China, find them at Head Shops before they become illegal, ones. Oh, and Ketamine. They love Ketamine.

The thing that is potentially the worst aspect of the entire subculture is the endless cultural appropriation. There’s nothing that annoys me more than white middle class girls in bindis. As if the complete disregard for the religious and cultural significance of the bindi in Hindu culture isn’t enough, I can’t help but think that these girls assume that by making bindis cool, they’re somehow making up for decades of colonial exploitation and oppression. The white guys with dreads thing is another massive part of the scene. It’s as if they’re purposely trying to appropriate cultures from all the major British colonies. India, check. West Indies, check. I’m pretty sure you’ll find a bloke playing a didgeridoo at a psytrance rave. So Aboriginal Australian, check. Oh and they bring bongos to their raves, so that checks the African colonies off as well.

The appropriation of eastern spiritualism is equally as offensive as well. They slap the Hindu symbol for “Om” on just about everything, making it almost a brand.

Having these sort of people on social media is hilarious. I once saw a status that said, ‘Boomtown this year was such a spiritual experience.’ Now, how much DMT does someone have to smoke in order to find Boomtown spiritual? There is nothing in the world that I can imagine as being worse than sitting in a field, covered in mud and Ketamine, and having people in harem pants tell me how spiritual they feel. As well as being updated about how ‘spiritual’ Boomtown is, you get spam shared videos from pages like ‘Wake Up Earth’ and ‘Free Cannabis.’ These videos are mostly about reaching new levels of perception, and how Cannabis is a miracle drug that cures cancer. There’ll be the odd conspiracy video thrown in for good measure as well, just to remind you that you’re an idiot and they know so much more because they’ve been enlightened by drugs.

I know drugs and subcultures go hand in hand. I don’t think drugs are the worst thing in the world. An entire subculture created around drugs, though, that is a bit too much. Psytrance is just drugs. The music sounds like drugs, their clothes look like hallucinations from drugs, they talk in drug-addled clichés. They don’t really do anything, either.

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