nedjelja, 7. kolovoza 2011.

Psychedelic Music

Psychedelic Music

To try and label music as psychedelic music is to try and define rock and roll, it can not only have multiple meanings, but everyone has their own opinion as to what the term may mean. 

Let’s explore a great definition found at Wikipedia, which tries to clarify the genre and does so in the simplest of terms: 

“Psychedelic music is a term that refers to a broad set of popular music styles, genres and scenes that may include psychedelic rock, psychedelic folk, psychedelic pop, psychedelic soul, psychedelic ambient, psychedelic trance, and others. Psychedelic rock is also commonly called acid rock. Psychedelic music can occur in almost every genre of music, including Western art music.” 

So, it would be fair to state that psychedelic music is an offshoot of rock and roll and is an adventurous, innovative and a sensational part of the music landscape. Using this as a template of sorts, we can now discuss some of the aspects of psychedelic music. 

Psychedelic music was and still is driven by musicians who wanted to expand rock’s boundaries and enhance the listening and musical experience. It employs a variety of musical elements like, rock and roll, electronic music, Middle Eastern influences (specifically on the electric guitar), exploring the frontiers of amplified sound and instrumental textures, garage rock, free style jazz or improvised song structures and utilizes suggestive lyrical content that often addresses the burning social and psychological issues of the day. Often, the listener and the musician’s who made the music, drew upon inspiration that was rooted in the use of mind altering drugs like cannabis, mescaline and LSD or any other drug of choice. 

There are certainly arguments as the first psychedelic song, was it the genre defining futuristic sounds of theTornados hit “Telstar,” or but it could also be the guitar-fuzz of the Dave Clark Five hit “Any Way You Want It,” or the feedback-laced cut “I Feel Fine” by the Beatles? As we discussed earlier, the term is very broad and there are many different opinions and interpretations. 

But, it could be inferred that the sound started in the 1960’s and early influential bands that played psychedelic music included the Yardbirds with their seminal cut “Shapes Of Things” or the groovy fast-paced tempos of “Over Under Sideways Down.” The Beatles certainly had their share of what could be termed as psychedelic music with cuts like the legendary “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and the backward tape looping of “Rain.” The Byrds added “Eight Miles High,” and Jefferson Airplane chipped in with “White Rabbit” and the psychedelic LP named “After Bathing At Baxters.” 

Other groups that contributed to early psychedelic music (and this is not all inclusive list, merely suggestions) were the Rolling Stones with “Paint It Black” and “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadows,” the psych-jams of the Grateful Dead or even the densely orchestrated musical arrangements ofDonovan with “Sunshine Superman.” 

The Summer Of Love (1967) saw psychedelic music at its pinnacle and the genre had an international impact upon the collective music scene with acts like Pink Floyd, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, the Great Society, and even the organ-jams of the Doors, all contributing to the distinctive stamp that the early sounds would have on music today. 

So, the groundwork was laid, and the genre grew in popularity and has evolved into several different and eclectic sub genres including: 

Acid breaks 
Acid house 
Acid jazz 
Acid rap 
Acid rock 
Acid techno 
Acid trance 
Paisley Underground 
Progressive rock 
Psychedelic rock 
Psychedelic folk 
Psychedelic pop 
Psychedelic soul 
Psychedelic trance 
Space rock 
Stoner rock 
Trip hop 

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