UK Channel 4 News Report on Goa Trance

Youtube users have been incredibly resourceful in unearthing video content previously unavailable to anyone interested in the history of trance. The following clip, dating back to 1994, is a brief Channel 4 (UK) news report on the emergence of Goa trance as a social phenomenon, right around the time it first oozed into the public sphere of awareness. Since this is British programming, the emphasis is on Dragonfly, TIP, Flying Rhino, and Return to the Source, with soundbites from trance pioneers Simon Posford, Youth, James Monro, Chris Deckker, and Raja Ram.

Despite its antiquity—it is now more than a decade old—this clip serves as a reasonably well-articulated primer on what distinguishes the Goa trance movement from the rest of electronic dance music culture. By its very nature, the report provides an outsider’s perspective—one which would not necessarily match that of someone within the movement, then or now—but I think it manages to strike fairly close to the mark, for its time. It is interesting to reflect upon all that has changed over the years since those early days, and also to consider what elements of psychedelic trance culture have remained relatively constant over the years.