Updated 3 weeks ago
This decade is where it all went down, and not in a good way. Paying confiscatory rent while Trump is president and the whole city is locked down. The only way it would be worse if Putin invaded Manhattan.
All in all, rents skyrocketed in this decade. Across all income brackets, the portion of income that was spent on rent or mortgages drastically increased, even as the population of NYC slowly hemorrhaged. This had a profound effect on the quality of life of its inhabitants. With less disposable income to go around, traditional psytrance practices, which were historically never profitable anyway, were much more difficult to manifest.
Psytrance already has a built-in disadvantage for venues – psytrancers don’t really drink, which is a major source of revenue for venue owners.
So, the 2010s was a dark decade for psytrance in NYC. Where a decade earlier there were multiple regular events during the week, in the 2010s months would go by without any parties.
There was a brief renaissance in 2011 when Apples and a few others burned fast and furious. Luis Campos kept the spirit alive with Thursdays at Psycheground. Futterwacken came and went. Fractaltribe started doing open-air festivals upstate and in Massachussets.
This decade was a lost decade for me – I left NYC around Christmas 2010, leaving all my possessions in storage, and haven’t been back, so I’m gonna lean hard on Ben Light-o-Matic here:
“If I had to look back and pinpoint the moment when NYC psy (which always had its up and downs) finally hit a low it would never truly recover from, it was the end of Psybotik .
Sync, which was great, carried the torch a bit longer… but it was not to be the same ever again.
When I say that psy in NY ended with Psybotik.. I didn’t mean to shit on the efforts of dozens of people who have done parties since then. There have been not just good parties since then, there have been a bunch of GREAT parties. I’m not gonna name-check everyone but thank you all ❤ I just meant that since then there has been no real growth, it’s only been shrinking since then and the attitudes have changed vastly, and it doesn’t feel the same at all as it used to.
Just when it looked like NYC had fallen and was never gonna get up again, Futterwaken came along.. which was just like the old days.. and really, everyone and their dog should have been cheering them on and helping them.. but it was an indication of how far gone the scene was at that point that people thought they could afford to be catty bitches.
I worked on a Spirit Tribe event last summer and it was really nice vibes, I had a really good time. Smiles all around. Lore and Gordon threw a fantastic party last year.. their first one and it felt amazing. Digital Babas are absolutely terrific, they’re so gung ho, they’re totally into it and dgaf they are gonna do their thing! Which is the flavor of the old days. Universal Gatherings does a festival that’s prob the closest you can get to the feeling of the old psy scene in NYC. Dynamic (or whatever they call themselves now) I haven’t made it to one of their parties in a LONG time but they did a lot to bring people back into the scene… So I totally don’t mean to disparage the people who are.out there doing it since Psybotik, I just meant that when you talk about how things used to be and how they are now, for me (in retrospect), that is when the old scene ended.”
Although there were a few new subgenres such as hi-tech, which had a ridiculously fast beat-per-minute that alienated many, and some innovation by labels such as Zenon, music generally began to sound more formulaic:
Not much! It’s like tech stopped in the 2010s. Somehow it feels that the tech world was taking a big breath right before the AI explosion of the early 2020s.
Oh yes, smartphones! People began bringing smartphones to parties! Nothing kills the old-school vibe more than an array of devices recording all your illegal acts, little stochastic ticking time bombs ready to explode later in your life when you’re long past this lifestyle and thoroughly embarrassed by your behaviour.
More pharmaceutical, synthetic bullshit like K2, and worse, Fentanyl, started to creep in. To add insult to injury, there was a massive drug bust of cars leaving Fractalfest in 2017.
One core indicator that blossomed in the 2010s was deaths of people in the scene, too many of which were overdoses. Like Russia’s current population trends, the NYC trance scene’s replacement rate was net negative. More people dying or otherwise leaving than coming in:
Amelia Katherine Arroyo
Abel Fernando Ramirez Torres
Owsley Stanley III
Austin Blaise DiStefano
William “Bill” Putt
Jason Kim Woodman
Rebecca Alice D. Felsman
Joshua Aaron Baker
Biana Libertine Shekhets
John Perry Barlow
Avicii (Tim Bergling)
Josef “Bansi” Quinteros
Anton “onTy” Toom
Brian James Parsons
Steve-O – David Wyeth
See more: Memorial