Psychedelic music

Psychedelic music

Infobox Music genre
name=Psychedelic Music
stylistic_origins= rock and roll, free jazz, folk music, hindustani music, ambient music, electronic music, musique concrete
cultural_origins= mid 1960s, USA and UK
instruments= drums, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, tape loops, found objects, various Indian instruments
popularity= c. 1965-1971
derivatives= Progressive rock
Space rock
subgenrelist= List of psychedelic genres
subgenres=Psychedelic rock - Psychedelic folk - Psychedelic pop - Psychedelic soul - Psychedelic ambient - Psychedelic trance - Psychedelic techno - Psychedelic breakbeat - Psychedelic rap

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 classical Western art music.


Psychedelic rock evolved in the 60s as an offshoot of the rock and roll movement combining elements of rock, electronic music, eastern influences, and other diverse elements. Inspired by the use of mind altering drugs like cannabis, mescaline, psilocybin, and especially LSD, psychedelic rock broke with traditional rock and laid the roots for krautrock and experimental rock genres of the eighties and nineties. In the USA bands like the 13th Floor Elevators were the first band to overtly use the term "psychedelic" in connection with rock music which lead the way for later bands like the Grateful Dead, and Jefferson Airplane to name a few. In 1965-1967, The Beatles also were recording psychedelic rock with tracks like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Tomorrow Never Knows" to name a few, but were not strictly classified as psychedelic rock. Cream and Pink Floyd (with original founder Syd Barrett) embraced psychedelic music fully becoming two of the first truly psychedelic bands.

Psychedelic music could also be interpreted as simply a "surreal and dreamy feeling" in a particular song, instead of a specific genre with rules to follow. In some cases, this simply requires writing one coherent song, then to experiment recording that song in the studio while under "psychedelic influence", yielding very surreal musical results. A classic example of this method is "Bass Strings", by Country Joe And The Fish. This early track, written and recorded by Country Joe and the rest of his band in 1966, was obviously an upbeat, hasty, and offensive song of protest in a raw jug band influenced style. In 1967, this song changed dramatically, not to meet more contemporary commercial standards, but rather to re-record it as an experimental track while under the influence of LSD. The new psychedelic result was clearly self-evident in Country Joe's first studio album ("Electric Music for the Mind and Body") when "Bass Strings" featured a much slower tempo, delayed vocals, added reverb, studio reversed cymbals, electric organ, desert traveler lyrics, and a continuous blues guitar solo which together make this song a very, in the true sense of the word, "psychedelic" track.

The Jefferson Airplane website states that (the album), "After Bathing at Baxter's" was the group's attempt to capture what the psychedelic experience sounded and felt like to them from the inside." Jimi Hendrix is also renowned for his talent and guitar virtuosity being able to emulate the psychedelic experience.

Neo-psychedelic music

Neo-psychedelic is a broad term used to describe groups with overt psychedelic influences. Much like traditional psychedelia, neo-psychedelia is associated with experimental and jam-oriented music. [cite book | last=Bogdanov | first=Vladimir | coauthors=Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine | year=2001 | month= | title=All Music Guide: the definitive guide to popular music | publisher=Backbeat Books | location= | isbn=0-8793-0627-0 | pages=p. 1126 ] Many modern bands incorporate elements of traditional psychedelia into their music, such as the Comets on Fire or Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. In addition, many jam bands, like Umphrey's McGee, Phish, Ozric Tentacles, and Rusted Root, play psychedelia-influenced music. Other bands, like Kwisp, create a new unique psychedelic sound. Bands such as Porcupine Tree, Spock's Beard, and Ayreon touch upon Neo-psychedelic music, while applying it to progressive music. However, the art-rock band Tool leads the pack commercially in the neo-psychedelic genre, maintaining number one albums and sold out stadium shows. Much like Pink Floyd, they have over the top psychedelic shows, but with a darker edge.

Modern Jazz groups such as Medeski Martin and Wood are a good example of Neo-psychedelia. Live performances are altered dramatically by large sections of improvisation.

The Third Wave of Psychedelia

In the summer of 2005, the label Northern Star Records was founded by Andy Oliver and Scott Causer with the objective to make the genre prominent in mainstream society. They collated all the bands they could find who they considered were psychedelic and compiled the first of the legendary Psychedelica series which featured Electric Prunes, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Silver Apples, The Telescopes, The High Dials, Floorian, The Hiss, The Lovetones, The Black Angels, The Dolly Rocker Movement and about 30 others. The double compilation CD was praised by Billboard and Uncut as the new leaders in the genre.

Northern Star had become an overnight success and were viewed as the mentors of the "third wave of psychedelia" - a phrase coined by Oliver who saw it as a new movement and a logical 'next wave' in the history of psychedelic music.

The shoegaze genre also bordered on the psychedelic with its drones and ethereal dreamlike qualities and odd feedback. But, Causer felt the genre was repressed and underrated or berrated by the media unfairly and sought to alleviate the stigma by re-labelling it as "stargaze". Bands such as The Electric Mainline , The Voices and The December Sound took on this form and went on to be lauded by the NME and The Times.

Also stigmatized and ignored but nonetheless worth noting - perhaps the most influential psychedelic band of modern times - Ozric Tentacles - discovered a new and potent source of psychedelia in the mid eighties that propelled them into the next century, spawning and influencing a whole slew of other bands such as; most successfully Eat Static and Nodens Ictus, Wooden Baby, Zub Zub, The Ullulators, and The Oroonies.

By the time the second Northern Star compilation "Psychedelica Volume 2" came out, the genre had become prominent in the mainstream press and was finally taken seriously as a major music movement.

Neo-psychedelic bands of the third wave consist of: The Black Angels, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Lovetones, The Warlocks, The Nova Saints, The December Sound, The Hiss, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Electric Soft Parade, Hopewell, Goldrush, The Stevenson Ranch Davidians, The Quarter After, Spindrift, The Deaths, Belles Will Ring, Serena Maneesh, The Lea Shores, Sunsplit, The Morning After Girls, The Sun Blindness, The Gris Gris, The High Dials, The Flower Machine.

Psychedelic artists

Related musical genres

*Acid breaks
*Acid house
*Acid jazz
*Acid rap
*Acid rock
*Acid techno
*Acid trance
*Paisley Underground
*Progressive Rock
*Psychedelic rock
*Psychedelic trance
*Space rock
*Stoner rock
*Trip Hop

ee also

*Canterbury scene
*Psychedelic art
*Psychedelic drug
*Psychedelic era
*Psychedelic literature
*Timeline of progressive rock


*Eye Mind:The Saga of The 13th Floor Elevators, Pioneers of the Psychedelic Sound by Paul Drummond Process Media 2007 isbn0-978-0-9760822-6-2 |424 pages

External links

* [ Lysergia] reviews, inverviews, and psychedelic history and information
* [ Psychedelic 100] Top 100 albums list and short reviews

References and notes

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Music of California — Music of the United States AK AL AR AS AZ CA CO CT DC DE FL GA GU HI IA ID IL IN KS KY LA MA …   Wikipedia

  • Psychedelic art — is art inspired by the psychedelic experience induced by drugs such as gymnastics take place in the world the art is LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin. The word psychedelic (coined by British psychologist Humphrey Osmond) means mind manifesting . By …   Wikipedia

  • Psychedelic Rock — Entstehungsphase: 1965 Herkunftsort: USA Stilistische Vorläufer Rock ’n’ Roll, Rhythm and Blues, Folk, Jazz, Klassische Musik …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Psychedelic drug — Psychedelic drugs are psychoactive drugs whose primary action is to alter the thought processes of the brain and perception of the mind. The term is derived from the Greek words ψυχή ( psyche , mind ) and δηλείν ( delein , to manifest ),… …   Wikipedia

  • Music of Hungary — Music of Hungary: Topics verbunkos táncház csárdás nóta History: (Samples) Genres Classical Folk Hardcor …   Wikipedia

  • Psychedelic rock — Infobox Music genre name =Psychedelic rock color =white bgcolor =crimson stylistic origins =Garage rock, folk rock, blues, and occasionally rāga cultural origins =Mid 1960s, Britain and United States instruments =Electric guitar (usually with… …   Wikipedia

  • Music history of the United States in the 1960s — History of the United States Military Postal Diplomatic Expansionist Religious Industrial Feminist Music …   Wikipedia

  • Music history of the United States (1960s and 70s) — NOTOC The 1960s and 1970s were a tumultuous period for the United States, with the Cold War, Vietnam War and Civil Rights causing massive public unrest. Music became innately tied up into causes, opposing certain ideas, influenced by the sexual… …   Wikipedia

  • Music of the United Kingdom (1960s) — This article is about British popular music of the 1960s. For Classical music, see Classical music of the United Kingdom. 1960s in music in the UK Number one singles Number one albums Best selling singles Best selling albums Summaries and charts… …   Wikipedia

  • Psychedelic — Modern psychedelia:: For psychedelics, see psychedelic drug. The word psychedelic is an English term coined from the Greek words for soul, ψυχή ( psyche ), and manifest, δήλος ( delos ). A psychedelic experience is characterized by the perception …   Wikipedia