Psychedelic music, or also known as psychedelia, is a genre of music that was influenced by the psychedelic era of the 1960s. The psychedelic era consists of the subculture of people who uses psychedelic drugs like psilocybin mushrooms, DMT, LSD, and mescaline to experience auditory and visual hallucinations. Psychedelic music is also known to enhance the experience of the people using these kinds of drugs. In this article, we are going to know more about psychedelic music and its history.
The history of Psychedelic music can be traced back to the 1960s. After LSD was discovered in the 1930s, or also known as the catalyst for psychedelic culture, the use of drugs became popular to ‘alter the state of consciousness.’ But despite the use of experimental drugs as a part of popular culture, several people did not like and support the idea of using drugs. This is why other types of art, including music, adopted the psychedelic culture as a part of the popular culture during the 1960s.
As most of us know, the 1960s is also known as the “The Hippie Movement.” And as the use of psychedelic drugs had generally become popular in this era, it also became a source of expression of freedom for the hippie movement, too. As a result of rebellion, experimentation, and interpretation of social power, Psychedelic music was born. Undeniably, Psychedelic music may have been highly influenced by drug use. Still, if you look at it from a bigger perspective, the drug intake itself was a form of protest during the 1960ppdesa0s. Thus, it would not be totally dishonest to say that Psychedelic music was the result of the inception of a new culture.
The primary purpose of this psychedelic music is to make the state of ‘trance’ with the high and intense notes of music in order to change the state of human consciousness. For those people who don’t agree with the idea of using drugs, the goal of psychedelic music is to create the effects of drugs without having to use any kind of drugs. In the beginning, several rock bands started releasing songs and albums that have psychedelic nature. Which is why soon enough, psychedelic-rock became a popular genre during the 1960s. Artists such as John Lennon, Summer of Love, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Beach Boys, The Doors, and The Rolling Stones were just some of the most famous musicians and bands that mixed psychedelia into the rock music.
By the 1970s, the obsession with psychedelia started to spread to other genres of music, and it also got infused with the wave of psychedelic culture. This is why multiple sub-genres of Psychedelic music kept emerging, such as psychedelic funk, psychedelic soul, psychedelic pop, hypnagogic pop chillwave, and many other standard genres were imbued with the hint of psychedelia.
On the other hand, experts have been studying psychedelic drugs over the years, and contrary to popular belief, psychedelic drugs are not entirely harmless. Just like any other illegal drug, psychedelic drugs can also have a negative impact on the body. Aside from having some severe physiological harm, research shows that these drugs can also cause some extreme psychological disorders, such as toxic psychosis, hallucinogen persisting perception disorder, and of course, addiction, to name a few. Nonetheless, some researches justify the use of such drugs given it is only used in limited and controlled ways.
The division of beliefs among researchers and biologists leads to the problem regarding the use of these drugs. Which is why several people try to find alternative methods to alter their consciousness. Techniques such as art, meditation, and music. This results in the obsession with psychedelia, which in turn raises the psychedelic music’s popularity and give birth to even more sub-genres.
During the 1990s, electronic music was one of the music genres that got impacted by the psychedelic culture. This resulted in the creation of Acid Techno, Acid house, Psychedelic Trance, and Rave genres of music.
When the 21st century came, ‘Neo-hippies,’ which is the descendants of the 1960s hippies, created new forms of arts and music which still follows the phenomenon of the psychedelic era. Most bands and artists of this era are eccentric, and there are several fusions of more than one genre. For example, a 2005 rock band named “The War on Drugs,” combines neo-psychedelia, heartland rock, indie rock, and Americana.