Electronic Dance Music: Trance and Techno-Shamanism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter addresses an assemblage of spiritual technologies implicit to ‘electronic dance music’ (EDM) movements, with a specific focus on psytrance, in which the author has extensive field experience. It explores technologies of the senses – spiritechnics – that are harnessed to optimize liminal conditions within EDM cultures, an exploration that assists understanding of ‘trance’ as it is identified within these cultures. In the optimal dance event-centred cultures of EDM (e. g. raves, clubs and festivals) , with the assistance of an assemblage of sensory technologies, DJs, sound engineers, visual artists, event enablers and dance floor inhabitants themselves typically collaborate to affect the dissolution of normative modes of consciousness. The phrase ‘technoshaman’ is often deployed by commentators in efforts to draw favourable comparison with universal shamanic ritual practice. But while EDM producers can and do act as intentional agents of transformation – with, for example, postliminal therapeutic...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Bloomsbury Handbook of Religion and Popular Music
EditorsChristopher Partridge, Marcus Moberg
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781474237345, 9781474237352
ISBN (Print)9781350082625, 9781474237338
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


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