Track By Track: Kicking Dust – The Goa Way

5 Minute Read
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Full Circle guide us through what is a seminal compilation showcasing the psychedelic sound of dance music as featured during the hedonistic era of the Goa party days.

Goa has become a fable of sorts, a mythical place built upon free spirits and reckless abandon. At least that’s what it was back then. The story has been told by several people previously yet to some extent remains not as critically documented or profiled as that of say Ibiza. It remains as crucial to the evolution of dance music as ever, perhaps for those in the underground scene and spaces even more so.

Full Circle is the record label run by Alexis Le-Tan and Joakim, it was founded some ten years ago and has been a consistent, resilient outlet for underground, experimental dance and electronic music.


It is also an imprint very much rooted in the music of the Goa era, the sound resonated with the pair and has inspired them across lengthy careers in music. Now is the time for them to revisit the roots of the genre as they refocus on the music which sparked things into life. The story is best told by the label itself…

“This one has been in the works for quite some time. A statement compilation showing what Full Circle is about, paying homage to the very roots of psychedelic dance music. A little town in India, which was a haven to a bunch of hippie outcasts, was throwing freeform outdoor parties since the day those freaks put their flag down. What was once a gathering around live music blew up into a rave as electronic music started to appear, paving the way to what would eventually become Goa Trance.

Full Circle started 10 years ago when Alexis accidentally discovered that some of his old Goa Trance records he was about to sell sounded great when played at the wrong speed : 33rpm instead of 45rpm. He called his long-time friend and collaborator Joakim to work on edits of those tracks that became the sound signature of this DJ duo : a slow, heavy and trippy sound that would eventually infiltrate the fringes of the underground club scene via like-minded DJs such as Vladimir Ivkovic, Jane Fitz, Ivan Smagghe and many more.

10 years later and a bunch of releases and remixes behind them, Full Circle decided to tell the story of how this Goa sound came to life. At a time when Trance has made a major comeback and infiltrated pretty much all the sub-genres of club music, it felt right to look back at where it all started – going full circle, when Trance was not Trance, Goa was not Goa but the seeds of tripped out dance music were being sown.

After all, there are countless compilations about Balearism, the Italian Cosmic scene,The Loft, The Paradise Garage etc but none about the roots of this Goa sound.

This is a compilation of the best tunes played by the pioneer Goa DJs like Laurent, Goa Gil, Mike Maguire amongst others, between the late 80s and early 90s. Proto House, New Beat, early Techno, Industrial, with a distinct psychedelic tone, a few arpeggios here and there, acid lines, chopped up vocals, all elements of what would later constitute a genre of its own.”

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Front Line Assembly « Enemy Number One »:

As an inky blackness covers the sky: Vancouver based Industrial pioneers drop their heavy hitting format for some sublime downtempo, laying the foundations for things to unfold.

Joi « A Desert Storm »

Collision time washes up on Goan shores: a versatile dance floor number brings together UK sound clash cultureand heady Indian vibes, something which could go down from dusk till dawn.

À;grumh… « Nguu Petite Fugue »

Clear beginnings of the psychedelic trance sound here: Funky EBM full of all the trademark dirty squelch to come, perfect hands in the air tackle.

Clock DVA « Sound Mirror »

Metronomic rhythms and haunted vocals: Primo hypnotic liquid ceiling business for the darker times as the dance floor ebbs and flows, get lost in the mirrors of sound.

A2L « Come On »

On the surface a very British acid house sound: stripping it all back with just a beat and a baseline… but Come On, there’s more trance than house going on here!

Van Belle « Dreams »

Uplifting lead lines with a heavy psychedelic twist: The New Beat sound was a Spaghetti Beach staple; this unit would’ve woven dreams regularly on the sand!

Syntech « Discontented »

Waving the Italo flag as the sun rises: Odd when you know it was coined by a couple of flying Dutchmen. As the first rays of light start coming up, fly high you will on this one !

CCCP « Orient Express »

An Oriental twist best served in Belgium: Fine, well-traveled mental business here, almost certainly played by Fat Ronny at Antwerp’s Ancienne Belgique club, amongst other iconic venues around the world.

Cabaret Voltaire « Here To Go (Little Dub) »

Short but sweet Dub from the Cabs: We have none other than disco hero François K to thank for this huge slower number, might as well stick around longer when you hear it too!

Bleep « Mr Barth In The Sahara »

Mr. Acidic Techno Stomper: The name tells all as we pay a last nod to the middle east as the sands whip up a perfect storm before the night (or day) comes to a close.

3Times6 « You Can Run » Razormaid mix

As the party winds down, No one can hide from this Esoteric beast: As a risky legend has it, this was the ultimate final furlong business for Mr. Raja Ram the season it came out. No higher praise needed!