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New Caledonia - Place of Psychedelic Dreams

Article posted by Meltdown on 2nd Jan 2005

It is hard to string together the words for this one, because at the time of writing this (2 days after returning), although my body is back in Australia, my mind is still sitting at a bar in New Caledonia sipping Kava, soaking up the sun & chatting with the locals.

This party was one of the freshest, most amazing, explosive events I have witnessed. Imagine an island of vast sweeping mountains, crystal clear waters, friendly easy going beautiful people, native tribes, good kava, and quite simply just a paradise of an island. Then somewhere in the middle of this island picture a 15k turbo sound system surrounded by 1000's of manhours of work put towards decor including a 10 meter wide DJ booth, gigantic visual screens, a laser or two (with self made laser boxes), gigantic mushrooms structures casting shade, UV paintings surrounding the dancefloor (with welcome messages to the Sydney guests), a Kava bar (serving the native drink that is a relaxant that gives quite a buzz) off to the side and around 1200 people or so stomping the dancefloor into an absolute frenzy. That's just a start.

The magic set in from the moment we stepped off the plane. The nervousness of being personally pulled aside by New Caledonia customs to be thoroughly searched, including ALL my luggage, shoes, socks, pockets & everything, was soon a forgotten memory as we were picked up by Ray (the legend behind the parties) in a truck... There we were, the six of us sitting on the back of the truck holding on tight cruising on winding roads through vast sweeping mountains and valleys, with locals waving from the side of the road as we passed them. The wind rushing past us and the sites we were seeing immediately snapped us out of Sydney "rush" mode, and into a paradise holiday headspace. We stopped off at the venue on the way to where we were staying (the day before the party) to see around 20-30 people working hard, including some locals of the area who all gave us an amazing welcome (cup of kava included) and we were breathtaken by the venue and the effort that had gone into the setup of the party by the promoters 'APAP'...

The next day we got to the venue early, it was a beautiful day and we cooled off by swimming in the close by river which was amongst the huge mountains, and crystal clear fresh water, clean enough that you could drink it, and see the bottom clearly even at points which were a few meters deep...

This party was amazing... It wasn't the first and it won't be a last... Big PsyTrance parties like this are a relatively new thing in New Caledonia, but looking over the crowd it seems like they're at home, and like they've been at these parties for decades. The people are amazingly friendly & hospitable, even with the language barrier... They are extremely receptive to the music, and are highly energetic. Every time a new DJ stepped up and even in every breakdown in the music it resulted in huge screams, shouts & whistles from the crowd who were charging the DJ's with energy and inspiring them to give it their absolute best... It truly was a constant rush of energy... The locals started up the party from around 4pm through till 10pm, after which the Sydney guests joined the musical journey from 10pm through until the end of the party (around 1pm)..

Wodger Want kick started the Sydney lineup, and to an amazing reception from the crowd... The rest of the dancefloor immediately became packed and roared with approval at the first guest of the night... Wodge weaved a stylish progressive set together which got the crowd stomping and really kick started the night well... Following Wodge was Elektra (Amber) who mixed a very intelligent set of night time edged progressive which created a solid dark groove that the crowd couldn't get enough of... Next was myself (aDaM T) weaving through the early hours of the morning into Oculus (nick) who played an absolutely brilliant (100%) live set bringing the sunrise in with an energy that is rarely seen... Laying down tracks from his recent album release "A Moment In Time" on Floatation Records, plus some magical new unreleased music, there wasn't anywhere you could look without seeing a bright smile and stomping bodies lapping up the morning energy... One touch I thought was amazing was Nick's use of The Roland Hand-Sonic (a midi controller/sampler device with a rubber circular pad like a djembe) which he used for beautiful progressive percussion which fresh delays and added an amazing live, tribal touch... The sunrise itself was spectacular casting a beautiful pink/orange colour across the sky with an amazing skyline of huge sweeping mountains... Next up on the decks was Haig (T-Quest) who as expected, laid down an amazing journey of his own flavour of slick daytime progressive bringing the crowd well into the late hours of the morning...

Being relatively new to outdoor psytrance parties, previous parties in NC have seen some of the crowd disapate as sunrise approaches, but this party must have been the 'critical mass' point where it 'sunk in', because the crowd stayed and danced strong well into the day, and didn't stop until around lunch time...

Perhaps what made it so amazing was the amazing hospitality, generosity & friendliness of Ray & family, Laurent and everybody (too many to mention) who made us feel so at home while there. We got to experience the island as locals do, and for that we can't thank you guys enough!

These few paragraphs don't even begin to describe the magic of New Caledonia, I could write pages, but words do it no justice... I think the best way to understand it is to go and experience it yourself... You won't be disappointed! It's only a 2.5 hour, relatively cheap flight away from Sydney, and I highly recommend it for a holiday/party destination... Keep your eyes open for the next party in May 2005!!

Photos courtesy of laurent

For more photos & up to date information on the New Caledonia PsyTrance scene, visit the APAP Homepage: KOSMIX.