*Written by Sofia Raisanen for Keyframe-Entertainment / Evolver EDM*
1STOMP! is simply the idea of dancing TOGETHER as one — it’s a cooperative experience. A fresh creation stemming from Phillip Anthony (InertG), these Psychedelic gatherings unite and inspire community building, so prepare to surround yourself in an authentic Psychedelic setting of innovative taste, a welcoming experience of nourishing triggers. With well over 70 acts represented in the past few years, kicking off the first event with Tom Cosm in January 2012 and first fest with Mr. Bill, Entheogenic, Mumukshu, Shwex, and SKytree in March 2012, 1STOMP! gatherings have been the first to welcome countless artists to Texas. Other first-time international/national talent who have performed in past Texas gatherings include: Auma, Akasha, Brethren, Brian Richards, Digital Rust, Drrtywulvz, Erothyme, Goosebumpz, Griff, Kalya Scintilla, Mindex, Mouldy Soul, Mustard Tiger, Pspiralife, Sun in Aquarius, Spacey Koala, Quanta, The Fruitbat, and Whitebear.
PsychedElevator is taking place on June 26th – 28th, Re:Creation Plantation, in Dripping Springs, Texas. A worldwide gathering of artists from Australia, Brazil, Russia, Germany, Canada, and USA, there is bound to be a collective expression of unification. Talent outside of North America consists of Griff, KADUM Live, Mindex, Dersu Uzala, Upavas, and aio. More illuminating creative talent consists of producers Somatoast, Drrtywulvs, Cualli, Zenturion, and Detox Unit. Adding to the flow is DJ support from artemis, InertG, Fractala, Mantoid, Twips, plus more. An experience waiting to happen, there’ll also be camping, live art, showers, pool, nonstop music.
Excited for the gathering as a whole, I reached out to Phillip and inquired about his creation. Below, we explore the foundation/exploration behind 1STOMP! Gatherings, initial inspirations, community building, psychedelic frequencies, healing modalities, visions, and self-growth.
What is the foundation behind 1STOMP! Gatherings?
The cooperative concept seemed to be the most fitting system for our gatherings. There were only a few of us investing time and energy, so we couldn’t provide every aspect of the festival ceremony. Instead, 1STOMP! is a collective festival, co-created by the community; rather of some production company entity.
What/who initially inspired you to create such a profound vision in the Psychedelic/Transformational Culture?
We’re certainly a hybrid type of event. Before Manifestivites or 1STOMP!, a couple of us were involved with an ecstatic dance group that would hold all night events in a dance space every season or so (who were loosely affiliated with the Atrium Obscurum crew, who were doing their thing in East Texas, which was my first trance experience). But I’d say we were more a product of our surroundings. We appreciated all forms of psychedelic electronic music and wanted more than just psytrance, which shaped the side spectrum flow of the music.
You are the founder of both “Manifestivities” and “1STOMP!”. What is the difference and why did you break away from Manifestivites to formulate “1STOMP!” Gatherings?
Manifestivities was a poor attempt at running a production company. We tried hard at the whole marketing thing; failed. We tried booking acts that were more popular/accessible; less people came. Eventually we cut back to the bare essentials; high quality music on some private land with friends and family. I was tired of pretending and just wanted to enjoy myself at this thing I put so much energy into. Manifestivites burst into flames, and from the ashes rose 1STOMP!, where I could do the things I was good at, and leave the rest up to whoever felt called to fulfill the role.
Much like a burn, how does community-building help to create the environment in 1STOMP! gatherings? What are the similarities and differences?
Like burns, the community builds the experience. I’ll bring some producers and book the lineup. Someone will bring some sound. Someone will bring projections, etc. The big difference is that it is centralized, and everyone shares one stage. Also, we don’t try to pretend like money doesn’t exist. There are vendors, artisans, and artists trying to make a living off their passion, and people who want to directly support.
Psychedelic music is the theme of these experiences. What subgenre/styles of Psychedelic music are you sharing with us during these experiences? Explain how these are profound frequencies and how they align into higher levels of consciousness.
We like to host psychedelic and experimental electronic music. Genres are nice references, but do not encompass the essence. We’ll have forest, twilight, fullon, progressive, psybreaks, midtempo, downtempo, ambient, even some live hip-hop; but the main thing is that it is intended for hypnotic entrancement. The musician may exhibit various techniques that create sounds at the cross-section of nature and technology while upholding a driving subliminal rhythm, entrancing the body and mind together. The whole point of a psychedelic music festival is to lose yourself in the music. Sure you could say this about other festivals, but psychedelic/psytrance festivals specifically cater to the trance, typically in the most psychedelic way they can. If you can create some smoke and mirrors, and convince someone there is more to reality, you have succeeded.
Besides music and art, what other innovative visions and healing intentions are present?
Set and Setting. The music and art is part of the setting, but creating a safe-haven for people to come and completely let go of fears or conditioning. The newcomers arrive with this whole game they’re about to play, and when they notice nobody is playing that game, they drop it and go back to being their self. This is all some big scheme to dissolve the ego, in the most loving, welcoming, compassionate way possible.
You are growing a style of music that’s very popular everywhere but the USA, much respect. Why do you think Psychedelic Trance/Progressive/Psy-Tech styles are a minority genre in the United States? Is this style “the next big thing” in the electronica world?
Psy has always been a thing in the States and there was a time when it was the next big thing, but it isn’t flashy enough to keep up and fell back into the underground. With that said, psytrance and all of its subsets have evolved over the years, and the sound has begun to sprout new territory in psychedelic trance. There are some new labels creating a lot of palatable material; like Kinematic Records and their crazy, jazzy, melodic, story-telling psychedelic dance music covering everything from downtempo, midtempo, techno, progressive, fullon, and twilight psy; and MAIA Brazil, another label which has no restraint on tempo, but focuses on encompassing the forest sound with everything from Tribone, Master Minded, and Jeremy’s Aura to the multifaceted forest wizard – Reflection.
I think the only thing stopping the psy takeover is decor. When you look at these amazing festivals around the world with tens of thousands of people, you notice huge, elaborate environments. Once this is created, the allure spreads further, and people are more enticed to participate. Funny thing is, the same thing is what has caused the US scene to sprout again, only in a different way. People are invited by friends (or in my case, a stranger who offers to pay for your ticket), love how open and loving everyone is, are blown away by the array of unique styles of music, and leave rejuvenated, ready to get back into this crazy world we live in. The environment is the key to how big this thing can get. If you build it, they will come – right?
Tell us about your vision on hosting multiple gatherings throughout the year versus a single occasion. Taking any further steps?
We felt like one fest every year wasn’t enough. Since we’re low maintenance, we could save on the stress of planning, and doing something small, but more frequent. Also, and sort of the main thing, I noticed there was a system most people went through in their path towards appreciating psytrance. First they come and don’t know what to think of it. The kick drum is overkill, it all sort of sounds the same… The second time, it’s not too bad; or at least not annoying, but damn is this scene awesome. The third time, holy shit… now I see why y’all do this. Psytrance is awesome! So, instead of it taking 3 or so years (give or take), in just one year, someone could go from not knowing a thing about psytrance, to seeing its power and understanding how to interact with it.
Alas, now that we’ve done this for a few years, and energy is running thin, it seems we’re going to the quality over quantity concept. With 4, it’s nearly impossible to really give any the special organization they need to be unique gems. Also, it’s pretty hard to fund a party in a month, delivering food. It’s not a total loss in the sense of more-in-less. We started a free monthly this year in Austin so people could come test the waters without investing a weekend or the expenses. I think the monthly will also help give psytrance the space it needs to flourish in Austin.
What are some progressive goals you have, on a worldwide/Universal scale/evolving phases?
My mission is fairly simple. All I am trying to do is create a space for someone, anyone, to become a little bit more confident in their own skin as their self. Once the individual finds the confidence to be a sentient being, they can go off and do good things. It’s pretty hard to unsee a utopian system. Typically people leave with their hearts wide open and do the real work.
InertG, you’re an artist. Do you see a correlation between growing yourself and growing outwardly? Explain to us the importance of self-growth.
Everything is connected. We are all individuals, and learning how to do that better helps you become better at everything else you do. Practice practicing, and learn to learn. What you do with it is completely up to you. I just happen to love making portals.