Gregory Gumo and Aldous Huxley had something in common: techno trance music

A rebellious Gregory Gumo arrives in New York

A rebellious Gregory Gumo arrives in New York

Although Gregory Gumo probably didn’t know the history of the drug Ecstasy and its connection to techno synthetic trance music, it actually goes back to Aldous Huxley who wrote about it way back in 1932. The world that Gregory Gumo walked into in New York was what was first pioneered by David Mancuso. David Mancuso created the popular “by invitation only” parties in New York City later known as “The Loft” where his private parties were held. The first party Mancusco had was called “Love Saves The Day” was in 1970. “Love Saves the Day” is code for LSD. As a Deejay, it was Mancuso who pioneered the “private party” as distinct from the more commercial nightclub business model. Welcome to New York, Gregory Gumo.

The techno trance music constituted a bridge from the experimental and consciousness expanding sixties music using psychoactive drugs including both LSD and the entactogen Ecstasy. These would be critical for the “transmission of sixties values”. The techno trance music culture today is a temporary repository for “a psychedelic inspired mystical consciousness” popularized through the evangelizing tactics of Timothy Leary and the mescalin inspired revelations of Aldous Huxley. So the next time you find yourself at a nightclub in ecstasy dancing on the floor with the lights blurring and trance music pounding that pulsed music into your brain, try thinking of Aldous Huxley.

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” – Aldous Huxley

Huxley's Brave New World: "A techno trance of synthetic music will arrive."

Huxley’s Brave New World: “…the techno trance of synthetic music will arrive.”

The entire techno trance and rave party scene came out of the acid-house rave scene from the UK during the eighties that was an extension of the laboratory of LSD stuff associated with Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley, Ken Kesey (the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) the CIA and the MKUltra program. Aldous Huxley wrote in his Brave New World in 1932 about the techno trance arm in his future dystopia when everyone will be listening to synthetic trance music. As Graham St. John wrote in his book Electronic Dance Music Culture and Religion: An Overview. Culture and Religion in 2006, “…as a techno-communion, dance culture constitutes an interfacing of technology and humans”, which is a core theme picked up by Hillegonda C. Rietveld in Chapter 2, “Ephemeral spirit: sacrificial cyborg and communal soul.”

Ecstasy (MDMA) sugar coats the techno trance ephemeral experience in rage parties stimulating feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy toward others, and distortions in sensory and time perception. The night clubs in New York where Gregory Gumo was spawned out of were all involved in drugs and Ecstasy with several clubs being raided by the New York Police. Seems appropriate: a synthesized drug to go along with synthetic music.

A new youth cultural phenomenon had awoken, and with the assistance of accessible new digital–audio technologies, demonstrated by British techno trance music DJs like Darren Emerson, Richie Hawtin and Paul Oakenfold imported electronic music aesthetics, advanced DJ techniques. With MDMA (methylene-dioxymethamphetamine, the entactogen known as ‘Ecstasy’), by the early 1990s this domestically popular rave phenomenon would soon go global. Gregory Gumo went global arriving in Yokohama, Japan in 2002 and headed directly for the night club scene. Graham St. John says that “youth in America were committed to being ‘on one’, getting ‘loved up’ and becoming ‘hardcore’ in abandoned warehouses, in openfields and clandestine clubs.” The new term: rave parties. For Gregory Gumo it went too far, it was the “fantasy of liberation.” So Greg, when you dropped the MDMA how did the EDM rave go?

And now Aldous, how about some electric dance music in your honor? Did your wife Laura drop LSD in the amount of 100µg intramuscular into your vein? Aldous Huxley came out of Britain, so do some of the major electro trance music DJs. Coincidence? Hardly likely.