Being Psychedelic


We’re gonna say some things about being psychedelic, listening to music, taking drugs and all that. 

If you’re only interested in the drugs bit, please bear with us ;). The rest will only take a moment. 

At Beauty and the Beat we have always called our music ‘deep dance music with psychedelic soul’, we have always identified our sound as ‘psychedelic’, and we have always claimed an affinity with the tradition of psychedelic music and the counterculture. 

This has sometimes caused a bit of confusion however, because these words can mean different things to different people. So we want to clarify a few things. 

Yes, we play music that we consider ‘psychedelic’.  But we really have nothing to do with the psy-trance scene, for example. We also don’t play 1967-style psychedelic pop. We have had people turn up at the party thinking this is what we would play and be disappointed. Well, okay, we do occasionally play the odd classic from this genre, but it’s not our main sound. 

The musical tradition that we draw on is what we would call ‘afro-psychedelic’. That tradition does draw on classic acid rock and we do play some of that sometimes. But the vast majority of what we play isn’t rock, acid or otherwise. 

Our sound is really drawn from the East Coast tradition that includes the music of funkadelic, the deep disco of David Mancuso’s Loft parties, the psychedelic jazz of Miles and the Coltranes, the deep house music of producers like Joe Claussell, and a global matrix  that includes Afrobeat and Tropicalia. 

If you want to know what it sounds like, just listen to one of the many recordings here on our site. 

In those musical traditions that we draw on, psychedelic drugs have always been present, but they have never been the main thing that the scene has been about. In those contexts ‘psychedelic’ describes an attitude of joyful experimentation and consciousness-expansion. It isn’t necessarily about using particular substances. 

Because we often describe the party as ‘psychedelic’, we do sometimes get people turning up and bringing high doses of psychedelic drugs with them.  This isn’t a good idea. 

So we think it is important to say this. We have nothing against tripping in principle. And yes, we do have the best audiophile sound this side of Tokyo.

But still, BATB is a big noisy late-night party on a Saturday night in North-East London. So it is really NOT an appropriate space for a heavy trip. It’s too big, too noisy, too smelly. If you want a full-on, mind-melting psychedelic experience, then you should probably do it somewhere quieter. 

Until the change of law in 2018 made all such drugs illegal in the UK, there were a few people who as far as we know, used to come to the party and enjoy taking drugs like 1p-LSD, that were legal at the time. 1p-LSD is a drug that it is very similar to LSD in structure and effects. As far as we know, they were people who knew what they were doing and would always avoid taking anything like a very heavy dose.

These days all we can say to people who want to trip at the party is that the very best way to prepare for the party is probably to have a big early-evening disco nap followed by a nice long session of yoga, tai chi, or whatever you’re into, and come to the party full of spontaneous energy. And if you do want to have a full-on big trip, then we’d suggest trying one of the legal Psychedelic Experience weekends organised by The Psychedelic Society

We don't advocate or condone breaking the law. But like many party promoters, our primary concern is the real-world safety of our guests. So if people are going to use drugs at our party, we’d rather they be safe, and consult some of the useful harm-reduction advice that can be found online from various sources. 

The Psychedelic Society website includes lots of useful and interesting information for people who are interested in that sort of thing, including this guide to psychedelic partying

If you have any interest at all in any of these subjects then we very strongly advise you to read that guide - it’s the best of its kind that we’ve ever seen, and includes some very useful information and ideas.

Here are a few other great links: