Chapter 1 : The Origins

What’s at the beginning of story?  A date? A place? Or a character? A passion? A dream? All this probably is mixed together, but to tell a story, one must choose a starting point.

Here, the starting point is music.

Hadra - Départ pour la Zambie
Driss, Mickaël and Olivier, on departure for the Solipse Festival (Zambia / 2001)
Driss - Brésil (2003)
Driss on the road for Transcendance Festival
(Brazil / Summer 2003)

Music that makes us stagger on the edge of what we are. The rhythms that occupy us, by which the mind is carried away, and spreads through each body. In the veins of this music, runs the Goa sand, and some synthesizers flutter at the extremity of its fingers. In its mouth, a loving cry, like a bird’s flight from Occident to Orient… When it was born, about thirty years ago, we gave it a name: Psychedelic Trance. It’s a music made of mystery and magic. Some say it gives you wings and arouses one’s desire for freedom. However, the story of this music hasn’t always been easy.

In the 2000’s in France, Trance music didn’t have a good reputation; it was misjudged, belittled, sometimes hunted down. Because of that, its admirers had to meet it during secret/private meetings, or they had to go to the other side of the world to be able to listen to it.

Among its admirers there was Driss, a young man with a boiling temper. He had grown up in Morocco then moved to Grenoble. With his music lover friends they had been in the habit of following Trance music pretty much everywhere. In June 2001, they decided to go to the Solipse in Zambia; over there they could dance during the first full eclipse of our century. We do know that Trance music lovers are any hour dancers. Under the sun or at the glow of the moon or under star showers in pursuit of the miraculous phenomenon of mother earth.

It’s that night, under the African skies and in the savannah’s energy that the music had more than ever captivated Driss. Back from that epic, he started entertaining the dream of making the bass gallop and echo the music in France. A wind of innovation must blow on the clichés linked to electronic music. Ways must evolve. There was a resolute desire and a longing of making things change, a profound will to put together, to unite.

At the end of summer, Hadra had been created. The association took this name from Morocco. The name of a trance ritual that was done in music. A community ritual that combined creativity and intensity to lead to ecstasy. This new organization named this way had to permit the music to make its adepts vibrate during unbelievable parties at the boundary between the sacred and the secular. Parties that were all at the same time tribal, primitive, and visionary. It’s this way, in the joy and human fatigue, that Hadra grew wiping off storms, mud and being hunted down sometimes. It resisted with its ally: the music. Together, they persisted in making oases exist.

Today Psychedelic Trance has thousands of faces, it evolved, bloomed, and metamorphosed itself. Hadra brings it to our ears, in all of its forms, it goes from the most traditional ones to the most ground-breaking ones. Trance music is still here, multiple, and united; wandering around, it makes its values travel with it. It makes our everyday life mirages tremble and embodies our utopias. We leave for the party as we would for an exile. Each event is a fertile source in the middle of a desert, from which flows the power of doing things together, from which gushes the dream of another way of living the planet in connection with the living.

On the next summer solstice, Hadra will be celebrating a twenty year of human adventure of musical activism and of party, and music with all its strength, will resound. So, again, we will be the grains of sand that swirl in its breath on top of the dunes.

A huge thank you to the poet
Isaline Nitsche for her writing guidance.



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