If you’ve ever gone to a rave, festival, or any type of electronic dance music event, you will likely have experienced the thrill of psytrance. Psytrance is a subgenre of electronic dance music (EDM), characterised by electro and psychedelic rock influences that typically features heavy bass lines and surreal sample tracks.
Psytrance has enjoyed enduring popularity among the hippie and dance scenes for many decades, and continues to be influential in alternative music scenes across the globe in 2022.
Goa was one of the first and most popular subtypes of psytrance and it played a foundational role in psytrance’s rising popularity across the world. As the name implies, Goa began in Goa, India, in the late 1970s, and arose from Goan DJs who took inspiration from psychedelic rock bands such as the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd, and from electro-dance band Kraftwerk.
In the 1980s, the genre began incorporating elements from electro-industrial or EBM music, pioneered by DJs such as Laurent, Fred Disko, and later, Goa Gil.
Goa trance hit peak global popularity in the early 1990s, spurred on by the emergence of psytrance parties in the UK including Pangaea and Megatripolis, and the advent of related styles of music such as Trip-Hop.
Psytrance then went on to inspire many subgenres, including dark psytrance, progressive psytrance, psydub, and psystep, while taking elements of ambient music to create psybient and psychill.
Today, psytrance continues to be popular at many electronic dance events across the globe, and features at many thriving music festivals including Portugal’s Boom festival, which hosts 50,000 visitors every year.
While psytrance is known for its popularity at clubs and festivals, it can also be enjoyed from home and its fast, upbeat rhythms can be a motivating influence when carrying out day-to-day tasks such as cooking, cleaning your home, or working out.
Whether you’re planning a party of your own, or just going through your daily routine, here are some of the best psytrance albums to help boost your energy and get you in the zone.
Infected Mushroom – Return To The Sauce
A perfect mix for dark psytrance aficionados, Infected Mushroom’s new album Return To The Sauce is packed with influences from modern rock and metal, while keeping the upbeat rhythms, and futuristic electronic elements of traditional psytrance.
The melodies are refreshingly classic for the psytrance genre, making each track memorable while keeping a level of intrigue with towering highs, and suspenseful lows. Return To The Sauce walks the fine line between relaxation and mania, with trance elements which feel almost hypnotic, plunging you into another dimension with its space-age riﬀs and science fiction-inspired samples.
Return To The Sauce is a fast, euphoric, and yet darkly gritty album which conjures the spirit of underground raves, shadowy dance floors, and trippy strobe lighting. The ideal choice for any electronic dance party, or just driving in your car late at night, this album will inspire the raver in you wherever you are.
Blue Planet Corporation – Aquaquest
Blue Planet Corporation’s new album Aquaquest echoes the themes in its title with fluid jungle beats that bubble and flow in rhythmic harmony like a river over rapids, complimented by tribal wooden flutes, xylophones, and the pattering sounds of the rainstick which mimic the sounds of the rainforest.
This album is a harmonious mix of psytrance and psybient elements, the highs perfectly punctuated by melodious bass drops that then build once more into electrifying crescendos. Taking influence from Goa psytrance, this album is a melodic take on the psytrance genre that incorporates elements from world music to create a unique work which transcends time, space, and culture.
Vibrasphere – Exploring The Tributaries
The beat builds and falls like rippling water in this album from Swedish progressive psytrance band Vibrasphere, with a delightfully trance-inducing rhythm and ethereal female vocals from Irina Mikhailova.
This album is a laid-back choice for home listening and it incorporates progressive trance elements with a distinctly psychedelic flavour to create an immersive experience that pulls you under the waves of beats. With a multitude of melodies branching out like the tributaries of a stream, the listener becomes lost in the music, mesmerised by the throbbing rhythms and glassy echoes.
With a style that is simultaneously futuristic and comfortingly familiar, Vibrasphere’s 4th full-length album shows the progression of their musical development, and brings a fresh approach to the dance scene with this light and airy take on the Psytrance genre.
Dark Nebula – Too Loud For The Cloud
If you’re searching for a dark Psytrance album to lose yourself in the beat, look no further. This album will send electrifying vibrations right through your body with its smoulderingly heavy beats and make your head spin in an addictive blend of progressive and dark psytrance elements.
Grungy and evocative, this album will transport you to the astral plane, with a darkly dangerous edge that evokes a sensation of travelling through space, sucked into the beats like a spaceship through a wormhole.
If you like electronic dance music or any related genre, be sure to check out these 4 awesome psytrance albums!