From full on and progressive to Goa, twilight and psy, the different styles of psychedelic music are aplenty. For a deeper dive, here’s a handy guide to the basics on the plethora of sounds within the wide psytrance genre.
Also known as: Goa, 604 Psy
BPM range: 135 — 150
The Goa Trance movement was born the in the mid 1990’s and pre-defines what is known as modern Psytrance today. Goa Trance music was able to assist dancers in experiencing a collective state of bodily transcendence, similar to that of ancient shamanic dancing rituals, through hypnotic, pulsing melodies and rhythms. As such, it has an energetic beat, often in a standard 4/4 dance rhythm. A resurgence of New School Goa has taken place since 2003.
Astral Projection, Artifact303, Filteria, Hallucinogen, Man With No Name, Miranda, Ovnimoon, Pleiadians, Transwave
Flying Rhino Records, MDMA Records, Suntrip Records, Timewarp, Twisted Records
Also known as: Psychedelic Trance
BPM range: 138 — 142
This subgenre organically fits between Progressive Psy and the classic Psychedelic in the BPM range, combining the best elements of these two. It is arguably the most common Psytrance subgenre now that sounds on the festivals all over the world, and in fact, if you hear the word “Psytrance”, it’s most likely referred to this particular subgenre.
Artificials, E-Clip, Lifeforms, Outsiders, Relativ, Sonic Species, StarLab, Vertical Mode
Digital Om Productions, HOMmega Productions, Profound Records, Sacred Technology, TechSafari Records, Transcape Records
Also known as: Uptempo Psy
BPM range: 145 — 148
Psychedelic is probably the most iconic subgenre of Psytrance music, with driving basslines and futuristic sounds often created using FM synthesis. The style was pioneered in the UK largely driven by London-based labels like Alchemy, Flying Rhino and TIP Records.
Ajja, Avalon, Burn In Noise, Electric Universe, Laughing Buddha, Aphid Moon, Mad Tribe, Tristan, Dickster, Future Frequency
Alchemy Records, BMSS Records, Bom Shanka Music, Digital Om Productions, Grasshopper Records, Looney Moon Records, Nano Records, TIP Records
Also known as: PsyProg, Progressive, Minimal Psy
BPM range: 134 — 138
Emerging in the mid 00’s in Europe, Progressive Psy has quickly expanded to become one of the most common Psytrance subgenre. And it’s very diverse too, featuring a quite wide range of vibes. Progressive Psy doesn’t utilise one particular type of sound, but rather focuses on the groove, the flow, and how it progresses over time.
Ace Ventura, Atacama, Human Blue, Liquid Soul, Mindwave, Protonica, Vibrasphere, Zyce, Atmos, Beat Bizarre, Krumelur, Perfect Stranger, Son Kite
Digital Nature Records, Iono Music, TesseracTstudio, Sourcecode Transmissions, Yellow Sunshine Explosion
Also known as: The Offbeat, Progressive Trance, Hamburg Psy
BPM range: 134 — 140
The Offbeat Psy uses a specific bassline pattern at which a single bass note hits between four-on-the-floor kick drums, hence the name. It is originated from Hamburg, Germany, in the late 00’s. Tracks in this subgenre often include sampled speech samples processed with the gate or sidechain effects.
Audiomatic, Phaxe, Fabio & Moon, Interactive Noise, Neelix, Unseen Dimensions, Vaishiyas
432 Records, Audioload Music, Spin Twist Records
Also known as: Morning/Daytime Full-On, Israeli Full-On
BPM range: 140 — 148
The Morning Full-On genre has its roots in Israel and is a dynamic, playful, and musical subgenre of Psytrance that appeals to a broader audience because of its positive vibe. Unlike of a typical straight Psytrance bassline pattern, the Full-on basssline plays on various notes across few octaves, creating a special rhythm and melody that way. The period of 2004–2009 is considered as the “golden age” of Full-on, before Progressive Psy took over the global Psy scene.
Astrix, Bizzare Contact, Electro Sun, Ephedrix, DigiCult, System Nipel, Sesto Sento, Wizzy Noise
Agitato Records, Dacru Records, Mainstage Records, United Beats Records, Utopia Records
Night Full-On Trance
Also known as:
BPM range: 145 — 150
Night Full-on is the evil twin of Full-on: it has the same fast-paced bass and leads but with a darker vibe and twisted, synthetic sounds. On the festivals, Twilight Psy typically sound during the night-time, hence the name.
Absolum, Brainwash, CPU, Ex-Gen, Outer Signal, Scorb, Stereopanic
3D Vision, Hypergate Records, Lysergic Records, Nutek Records, Mechanik Records
Also known as: South African Twilight
BPM range: 140 — 152
Twilight Psytrance was pioneered in South African in the mid 2000’s and the can be described for the middle hours between night and day, somewhat melodic but still edgy, often groovier and deeper than the more “mainstream” full-on vibe.
Pitch Hikers, Shift, Deliriant, Twisted System, Brethren, Sick Addiction, Tryambaka
Nexus Media, Timecode Records, MMD Records, Phonix Records
Also known as: Cyberdelic, Alien Psy
BPM range: 140 — 155
Dark Psy name speaks for itself. This subgenre is dark, cold, and themed with a horror special effects. Sometimes it’s called Cyberdelic, which stands for “cybernetic + psychedelic”, due to a massive amount of artificial sounds, lasers, and other alien sounds. Many Dark Psy producers are hailing from Russia, so you might see this genre referred as a Russian style.
Fungus Funk, Goa Gil, Kindzadza, Ocelot, Penta, Savage Scream, Zik Matutero
Bhooteshwara Records, DejaVu Records, Discovalley Records, Parvati Records, Vertigo Records, Zaikadelic Records
Also known as: Deep Psychedelic, Dark Progressive, Psygressive
BPM range: 130 — 135
The term “Zenonesque” comes from “Zenon (Records)” + “esque (“alike”)”. Zenonesque music originated in Australia and covers a variety of sounds that are experimental, with both dark and light elements combining both organic and synthetic sounds to create a deep psychedelic atmosphere.
Hypogeo, Merkaba, Sensient, Brujo’s Bowl, Pspiralife, Ryanosaurus, Evil Oil Man
Zenon Records, Cosmic Conspiracy, Omveda Records, Occulta Records, Uroboros Records
Also known as: Forest Psychedelic, Scandinavian Dark Psy
BPM range: 150 — 160
Forest Psy is very similar to Dark Psy in many ways, but it’s less robotic-themed and focuses more on the ambient noises, nature atmosphere. Forest is darker, more psychedelic but with a funky low end bassline and strange trippy effects in the upper register
Derango, Arjuna, Atriohm, Atriohm, Baba Yaga, Deep Brian From Bosis
Digital Shiva Power, Parvati Records, Sonic Chakras Records, Yggdrasil Records
Also known as: Hitek Psy, Psycore
BPM range: 150 — 220+
Hi-Tech is a Psytrance style strongly influenced by Dark Psytrance, Psycore, and Full-On. Typically fast, unpredictable, highly technical, with a focus on polished beats, clear bass lines, and glitchy sounds designed to reprogram the mind.
Highcosmos, Highko, Terranoise, Psykovsky
Kamino Records, OVNI Records
Also known as: Psychedelic Breaks
BPM range: 130 — 138
Psybreaks or Psychedelic Breaks is a relatively new subgenre that emerged in the late 2000’s and is a combination of psychedelic trance and breaks/drum & bass elements. It lacks a kicks and simple 4/4 rhythm in favor of irregular breaks.
Bad Tango, Beatman and Ludmila, Blazer, Broken Eye, Hedflux, MartOpetEr
Broken Robot Recordings, Luminus Music, Neom Recordings, VIM Records
Also known as: Suomisaundi, Finnish Psy
BPM range: 135 — 145
The “Suomi-saundi” is derived from the native name for Finland, the original birthplace of this particularly fat, funky, experimental and freestyle form of psychedelic trance. Suomisaundi tracks are usually very melodic, including heavy influences from early Goa, tribal beats and Acid Trance tracks, as well as funky guitar and keyboard loops and sounds from or reminiscent of 80’s.
Aavepyörä, James Reipas, Puoskari, Salakavala, Texas Faggott, Troll Scientists
Exogenic Records, Random Records, Sonic Dragon, Ultiva Records
Also known as: Psychill
BPM range: 90 — 120
Psybient is a much slower downtempo genre that often seeks to reach a state of deep relaxation, close to meditation and lucid dreaming. It utilities various elements of Goa Trance and Psychedelic music in general, and typically has a classic Goa kick drum, 303’s sounds, and lush atmospheric pads.
Ephemeral Mists, Shpongle, Entheogenic, Ott, E-Mantra, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Vibrasphere
Altar Records, Merkaba Music, Shanti Planti, Desert Trax, Sofa Beats
Also known as: Psytechno, psytech
Psychedelic Techno is one way to (loosely) label a specific spectrum of electronic dance music. It is characterized by its focus on minimalism, aiming to induce a trance in the listener through shifting, percussive rhythms and deep, rolling basses. Psytech is stripped down psytrance where the sounds are much more non-melodic. Another feature is greater constance of rhythm that is shared with techno.
Midi Miliz, Metalogic, X-Dream (2002 era), The Delta, Opsis, Cold Project
Boshke Beats, Iboga Records, Horns And Hoofs