Psytrance Guide

Welcome to the very first, complete, up-to-date Psytrance styles guide. It’s a great place to discover new subgenres you might haven’t heard of before and to use it as a reference for organising your DJ collection tags.

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Psychedelic

Also known as: Uptempo Psy, UK Psy, Classic

BPM range:

145

155

BPM range: 145—155

Psychedelic is probably the most iconic subgenre of Psytrance music, with driving basslines and futuristic sounds often created using FM synthesis. Pioneered by London-based labels like Alchemy, Flying Rhino and TIP Records, among others, this subgenre has also become known as the UK Psy and is currently one of the most trending subgenres.

Psytrance

Also known as: Psy-Trance, Classy, 140-BPM-Psy

BPM range:

138

144

BPM range: 138—144

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 main festivals all over the world, and in fact, if you hear the word ‘Psytrance’, it’s most likely referred to this particular sound.

Progressive Psy

Also known as: Psy-Prog, Progressive

BPM range:

130

140

BPM range: 130—140

Emerging in the mid-00s in Europe, Progressive Psy has quickly expanded to become one of the most common Psytrance subgenres. And it’s very diverse too, featuring quite a 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.

Hypnotic Psy New!

Also known as: Hypnotic Psychedelic, Analog, Platipus-esq

BPM range:

140

150

BPM range: 140—150

This probably hasn’t formed as an official subgenre yet, but such a hypnotic sound is currently emerging and trending and definitely deserves its recognition. Using traditional recordings with out-of-the-box gear, producers of this sound create futuristic and heavily twisted psychedelic tracks that delve into the roots of the psychedelic scene while looking into the future.

Raw Trance New!

Also known as: NeoTrance, Ethereal Trance

BPM range:

130

160

BPM range: 130—160

With the nostalgic vibe of the ’90s, ’raw’ trance is often produced on physical pieces of studio equipment and utilises a lot of classical sounds like 303 and 909 kits, hence the name. It’s usually not as polished production-wise as typical modern Psy, however, it allows this style to bring a lot of forward-thinking ideas and even transcend the borders of the genre into other music scenes. It is debatable whether even to consider this Raw Trance a part of the Psy ’tribe’, but nevertheless, it has many similarities and shares the same rebellious, underground ethos.

Psy-Techno

Also known as: Psychedelic Techno, Psy-Tech

BPM range:

125

137

BPM range: 125—137

As the title suggests, this subgenre is a blend of Psytrance and Techno that combines various elements from these two. And since both Psytrance and Techno can vary in tempo and vibe, there are pretty much no boundaries to this subgenre too: it can go from deep and minimal to hard and rough.

Even though it started as a sub-genre of Psytrance, today some labels releasing Psychedelic Techno often position themselves closer towards the Techno scene.

Tribal

Also known as: Triplets, Ethnic Psy

BPM range:

136

140

BPM range: 136—140

Pioneered by Juno Reactor and then recently popularised by Vini Vici, Tribal Psy utilises triplets bassline patterns along with some ethnic drums and vocal samples. Some producers have overused triplets so much in recent years, so at some point, having a triplet drop is almost considered a cliché.

Offbeat

Also known as: The Offbeat, Progressive Trance, Hamburg Psy

BPM range:

134

140

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 originated in Hamburg, Germany, in the late 00’s. Tracks in this subgenre often include sampled speech samples processed with the gate or sidechain effects.

Goa Trance

Also known as: Goa, 604 Psy

BPM range:

135

150

BPM range: 135—150

Goa Trance is the ancestor of all Psytrance music as a whole we know today. Formed in the ’80s in Goa, India, by the modern hippies of that time, Goa Trance got its global recognition in the mid-90s. It has oriental aesthetics in its melodies, mostly with Indian consonance, as well as various tribal elements from the Indian culture such as references to the Buddhist or Hinduist mythology and mysticism. Although Goa Trance is considered an old-school genre now, some artists and labels are still releasing it, referring to it as a New School or Neogoa.

Nitzhonot

Also known as: Nitzhogoa

BPM range:

145

160

BPM range: 145—160

Nitzhonot is a subgenre that formed from the classic Goa Trance in the mid-90s in Israel, and it literally means ‘victories’ in Hebrew. It is typically faster than Goa Trance, with high-pitched kick drums and fast-paced oriental melodies. And just like Goa Trance, Nitzhonot is considered an underground subgenre among Psytrance as a whole, which is an underground style itself.

Notable artists

Agneton, Cyan, Eyal Barkan, Goalien

Full-on

Also known as: Morning Fullon, Israeli Full-on

BPM range:

140

148

BPM range: 140—148

Full-on is a dynamic, playful, and musical subgenre of Psytrance that appeals to a broader audience because of its positive vibe. Unlike a typical straight Psytrance bassline pattern, the Full-on bassline plays on various notes across a few octaves, creating a special rhythm and melody that way. The period of 2004–2009 is considered the ‘golden age’ of Full-on before Progressive Psy took over the global Psy scene.

Night Full-on

Also known as: Twilight, South African Full-on

BPM range:

145

150

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.

Note: probably, Night Full-on and Twilight will be separated in the future version of this guide. Please read more in the blog.

Dark Psy

Also known as: Cyberdelic, Alien Psy

BPM range:

140

155

BPM range: 140—155

Dark Psy name speaks for itself. This subgenre is dark, cold, and themed with spooky 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 to as the Russian style.

Forest Psy

Also known as: Forest Psychedelic, Scandinavian Dark Psy

BPM range:

150

160

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, and the creepy sounds you would hear in a dark psychedelic forest. Filled with swarming and teeming effects, it is also slightly faster than Dark Psy and arranged in a straightforward manner, almost with no breakdowns and beat interruptions.

Hi-Tech

Also known as: Hitek

BPM range:

170

200

BPM range: 170—200

Hi-Tech is somewhat influenced by Full-on but takes it to the next energy level. Unlike Psycore, Hi-Tech can be upbeat and even a bit silly, in a positive way.


Psycore

Also known as: Hardcore Psychedelic

BPM range:

190

250

BPM range: 170—250

Psycore is brutal, intense, and has the most aggressive soundscapes with glitchy special effects. It’s often so fast that you hardly can hear any groove. Basically, it’s the hardcore of psytrance!

Notable artists

Bolon Yokte, Haemogoblin, Yaminahua

Suomi

Also known as: Suomisaundi, Finnish Psy

BPM range:

135

145

BPM range: 135—145

Originating from Finland, Suomi is probably the most free-form subgenre of Psychedelic music allowing artists to go wild and experiment both musically and production-wise. 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 the 80’s.

Psychill

Also known as: Psybient, Psychedelic Chillout, Downtempo Psy

BPM range:

90

120

BPM range: 90—120

Psychill is a downtempo genre that often seeks to reach a state of deep relaxation, close to meditation and lucid dreaming. It utilises 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.