30 influential South African psytrance albums

For a country on the tip of Africa, South Africa has delivered an outstanding amount of top quality psytrance. It's time to educate yourself on our colourful psytrance history!

Table of Contents

If you enjoy trance parties in South Africa, then it’s best to educate yourself in the history of producers and releases that have played a prominent role in our psychedelic history.

If you’ve never heard of parties like Alien Safari and Vortex, labels like Nexus Media and Nano Records, producers like Artifakt and Slug, then it’s time to educate yourself!

VA – Africa in Trance (Microdot Records, 2002)

This early 10-track compilation from Microdot Records featuring South African legends like like sHiFt, Rabdom L, Damage and Artifakt.

Check out: Rabdom L – What a Lag

VA – Alien Safari (Afrogalactic Records, 2002)

The Alien Safari group have played an important role in the history of South African psytrance music. Their 2002 compilation on the defunct Afrogalactic Records features 9 tracks from the likes of sHiFt, Damage, Xatrik and Rinkadink.

Check out: Rinkadink vs Razzmatazz – Upturned (Remix)

Protoculture – Refractions (Nano Records, 2003)

Protoculture’s debut LP on Nano Records entitled Refractions was a huge hit for the artist and label. While the South African producer took a shift in his musical direction, its good to see him back at producing psytrance music under the alias Shadow Chronicles.

Check out: Protoculture – Avalon

VA – Bush Martians in Wonderland (Psytation Entertainment, 2003)

Not much is known about this short-lived record label called Psystation Entertainment, however this 9-track compilation features bangers from artists like Broken Toy, Rinkadink, Hydraglyph and Artifakt under the name Pseudo.

Check Out: Rinkadink – Soyo Kaze

sHiFt – Red Line (Timecode Records, 2003)

sHiFt’s debut Red Line compromised of 9 hard hitting night-time psytrance tracks. Over the years, the South African veteran ended up releasing several full-length albums and co-formed Nexus Media.

Check out: Shift – No More Humans

Xatrik – Project A (Digital Psionics, 2004)

After making a few features on compilations, Xatrik released his debut LP on Australian record label Digital Psionics. This wild, multi-layered style of psychedelic music opened a few eyes across the border.

Check out: Xatrik – The Scary Door

Rinkadink – Rabbit From the Dark Side (Alchemy Records, 2004)

Rinkadink is still blasting the international circuit and is based in Japan. However, his early release Rabbit From The Dark Side is style widely regarded by avid psytrance fans. This is some brilliant, twisted psychedelic music that is still appropriate today.

Check out: Rinkadink – Hope was closed

Artifakt – Artifakts II (Timecode Records, 2005)

South African producer and Timecode Records owner Matthew De Nobrega consistently pushed the boundaries of psychedelic music with every release. Artifakts II is his second LP that really showcased his different capabilities as an artist.

Check out: Artifakt – Ohm

VA – Midnight Storm (Nexus Media, 2005)

sHiFt put this massive compilation together selecting South African artists like Twisted System, Artifakt and Brethren with international artists Azax Syndrom, Scorb and R.A.M.

Check out: Artifakt – Retch

Corona – Photosphere (Sanskara Records, 2005)

Corona’s debut album Photosphere included 9 tracks that absolutely thumped the day time dance floor. Plus, there’s two tracks written alongside South African producers Hydraglyph which are a real treat.

Check out: Corona – Riseup

DMMT – Africa Bombastic (Freefall Records, 2005)

While Dave Mac still performs as a DJ in South Africa and took stage at Boom Festival in Portugal, few are aware that he also released an album called Africa Bombastic alongside Martin Treurnich as the alias DMMT.

Check Out: DMMT – Africa Bombastic

Phyx – Kiss the Blade (Timecode Records, 2006)

Ian Summs (Phyx) had an extensive psytrance career including projects like Brethren and Twisted System. Fans of Timecode music won’t be disappointed in this debut album release.

Check out: Phyx – Conundrum

Brethren (Phyx vs Tickets) – The Legend of Cane (Nexus Media, 2006)

Released in the same year, Phyx teamed up with his brother Tickets to release the The Legend of Cane LP under the alias Brethren on Nexus Media.

Check out: Brethren – Russian Roulette

Hydraglyph – Kinetic (Sanskara Records, 2006)

This album still gets plays. Especially the track Electric Feed which features Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. This is a brilliant full-on album that’s a personal favourite.

Check out: Hydraglyph – Electric Feed

Multistate (Lost & Found Vs Xatrik) – Collaborating With Machines (Timecode Records, 2006)

Gerhard Olivier and Greg Hamber teamed up together for one full-length release under album under the Multistate alias.

Collaborating With Machines LP features 10 tracks from the duo that showcase each of their unique styles.

Check out: Multistate – Nefarious

Twisted System – The Core (Timecode Records, 2006)

A massive collaboration between three psytrance artists – Chris Hoy (sHiFt), Craig Hudson (Rabdom L) and Ian Summs (Phyx). Both the trio’s albums “The Dealers” and “Core” are highly regarded.

Check Out: Twisted System – The Beautiful People

Pitch Hikers – Twilight Zone (Nexus Media, 2006)

When Nexus Media co-owners (sHift, Slug) work together on music – you mean they know business. Twilight Zone was the first LP followed by String two years later.

Check out: Pitch Hikers – Peaches

The Commercial Hippies – If You Cant Stand the Heat (Nano Records, 2006)

If You Can’t Stand The Heat… is the debut LP by South African psytrance progressive duo The Commercial Hippies after making a few appearances on compilations. The album didn’t disappoint and has a number of dance floor bangers.

Check out: The Commercial Hippies – 3 Star Hotel

VA – What is Psychedelic? (Vision Records, 2007)

A short-lived South African label that had a 10-track debut VA with artists like Artifakt, Noiseanomalie, Hiyarant, Lost & Found, Parana and more.

Check out: Lost & Found – Acid Pants

Frozen Ghost – Edible Techniques (Yabai Records, 2007)

This second album from Frozen Ghost is a pure dose of South African psytrance music. It’s got some crazy sounds that will capture your attention.

Check out: Frozen Ghost – Ned’s Mental

Zion Linguist – Subliminal Message (MMD Records, 2007)

While Zion Linguist ended up focusing on an academic career, his debut album Subliminal Message on the label he co-founded proved why he became a popular name on the festival circuit.

Check out: Zion Linguist – Primal

VA – The Turning (Timecode Records, 2007)

‘The Turning’ is the follow up to the recent ‘New Blood’ compilation – a musical escape into the shadowy unknown moving from aggressive dark textures and stormy moods towards eerie groove and epic melod

Check out: Artifakt – Nosferatu

Broken Toy – The Low Down Dirty Sound of Broken Toy (Alchemy Records, 2007)

While Broken Toy might release a track here and there nowadays, The Low Down Dirty Sound of Broken Toy was the last full-length from the South African producer. It’s a great 10-track collection of some early BT work.

Check out: Broken Toy – Down on the Farm

VA – Dark Side of the Mind (Vision Records, 2007)

10 tracks from various international artists including Rubix Qube, Kode Six, Zion Linguist, Frozen Ghost and Hiyarant representing South Africa. If you’re a fan of Nexus Media or Timecode Records, this should be in your catalogue.

Check out: Rubix Qube – Exhale

Headroom – Artelligent (Nano Records, 2008)

At the time Headroom wasn’t as big as he is today. It’s his Artelligent LP that really showcased his raw production skill for making well-crafted dance-floor friendly tracks.

Check out: Headroom – Will Never End

Slug – Hardwired (Nexus Records, 2008)

It’s hard to sound psychedelic when you’re named after a slimy snail – but Slug’s final album Hardwired proved just how hard the Nexus Records co-founder could slam it.

Check out: Slug – Zombie

Dirty Motion (Frozen Ghost vs Hiyarant) – Dirt Emotion (Yabai Records, 2008)

Dirty Motion was a collaboration between Frozen Ghost and Hiyarant, with their debut album being released on Japanese label Yabai Records. It’s an absolute full throttle pounder of 9 tracks.

Check out: Dirty Motion – Dog of War

Deliriant – Chemistry (Nexus Media, 2009)

Deliriant has built up a solid discography of releases over the last decade. It all started with his debut LP Chemistry on Nexus Media. Plus, a serious remix of a sHiFt track is throwing in for good measure.

Check out: sHiFt – The Rift (Deliriant remix)

VA – Stereo Neferia (MMA Records, 2009)

This 9-track VA put together by MMD Records co-founder Zion Linguist features some of the best South African artists of the time. Names like Rubix Qube, Super Evil, Lost & Found, Deliriant and Hiyarant are just a few.

Check out: Super Evil – We Want Your Soul

Damage – Bad Creationz (MMD Records, 2009)

While the debut album from Damage had mixed reviews, it was his second LP entitled Bad Creationz that made the South African producer a popular name that eventually led to him playing regularly abroad.

Check out: Damage – Crowd Fucking Rocker

Share post