Psytrance is a unique genre of music that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It combines elements of traditional trance music with psychedelic sounds and influences.
The genre has become increasingly popular within the global electronic music scene, and some of the most influential psytrance artists have become recognized as pioneers of the genre.
In this article, we will take a look at some of these influential psytrance artists, their unique styles, and their contributions to the genre.
Olli Wisdom, otherwise known as Space Tribe, was a British music producer, DJ, and artist. He is one of the pioneers of psychedelic trance music and is known for being one of the first artists to fuse traditional psychedelic elements with modern electronic music.
His releases often feature intricate sound design, tribal elements, and a strong focus on spiritual and cosmic themes. He has released a number of albums, including “Omni Tribe” and “Mind Expansions”, as well as performing at various festivals and events around the world.
Space Tribe is also responsible for a number of side projects, including the “Space Tribe Sound System” and “Space Tribe Clothing”.
Sadly, Olli Wisdom passed away in 2022.
Listen To: Space Tribe – “So Deep”
Infected Mushroom is an Israeli psytrance duo composed of producers Erez Eisen and Amit Duvdevani. They have been pioneering the psytrance genre since the late 1990s and are considered one of the most influential artists in the genre.
Their sound is characterized by an eclectic mix of samples, distorted guitars, and Middle Eastern melodies. They have released numerous albums, singles, and remixes, and have toured extensively in support of their music.
Infected Mushroom’s music has been featured in video games, films, and television shows, and their live shows are filled with high-energy visuals and explosive sound.
They are widely credited with bringing the psytrance sound to a wider audience, and for helping to make psytrance one of the world’s most popular electronic music genres.
Listen To: Infected Mushroom – “Heavyweight”
Raja Ram (Shpongle, The Infinity Project, 1200 Micrograms)
Raja Ram (born Terry Oldfield; 12 December 1941) is an English flautist, composer, and DJ. He is best known as one of the original members of the psychedelic trance collective Shpongle, in addition to founding The Infinity Project and 1200 Micrograms.
He has been an active contributor to the psychedelic trance genre since its inception in the early 1990s. Raja Ram has released numerous solo albums, in addition to collaborations with the likes of Simon Posford, GMS, and Raja’s own son, Ananda.
His style is characterized by its use of ethnic instruments and its incorporation of world music influences. He is also known for his live performances, which often employ visuals, special effects, and elaborate costumes.
Listen To: Raja Ram and Tristan – “The Beautiful Garden”
Listen To: The Infinity Project – “Brain Bokka”
Listen To: Shpongle – “Divine Moments of Truth”
Listen To: 1200 Micrograms – “Shiva’s India”
Simon Posford (Hallucinogen, Shpongle, Younger Brother)
Simon Posford (aka Hallucinogen, Shpongle, and Younger Brother) is an English music producer, composer, and DJ who specializes in psychedelic trance music.
He is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of the psychedelic trance genre and has released numerous albums under various aliases.
His most well-known works are his trio of Shpongle albums, which combine tribal percussion, Middle Eastern and Indian influences, and psychedelic soundscapes.
He has also collaborated with a variety of other musicians, including Simon Shackleton, Raja Ram, and Benji Vaughan. Posford is also the founder of Twisted Records, a label he founded in order to promote psychedelic music.
Listen To: Hallucinogen – “LSD”
Listen To: Shpongle – “Dorset Perception”
Listen To: Younger Brother – “Psychic Gibbon”
Etnica / Pleiadians
Etnica is a project originally formed by three Italian producers in 1993. Maurizio Begotti and Max Lanfranconi still perform live and DJ sets around the world. They have also built up a massive discography, releasing as Etnica, Pleiadians and Tecnica.
Listen To: Etnica – “Trip Tonite”
Listen To: Pleiadians – “The Pleiades”
Astrix is an Israeli psytrance artist and DJ, real name Avi Shmailov. He is considered one of the most successful and influential psytrance artists of all time.
His career started in the late 1990s when he released several tracks on the label Hom-Mega Productions. Astrix has since released five albums and over thirty singles, and has become known for his unique and uplifting style, combining elements of Goa trance and psytrance music with a unique take on melodic composition.
He has performed at some of the world’s biggest and most renowned festivals, including Boom Festival in Portugal, Ozora in Hungary, and Universo Paralello in Brazil. Astrix is also known for his collaborations with other artists, both in the psytrance scene and beyond.
Listen To: Astrix – Deep Jungle Walk
Listen To: Astrix – Poison
Goa Gil is an American DJ, musician, and spiritual leader who has been credited with spreading the psychedelic trance movement across the world.
He is known for his long-running, legendary, full-moon Goa trance parties and has been performing since the late 1980s. He is one of the original founders of the Goa trance movement, and his signature style of mixing Eastern and Western music together has been an inspiration to many DJs, producers and party-goers.
His parties have taken place in countries such as India, Japan, Canada, and the United States, and he has toured the world to spread his music and message. He has also released several albums, and has been featured in documentaries and films.
He is known to play very long sets, most infamously performing for several days in Switzerland, in honor of LSD-inventor Albert Hofmann’s 100-years birthday.
X-Dream’s album entitled Radio is regarded as a pinnacle point in the history of psytrance. The pioneering duo from Germany created a new quick and hard, swirling style of psychedelic music meant for outrageous dancing.
Listen To: X-Dream – “Children of the Last Generation”
Astral Projection is an Israeli psytrance duo from Tel Aviv, consisting of Avi Nissim and Lior Perlmutter. Formed in 1993, they are considered to be one of the pioneers of the psytrance genre, and have released six studio albums.
Astral Projection have a distinct sound which is a mixture of trance, techno and progressive house. They are known for their use of samples, often including vocals and ethnic instruments, as well as their live performances which feature visuals and elaborate lighting.
Astral Projection have performed at many major events around the world, including Glastonbury and Burning Man. They are considered to be one of the most influential acts in the psytrance scene, and their music has been featured in numerous film, television and video game soundtracks.
Listen To: Astral Projection – “People Can Fly”
Juno Reactor is a musical project founded in 1990 by Ben Watkins. The project has explored a wide range of styles, from electro-industrial to ambient and progressive trance. Juno Reactor has released 9 albums since their debut in 1994, and have collaborated with a number of other artists, including Gaudi and Bill Laswell. Watkins is often credited for popularizing the use of goa trance in film scores, and Juno Reactor’s music has appeared in films such as The Matrix Reloaded. Juno Reactor has performed at major music festivals such as Burning Man, and their live performances often feature elaborate visual effects.
Listen To: Juno Reactor – “Samurai”
Green Nuns of the Revolution
Green Nuns of the Revolution (GNOTR or Green Runs) was an act started in 1994 made up of three artists – Dick Trevor (Dickster), Matt Coldrick and Neil Cowley. Their track Rock Bitch managed to receive airtime on MTV. Although the Green Nuns no longer release new material, Dick Trevor still plays retro sets.
Listen To: The Green Nuns of the Revolution – “Rock Bitch”
Transwave is a legendary psytrance duo consisting of Christof Drouillet and Frederic Holyszewski, hailing from France. They emerged onto the scene in the early 1990s, during the golden age of Goa trance, and quickly made a name for themselves with their unique sound and innovative approach to production.
Over the years, Transwave has released a string of groundbreaking albums and singles, including their seminal debut “Hypnorhythm” (1995), which is widely regarded as one of the most important psytrance albums of all time. They have also collaborated with other major figures in the scene, such as Simon Posford (of Shpongle fame) and Electric Universe, and have played at some of the biggest festivals around the world, from Boom Festival to Ozora.
Although the Goa trance duo went on hiatus, they have since reformed and performing at festivals.
Listen To: Transwave – “Land of Freedom”
Growling Mad Scientists (GMS)
Growling Mad Scientists (GMS) is a psytrance duo from Israel that has been active since the mid-90s. They are known for their distinct sound, combining elements of Goa trance, psychedelic trance, and progressive trance.
They use a variety of sounds and samples to create an intense, driving sound that has become a staple of psytrance.
GMS has released a number of albums and singles, and have also produced remixes for other artists. They have performed at many festivals around the world, including Glastonbury in the UK, Boom Festival in Portugal, and Universo Paralello in Brazil.
The project is now continued by Riktam exclusively since the death of Bansi in June 2018 from blood cancer.
Listen To: GMS – “Rounders”