There is a vast array of sub-genres in the Psytrance world and probably you are struggling to wrap your head around. From Goa to Darkpsy, Full-On to Forest, each seems to have its unique vibe and style.

Let’s decipher the nuances of these sub-genres. What distinguishes one from another. Let’s go with some more modern examples.

90s Goa Trance:

New School Goa Trance:

Conventional mid-2000s era Morning Full-On: This style really shaped the sounds we hear today.

The modern classic “Twilight” sound from the 2000s: To those of us who were around pre-2013ish the word ‘Twilight’ very specifically means that sound above which has a specific profile. But the word has kinda been re-purposed in the new world to often describe music like…

Full-On Night: This style is slightly faster at ~148 to 150BPM and has less pronounced breakdowns

Or the newer shade of this music style which can be heard at night but you can just as often hear it in the mornings at many parties due to the prevalence of darker music played in the night. Here some examples:

Then is the world of darker Psytrance… Atriohm’s Ukalen in 2009 is a seminal record in Psytrance history. Basically the start of the dark+forest sound.

This sound has become huge in the past decade with names like Arjuna and Farebi Jalebi eventually headlining parties.

Not all Forest is quite so dark. You have the more varied, often organic sounds mostly from Scandinavia like Traskel or the more outright twisted Derango or the more morning-ish sounds like Hutti Heita.

Parallel to this big forest movement was the more synthetic sound of pure dark psy. One of the favorites in this style in the modern era is Antonymous.

Progressive Psytrance has been a huge theme of the past 15 years. It started with a golden era of music often from Iboga and Iono Records from 2007 to 2013 approximately.

Music like this was the logical meeting point of progressive trance and morning psytrance, but there were also different takes like “Perfect Stranger” this more minimal style.

For many years this was a welcome edition to a scene that had got tired of the morning full-on sound dominating daytime dancefloors.

More recently the genre has badly struggled for creativity. It has sped up which has meant it’s now further from being properly progressive and has lost much of what’s made it great. A lot of modern “Prog Psy” like the example below just slowed down Full-on Psytrance which feels utterly pointless most of the time.

In this modern era there’s two dominant themes:

  • A huge focus on sound quality – modern psy on a big rig outdoors is often just as much about the experience you get from crazy sharp audio as much as it is about musicality. There are some upsides to this but it’s largely a pity. Particularly in all the different shades of Full-on Psytrance, there’s a lot of music written that sounds huge but is quite generic. Actual musicians like Oxyflux stand out pretty easily.

  • Convergence of genres: Two of the most exciting sounds are:

The darker half of Sangoma Records, It’s not Darkpsy, it’s not Forest, it’s not Full-on, but the tracks sit somewhere in the middle of this triangle and borrow from each corner:

The new sound from Transubtil who are taking the super sharp production aesthetic from the modern Full-on Night movement but speeding it up to 152-160BPM and pairing it with different atmospheres. Another one who’s not quite so fast but in really interesting territory is Delirium Tremens.

Hi-tech has lot of glitchy computer sounds together with Psycore is one of the fastests sub-generes of Psytrance. Psycore is similar to Hi-Tech but it’s a bit darker. BPM can go over 200.

Did you miss any Psytrance subgenre? Would you like to contribute with any data? Write me on Instagram at: @erofexmusic