So what is Psy Trance? A place for hippies to run around in a field naked and party? That seems to be the common response from people who don’t understand it. This may have been the case twenty years ago, but it’s time to get things up to date. As with any music genre, you get the good, bad and the ugly, and the most marketed products don’t always represent the best of the genre. Do the Black Eyed Peas represent the best of the hip hop world? I don’t think so. So people will hear what they think is Psy Trance and get turned off: clonky kicks, punching bass lines with guitars and rock vocals. The truth is it’s not all like that!
The Psy Trance tag is misleading. Under the Psy Trance umbrella you’ll find a wonderful world of various styles of music: breaks, house, techno and progressive, as well as the most common sound it’s notorious for: 145 BPM pounding madness, or “Full-On” as it’s known in the scene. The psy scene has endless labels of its own for the music: from “psy-chill” and “morning psy” through to “psy breaks” and “psycore”. So why do outsiders put all these styles inside one trance genre tag? Good question. The psy world prides itself on supporting specialist underground music. The vast majority have no care for commercial success, and their music represents this. So here we fall foul to a problem we’ve spoken about many times before: the flawed genre system being used in shops today. The psychedelic take on “trance”, “progressive” and so on won’t fit in today’s genre tags. Due to the mass corporate companies neglecting anything to do with the psychedelic/underground world, they lump this huge world of different sounds under the token label of “Psy Trance”. Not ideal.
So “Psy Trance” may be a misleading title for many. Maybe a more suitable word would be “underground”, because that’s what it truly represents. The passion from all the people involved in this world is truly outstanding as they work hard to protect what they have built. It’s a massive world out there with a plethora of sounds and some of the best music being made today. The likes of John Digweed, Nick Warren and Sasha have often played music from this world, but that gets totally overlooked by nay-sayers. Global Gathering festival in the UK proudly say they are one the biggest festivals in Europe, pulling in over 40,000 people over a two day period, but I can name you multiple psy festivals across Europe that pull double that figure with just one stage of music. No need for multiple arenas and rosters of A list superstars, just underground passion. This is a truly enormous scene to simplify to one stereotype of the 145 BPM “Full On” sound.
The media often describe me as the bridge between Psy Trance and the more mainstream trance scene. Week after week I get people thanking me because they discovered a new underground world of music. The reoccurring “Psy Trance” myth comes up again and again, with people initially being put off by the mass marketed take on psy. It’s a huge world inside the psy umbrella and it’ll take you months to discover it all. But it’s a rewarding journey if you are looking for something a little different, a little more serious. Ignore the myths and find out for yourself. Go exploring and support this wonderful world.