Tag Archives: psybient

A Late Delivery of Electronica from Last Year

There haven’t been too many great electronic albums so far this year, but that’s no problem: I’ve been going back to check out some releases from last year that I’d initially missed. Here’s a short selection – a late delivery – of electronica from 2011!


Asura – 360

Asura expertly mix in trance ambient and World Music elements into their sound. Sometimes I find pure ambient music a little too laid-back and uninteresting, but Asura has beats, occasional vocals, and such a diverse palette of sounds that I hear new things every time I listen to this album.

Genre: psybient, ambient
Similar to: Vibrasphere, Galaxy, Solar Fields


Ghost & Writer – Shipwrecks

Seabound and Edge of Dawn vocalist Frank Spinah teamed up with The Weathermen’s Jimmy-Joe Snark III to release an album last year under the name of Ghost & Writer.

Genre: futurepop
Similar to: Seabound, Edge of Dawn, Solar Fake



Detachments – Detachments

I discovered Detachments at the end of 2011, although they’ve been around for a year or two. After the renaissance of “friendly” synthpop, it was refreshing to hear a new synth band more closely aligned to post-punk and the original Mute and Factory Records sound.

Genre: synthpop, post-punk
Similar to: Joy Division, New Order, Fad Gadget


Foretaste – Love On Demand

Arriving too late in 2011 to make in onto my best of year list, Foretastes rounded off a fantastic year of synthpop with this their third – and best – album. Lead single Superstar is a definite highlight, but Love on Demand is packed with great electropop goodies.

Genre: synthpop
Similar to: Parralox, Northern Kind, Thermostatic



Severe Illusion – No More Alive Than You Deserve

I read about Severe Illusion on I Die: You Die, one of my favorite new music blogs. Swedish band Severe Illusion hark back to the electro-industrial sound coming out of North America in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Cold, brutal and cynical, there’s something I find quite intoxicating about this album; I’ve listened to it on repeat obsessively.

Genre: industrial, EBM
Similar to: Skinny Puppy, Mommy Hurt My Head


Eat Lights Become Lights – Autopia

I’m still a relative newcomer to the joys of  krautrock, but I’m learning fast and think I’ve found it at just the right time. Eat Lights Become Lights is my latest discovery and I’m loving the motorik beats and pulsing rhythms on Autopia.

Genre: krautrock
Similar to: Neu!, Can, New Order, Kraftwerk, Warm Digits

Psynews’ Best Psytrance & Psybient of the Noughties

Psychedelic trance forum Psynews recently ran a poll where they asked their 10,000+ users to vote for the best uptempo (psytrance) and best downtempo (psybient) albums on the noughties. Here are the albums that topped the poll, with Spotify links!


Top Uptempo Albums

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Top Downtempo Albums

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New Ambient Chillout on Spotify

Ambient chillout is an electronic music style that fuses downtempo, dub, psychedelic trance, and world music. It’s ideal listening for when you’re either in an altered state (ahem) or very VERY late at night. My favourite artists in this genre are Shpongle and Entheogenic (both on Spotify), but here are three other great new chilled albums on Spotify.

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New Psybient on Spotify

Today’s Spotify update featured loads of new psychedelic and progressive trance, as well as some much-needed new psybient: three new tracks from Shpongle, a few Entheogenic tracks (finally!) and the pioneering Mystery of the Yeti album. This is a classic of the genre and features Raja Ram and Simon Posford (Sphongle), The Infinity Project, Total Eclipse, Doof and Hallucinogen. Spotify only has Part 2 at the moment, but hopefully we’ll see the rest soon now that Tip World are starting to add their content.

Bluetech The Divine Invasion

Shulman Random Thoughts

Various The Mystery of the Yeti Part 2

Psytrance and Psybient on Spotify

Finally, we have trance on Spotify! I’ve been looking out for these genres to appear on Spotify for ages, so I was particularly pleased to see yesterday’s Spotify update including some of my favourite progressive and psychedelic trance (psytrance) acts, as well as a healthy dose of psybient and some progressive trance too. Here’s a summary grouped by record label:

Twisted Records
Simon Posford’s UK-based label specialise in psychedelic trance and psybient. If you’ve never heard psychedelic downtempo band Shpongle then you’re in for a treat: try their second album Tales Of The Inexpressible and your head will feel like a frisbee 😉 Twisted artists on Spotify now include Shpongle, Hallucinogen, Koxbox, Ott, and Prometheus.

  • Other Twisted artists to look out for: Younger Brother

Tribal Vision Records
Tribal Vision are a Czech label who publish legendary Swedish progressive project Vibrasphere. I highly recommend this band, they’ve been making some incredible electronic music for the past few years now. In particular, check out their Exploring the Tributaries album.

  • Other Tribal Vision artists to look out for: Tegma

Iboga Records
Denmark’s Iboga Records is mostly known for its minimal psytrance acts, but more recently a couple of Europe’s biggest progressive trance acts come via Iboga. Spotify now has albums from both Ace Ventura and Liquid Soul.

  • Other Iboga artists to look out for: Antix, FREq, Perfect Stranger, Sun Control Species, Flowjob, Beat Bizarre, Gaudium

Spin Twist Records
Based in Germany, Spotify now has a compilation album as well as the excellent debut “A Place to Be Real” from Spin Twist artist Day.Din.

  • Other Spin Twist artists to look out for: Neelix

HOMmega Productions & H2O records
Psytrance grew up in Israel, so it’s fitting Spotify now includes Israeli labels HOMmega and H2O. There’s one album from each of Astrix (2004’s “Artcore“) and Quadra (2008’s “Voice of Reason” album).

  • Other HOMmega artists to look out for: PsySex, X-Noise
  • Other H2O artists to look out for: Alien Project, Space Cat

Ultimae Records
French home to Sweden’s Solar Fields and Carbon Based Lifeforms. You might have heard Solar Fields on the Mirror’s Edge videogame: now Spotify has the complete discography of both artists, as well as albums from Aes Dana and Cell.

  • Other Ultimae artists to look out for: Chi A.D.

Astral Projection
Self-published, “Dancing Galaxy” the 3rd album from Istraeli psytrance act Astral Projection is now on Spotify.

Platipus Records
The British label that first got me into the trance genre back in the mid 90s, the regular compilation CDs fom Simon Berry’s Platipus Records became a must-by for me. It’s fitting then that Spotify now feaures their two-disc compilation “Platipus Beginner’s Guide” featuring tracks from Union Jack, Terra Ferma, and Quietman, all mixed by the legendary Art of Trance. I’m especially pleased to see this release includes the sublime Summit Temple from Quietman: my favourite ambient track of all time.

As always, keep an eye on the Spotinews blog for up-to-the-minute details on what’s new on Spotify.

I’ve started a thread on the isratrance forum about this, and created a best-of playlist called “Afront’s In a Trance” 😉