These days, music has far too many genres and subgenres of genres and subgenres of subgenres to the point of absurdity, but back in the late ’80s things were more simple. Upon producing a slightly more experimental version of electronic synth music from their make-shift beach hut studios in Goa, modern hippies decided to name their new music “Psychedelic Trance”.

But what does that mean? What is psychedelic?

The Internet’s worst source of verifiable information, Google, defines psychedelic as “relating to or denoting drugs that produce hallucinations” or “having intense vivid colours”, which sounds like the definition a five-year-old would give… so we might have to look back a bit further.

The Oxford dictionary defines the origin of psychedelic as coming from the English word “psyche” – of soul, mind, or spirit – and the Greek word “delos”, meaning “to manifest”. Now we’re getting somewhere! So to define something as psychedelic is to say it is related to a manifestation of the soul, mind, or spirit. It is more likely from this definition that the early producers were inclined to name their music and draw inspiration for its creation.

If you haven’t done so already, stop reading this and put on some of the phattest, crunchiest, psychedelic music that you have, turn it all the way up to 11, and then tell me that doesn’t manifest something in your soul? Yeah, it does.

In this way we see that psychedelic music is not a passive listening experience, it’s not something that you simply listen, watch or “attend to”. When you listen to psychedelic music you become the music, it builds and forms from within you. You’re not just a flip-flopping bag of skin and bones on the dancefloor, you’re part of the entire experience – you’re connected through this manifestation of spirit to the music, the DJ, and to everyone around you.

Psychedelic music should never just be something playing in the background, it’s never just a filler, it’s a journey that can take you to fantastic places if you let it. And it’s not a genre, it’s above that – even rock music can be psychedelic! There are loads of subgenres in psytrance that have evolved over the years, from prog to darkpsy to hitek, but psychedelic music is psychedelic – no matter the BPM. If it speaks to your soul, if it opens your mind, and most importantly – if it makes you believe in yourself and be who you want to be and love who you want to love despite what society or anyone says – then THAT is psychedelic.

If psychedelic is of the mind, soul, and spirit then it is a personal experience, one which is unique to each listener. There are no genres in psychedelic, no rules, no judgments. We are all psychedelic beings and the music you choose to be your psychedelic guide is entirely up to you. At Organik we provide music for every taste, allowing you to create your own journey and manifest your own psychedelic experience.


Article written by seasoned traveler Mark Hartly. View his portfolio here: