Psychedelic trance, psytrance or just psy (derived from the Ancient Greek word ψυχή "psyche", mind; soul; breath; spirit)is a genre of electronic dance music characterized by arrangements of synthetic rhythms and layered melodies created by high tempo riffs. By 1998 psytrance had become a mainstream form of music.
Psytrance lies at the hardcore, underground end of the diverse trance spectrum. The genre offers variety in terms of mood, tempo, and style. Some examples include full on, darkpsy, Hi-Tech, progressive, suomi, psy-chill, psycore, psybient, psybreaks, or "adapted" tracks from other music genres. Goa trance preceded psytrance, when digital media became more commonly used psytrance evolved. Goa continues to develop alongside the other genres.
The first hippies who arrived in Goa, India in the mid-1960s were drawn there for many reasons, including the beaches, the low cost of living, the friendly locals, the Indian religious and spiritual practices and the readily available Indian cannabis, which until the mid-1970s was legal. During the 1970s the first Goa DJs were generally playing psychedelic rock bands such as the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd and The Doors. In 1979 the beginnings of electronic dance music could occasionally be heard in Goa in the form of tracks by artists such as Kraftwerk but it was not until 1983 that DJs Laurent and Fred Disko, closely followed by Goa Gil, began switching the Goa style over to electro-industrial/EBM which was now flooding out of Europe from Frontline Assembly, Front 242, Nitzer Ebb as well as Eurobeat.
The tracks were remixed, removing the lyrics, looping the melodies and beats and generally manipulating the sounds in all manner of ways before the tracks were finally presented to the dancers as custom Goa-style mixes.