Best Goa Trance albums:
Well to be honest, there isn’t any point in listing notable tracks, the whole album is a work of art. If you don’t like this, don’t bother going any further. The wonderful acid notes, the beautiful buildups and ecstatic melodies will give you a real high.
Afterglow is great ambient goa and Key to the Innerverse is the best Symphonic Goa Trance track you’ll find. It really screams at the end. And the rest is very fast, trippy music, no track will disappoint, its guaranteed to give you that epic feeling. Cosmosis can venture into hard acid territory at times. For example, from 2:00 to 3:50 of Gift of the Gods the acid line is reminiscent of Josh Wink – Higher State of Consciousness.
Dark Goa Trance release.
Often a release has this one really mindblowing track which stands out from the rest. So while the release doesn’t deserve a place, the track does. This is a list of tracks that stood out in otherwise average releases not covered above.
- A.B. Didgeridoo Oblivion – Vortex
- Alienapia – Dharmakaya
- Analog Pussy – Go Wacko – Excellent track. From the Psycho Bitch From Hell album which I liked initially but didn’t hold up on repeat listens.
- Andromeda – Crystal Kingdoms (Psycode Remix)
- Astral Projection – Mahadeva – This tracks needs no introduction, its on every top trance tracks list you’ll find. Etymological note: Maha means Great or Mighty and Deva means God in Sanskrit. This is one example of the India influence in Goa Trance.
- Astral Projection – Liquid Sun
- Astral Projection – Solid Electronics
- Astral Projection – Power Gen (Space Cat Remix) – This is one of my faves, and exemplifies how a light, euphoric Goa track should start.
- Ayahuasca – Ayahuascan Chant – Now, this track may be personal preference but I love this! The notes hit just the right chord with me and will take you away, as if through a cosmic journey.
- Battle of the Future Buddhas – Tigerhill
- Battle of the Future Buddhas – Lord of Dance
- Battle of the Future Buddhas – Marsmellow (Meditation Mix) – All from the Twin Sharkfins album, which is good dark forest goa.
- Boris Blenn – Rain (California Sunshine Remix) – A great track, melodic and uplifting…you really feel like its raining, and nature is all around you.
- Blue Planet Corporation – Overbloody Flood (8 minute version)
- Blue Planet Corporation – Juno Satellite
- Bypass Unit – Phaser Galaxy
- Canda – Luxman – A harmonious blend of Indian mysticism and Goa melodies
- Chakra & Edi Mis – Liquid Troll
- Charm – Brain Structure
- Chi-a.d. – Eye Am the I – The best Chi-a.d. track ever!
- Chi-a.d. – Biocandy
- Chi-a.d. – Pathfinder
- Chi-a.d. – The Flame of Eternal Life
- CMBR – Entangled Consciousness
- Cosmic Silence – Psy Spirit
- Cyberion – Strange Signals
- Cydonia – Animals
- Darshan – Warped Dimension
- Deedrah – Essential
- Doc Von Ooze feat. Boney Arse – Jerking Knobs (Microsurgery Mix)
- Edi Mis – The Big Glory – Nothing too complicated, a simple track with aesthetically placed notes.
- Endora – Joy
- E-rection – Out Here We Are Stoned (X-Dream Remix)
- Etnica – Tribute
- Four Carry Nuts – Nuts Without Sugar
- Genetic – Transmission
- Genetic – Floor
- Goasia – Reach New Land
- Goasia – Yin and Yang
- Hallucinogen – Angelic Particles
- Har-El Prussky – Sleepwalker
- Hux Flux – Perceptor
- Hux Flux – Time Slices
- Hypno – SR111 Flight
- Imperial Project – Parallel World
- Imperial Project – Acts of Violence – Both from the Remote Viewing album, which is pretty good
- Juno Reactor – High Energy Protons
- Juno Reactor – Acid Moon
- Juno Reactor – Conga Fury
- Juno Reactor – Pistolero (MWNN remix)
- Kopfuss Resonator and DJ Jörg – Whipbird – Crazy, high frequency acid.
- Krumelur – A Glass of Milk
- Lord Shiva – Om Ganesh
- Mama Indica – Radioactive Rain – Hard acid Goa! Yeah!!
- Mama Indica – Talking Souls
- Manmademan – Drama
- Man With No Name – Teleport – This track is one of the most famous Goa Trance tracks ever produced. Man With No Name at his best!
- Mary Jane – Kairo
- Mary Jane – Inuendo
- Moodsyne – Frogs Breath
- Mushroomman – Dreamer
- Mushroomman – Crystadelic
- Mindsphere – Perception
- MWNN presents Yogi Bear and Grey One – Big Trouble in Outer Space
- N.D.M.A. – Vitan – On the surface there is nothing special about this track, but at the end of it, you feel so good.
- Neuwerk – Outland
- Noma – Another Time – An entrancing 10 minute long ambient tracks that gives you a real release.
- The Nommos – Amma – The Nommos is a project by Goa Gil and his wife Ariane which fuses tribal drumming and Goa. Amma really evokes a kind of New-Age tribal atmosphere and will send chills up your spine.
- Planet B.E.N. – Screwdriver
- Planet B.E.N. – Trippy Future Garden – If you like Planet B.E.N. slow, trippy builds and journey tracks then I recommend you try out the rest of the Trippy Future Garden album.
- Non Fiction – Prolog – The Next Generation
- Oforia – Timelessness
- Pan – Adios Amoeba
- Pharagoonescia – Pharatropic
- Paradise Connection – Synthadelic Glide
- Perfect Rainbow – Dream on Dreamer
- Perfect Rainbow – Exotic Eye
- Prana – Voyager III (Voodoo Remix)
- Prana – Message for Eastedge
- Prana – Boundless
- Prana & Athena – Future Space Travellers
- Psychopod – Universal Mind
- Quirk – Robatised
- Ra – Gates of Tiptareth – Ra is an ex-Dimension 5 member and this track is a lilting, carry-you-away ambient trancer. This was released on VA – Twist Dreams from Suntrip.
- Radiotrance – Plasma
- Sandman – Tripulogic – I was pleasantly surprised to hear the innovative bassline for a track made in ’96.
- Section X – Galaxian
- SETI Project – Pain of Anxiety
- Shakatura – All Hallows Morning
- Shakta & Moonweed – Micronesia
- Shakta & Ping Pong – Between the Nothing
- Shakta – The Future is Now
- Sheyba – Into the 4th Dimension
- Slinky Wizard – Supernatural
- Solar Plexus – Solarplanet
- Solar Plexus – The Landing (Epilogue) – These tracks are from their Images of the Fifth Dimension album, which is good, but not good enough to make it to the album list.
- Soluna – Dancing Spirit
- Sound Pollution – Where – After you hear this, you’ll feel that as far as trance goes, this track is “just right”
- Space Elves – Anjuna Beach
- Stanley Shanti & the Chillum Wallahs – Placid
- Subcouds – On Red
- Sundog – Shatterbox
- Sundog – Touch the Sun
- Talamasca – Believe
- Technossomy – Elektron Bender
- Technossomy – High Density
- Technossomy – Pyramid
- Technossomy – V.T.O.L.
- The Overlords – Sundown (Ionizer Mix) – Great track, it was released when Goa was in its formative years.
- The Light – Dusk – Make sure you get the 8:46 long version, not the shorter 3:46 version on NE. The first half of the track is ok, but the second half is really good.
- The Muses Rapt – Spiritual Healing
- Total Eclipse – Total Eclipse – Found on VA – Project II Trance way back in ’93.
- Total Eclipse- Sound Is Solid (both Original and Simon Posford’s Remix)
- Total Eclipse – Transparent Mind
- Total Eclipse – Can’t Do That
- Total Eclipse – Far Beyond Speech
- Transwave – Land of Freedom
- Transwave – Rezwalker (Black Thunder Mix) – Takes a bit to get started but its good after that.
- Trilithon – Trance Dance – An absolute gem from way back in ’91, pure acid bliss. Exemplifies the transition between new beat and goa.
- Tufáan – Probe (Green Nuns of the Revolution Mix)
- Unconscious Collective – Fluorostani Trancendance – This track is rather funky, so if you like GNOR, you should like this one
- Underhead – Orojuna
- Witchcraft – Magic Frequencies – This track sends shivers up my spine. Witchcraft is Chakra and Sandman.
- Zen Paradox – The Light At the End – A floating ambient track, check out the rest of the EP, of the same name, it appears on if you like the track.
- Zirrex – Enter the Psychedelic
That’s the list of the best artists, albums, and tracks of my favourite genre Goa Trance! Its a great introduction to the genre. There don’t seem to be any Goa Trance specific lists on the web despite the “Goa sound” being distinct from mainstream trance, hence this list. All feedback is welcome. If you’re new to Goa trance, it may be easier for you to go through this short list first which has a complimentary torrent.
If you feel I’ve missed out any noteworthy tracks, or have any other feedback in mind, don’t hesitate to drop a reply.
Some QnAs on Goa Trance and this guide.
Q. Argh! I’m not going to listen to all this. Give me the top 3 albums! Why can’t you order them so I know what I should listen to first?!
A. Here is a short list of the best Goa tracks.
It’s too difficult to arrange all this stuff in order. I ask you, which is best, Twisted, Trust in Trance or Alien Protein? Or maybe Let’s Turn On, or Cosmology? Because I haven’t the faintest idea. Well, okay, 3 albums you must get before anything else:
- Hallucinogen – Twisted
- Astral Projection – Trust in Trance
- Etnica – Alien Protein
For a general flavour of Goa you can try getting Dragonfly presents: A Voyage into Trance mixed by Paul Oakenfold
Q. What’s the history behind Goa Trance?
A. Goa Trance is a subgenre of trance that originated in Goa, India stemming from the hippie influence. It had its roots in psyrock and the mid-80s electronic music in Europe. Goa Trance was also called “Trance Dance”, hence the names of the Astral Projection and Cosmosis tracks. It slowly morphed into Psychedelic Trance around the turn of the millenium, and today there isn’t much Goa Trance produced.
Here is a map of all the sub genres of psy and goa trance by Anoebis of Psynews. It was originally posted here. You can’t see the whole thing properly so save it to your computer and then open it and zoom into the top left corner which shows Goa and its sub-genres.
Goa is a small (by Indian standards) state halfway down India’s western coastline and was a Portuguese colony for hundreds of years. It still retains signs of Portuguese influence, evident in the beautiful churches you’ll find there, which makes it distinct from the rest of India. Perhaps this made the Goans more tolerant of hippies. The story is that till the mid-70s hashish was legal and this, coupled with the beautiful beaches and the freedom, attracted the hippies. Anyway, till the early 90s, no one really cared about the drugs. Then it seems the police started cracking down and the scene shifted to other countries while Goa became a magnet for the usual tourist crowd.
The entire scene was managed by foreigners, mostly Europeans and Israelis. The only thing Indian about the scene was the location. You’ll find that all the major Goa artists are from Israel, France, England and Italy. This will be clearer when you look at the list of major Goa labels down a page. It is said that a major reason for the spreading of Goa in Israel were R’n’R visits paid to India by Israeli soldiers after their compulsory military service. For playback, in the late 80s, casette disks were predominately used, replaced by DAT tapes in the 90s. (Vinyl warped in Goa’s heat). The party scene grew through the late 80s into the early 90s as DJs explored the sound, pushing sonic boundaries to give ravers the trippiest experience possible, and out of this desire to explore that experience, through music and parties that built up through the night, came the Goa sound.
The “Goa sound” is acid-filled, with the bass comprising of a thumping kick, very melodic and ecstatic without sounding cheesy (!). Goa trance tracks are melodious, but the harmonics are very important too. They start off slowly with a plain melody. Then the kick is added, then synths and the melody becomes faster and faster with the acid notes becoming quicker and closely spaced. The track then rises to a climax, and the dénouement is rather short compared to the track’s length. Goa tracks are generally 8 minutes long and can stretch to 11 minutes in length. They frequently have vocal samples, often from movies, generally referring to aliens, space travel and other “New Agey” themes. For example, Identified Flying Object had theories on space travel on the inside cover.
Goa Gil drew a link between Goa Trance and ancient tribal ceremonies. Goa trance wasn’t just music to get you high, it was supposed to be a mind-altering experience.
For the mind altering experience some people at these parties were on drugs and their drug of choice was LSD, simply referred to as acid. To know the hows and whys simply listen to the vocal sample in Hallucinogen – LSD or read them here. A sample from the track is
“You’re introduced to LSD, an’ it’s not like taking some other drug for instance like marijuana or something, hm, well, you know, it’s altogether a new thing, and you actually can have a religious experience, and, hm, and it can be even more important than reading the bible six times or becoming a pope or something like that, you know… ”
Goa Trance parties generally started in the late evening and went on all night, ending the next morning, although parties in Goa could go on for days. This gave rise to a phenomenon singular to Goa and also Psychedelic Trance, a track is given a sub-genre by the time of the day it is most suitable for. For example, some tracks will be called “morning”. Another point to keep in mind is that one producer can or will have several seemingly separate projects, which is why its a good idea to use Discogs so you know which albums and projects to connect. For example, Ofer Dikovsky has worked under the monikers of Phreaky, Omputer, Tandu, Indoor, Sound Pollution, Oforia and Pigs in Space!.
Major Goa labels include:
- UK – Dragonfly, Flying Rhino, Blue Room Released, TIP Records, Phantasm, Celtic, Transient, Return to the Source
- Japan – Matsuri Productions ,Tokyo Tekno Tribe
- Australia – Psy-Harmonics
- Germany – Nephilim, Spirit Zone, High Society, Nova TekkIsrael – Brand New Entertainment (BNE), Trust in Trance, Phonokol
- The record label that has lead newskool Goa is Suntrip Records (France/Belgium). Avatar Records and DAT Records have re-released many old goa classics, besides Avatar’s “Retrodelic Vibes” series of goa compilations.
NOTE: Acid, as in referring to LSD the drug, and acid as in referring to music are two different things. For LSD click on the link. Acid in music refers to the high frequency, high pitched tweerps, bells, whistles, squeeks, squeals, whooshes etc.
Here’s great album cover from the Flying Rhino release, VA – First Flight
Q. What happened to Goa?
A. Well, essentially all Goa has been produced in 6 all too short years, 1993-1998 after which the sound became psychedelic. Psychedelic trance is much less melodic, has sharper distinct sounds instead of melodies which flow into each other and is darker. Goa Trance is more organic while psytrance is more mechanical.
A good illustration of the music around the time of transition of Goa into psychedelic trance is Koxbox’s Dragon Tales album and Children of Paradise – Urban Alien. Or, quoting sljiva for this,
“For a real contrast between goa and psy I would recommend checking Raja Ram’s two labels: TIP Records and TIP.World. TIP Records were releasing melodic, organic and eastern influenced trance prior to 1998 from artists such as The Infinity Project, Doof and Psychopod, while on the other hand TIP.World is some kind of psy successor of TIP Records and they release this metallic, cold and mechanical type of trance from artists such as Alien Project, 1200 Mics and Logic Bomb.”
Another case in point is Etnica. By 2000, it lost 2 members and went the psychedelic way. Essentially all genres need to develop further, artists began to explore and wanted to branch off themselves from the Goa sound. Some produced more listener friendly music, others preferred the dark, more twisted atmospheres of Psytrance.
However, thanks to the efforts of Suntrip Records among others, a new wave of Goa artists have come up in Filteria, Khetzal, Goasia to name a few. I find the newschool Goa artists lean towards the morning or uplifting sound to a greater degree than oldschool artists, this can give the feeling that their tracks have less substance.
I don’t want to give the impression that goa trance is better than psytrance. It’s just that there so much mediocre, run of the mill psy out there that finding good psytrance takes time. You just need to look really hard for it because its hiding underneath a heap of commercial releases.
Q. All Goa sounds the same, with the same acid TB303 sounds!
A. To really understand Goa or Psy Trance for that matter, I’d say you have to dance to it. Goa/Psy Trance party listings are next.
Otherwise it takes time to develop a liking for Goa. Give the tracks a couple of listens and some patience. The sounds will be the same to a new listener but with time you’ll appreciate the different melodies and the acid. Goa Trance is not “fluffy” or “cheesy” so if you’ve started off by listening to that kind of trance, it will take some time to appreciate Goa Trance.
If you’re new to Goa Trance or Acid Trance you could these tracks first:
- The Light – Dusk – Make sure you get the 8:46 version, not the 3:46 Northen Exposure one.
- Astral Projection – Mahadeva
- Blue Planet Coporation – Overbloody Flood
- Boris Blenn – Rain (California Sunshine Mix)
Q. Goa Trance and Psytrance party/festival listings?
A. Isratrance Party Listings – all world
Isratrance Festival Listings – all world
Psynews Party/Festival Listings – all world
Ektoplazm Event Listings – mostly focused on the States and Canada
Goatrance.de – focused on Germany for the large part
Psyevents – Parties in and around Austria
OzTrance & Australiens – Australia
Psytribe and Psycircle – California
Fractaltribe Listings – North America
Q. Where can I get these tracks and the artist discographies?
A. Dedicated Psy/Goa database at PsyDB
Discographies at www.discogs.com .
Tracks sold online Saikosounds or get them off Soulseek . There is also Psyshop which but people say Saikosounds is better.
Q. I wanna know more!
A. Awright, here are some links
Isratrance – Big trance forum with lots of party listings
In-depth article on Goa Trance
Site which chronicles the origin of Goa Trance till its transition into Psytrance
Another article on Goa Trance, shorter and easier read then the other links
Psynews – Meet other people who have good taste ^^ and are into goa/psy
A tryst with Goa Trance
Another article from someone who was there
The first half is a good first hand feel of the party scene in Goa
What is Goa Trance? – History and Development of the scene
An article on the evolution of Goa after 2000 by one of the founders of the Suntrip label.
Road to Goa – Part of how it started in the 60s & 70s
The Rhetoric of Psytrance: Anix Gleo, Astroff, The Fusion, and Martin Cloud – PsyTrance in Russia
There some movies made on the Goa Trance phenomenon
Karahana Ganey Huga [Download] – Movie on the famous party in Israel.
Liquid Crystal Vision – Ok movie if you ignore the hippy mumbo jumbo, has some nice visuals.
Last Hippie Standing – Has Goa Gil in a leading role
Q. I want to hear Goa tracks with Eastern/Oriental/Tribal influences, and those tracks that marked the point where the Goa sound began to form.
A. Eastern/Oriental/Tribal influenced Goa tracks
-Shakta & Moonweed – Micronesia – This one rules them all, with the strains of a beautiful sitar starting the track.
-Shakta – Silicon Trip (album) – Many tracks have an Oriental/Indian feel to them.
–Canda – Luxman
-Sundog – Touch the Sun
-Bass Invaders – Nene Naha
-Chi-a.d. – Pathfinder
-Dogma – Sutra Sarma
-Pharagonescia – Pharatropic
-Elysium – Monzoon has this eastern-tribalish atmosphere
-Juno Reactor – Beyond the Infinite
-Juno Reactor – Navras – has a lot of Indian chanting, that complements the atmosphere of the track beautifully.
-Medicine Drum – Supernature
-The Nommos – Amma – The best tribal track I have ever heard. In the climax of the track you will find this crazy, primal female vocal sample \o/
-Juno Reactor – Beyond the Infinite (album) – Similar to Shakta’s Silicon Trip in that you will find many tracks with an Eastern/Indian feel to them.
-Mysterious Wizard – Visions of India
Oldest Goa/Proto-Goa/Goa-ish tracks
-Tangerine Dream – Pheadra (1973)
-KLF – What Time Is Love (Pure Trance Version) (1989)
-Dance 2 Trance – We Came in Peace (1990)
-A.B. Kazes – Out of Space Trance (1989) (album)
-Trilithon – Trance Dance (1991) (album)
-The Overlords – Sundown (Ionizer Mix)
-Megabeat – Twin Beats
In conclusion, I’ve written this from the point of view of introducing someone unfamiliar with Goa Trance to the genre. I hope you liked it, and it helped you get to know the genre. There are many more artists out there like Bypass Unit, Dogma, Electron Wave, Kopfuss Resonator, Kumbh Mela, Kode IV, Lords of Chaos, Metal Spark, Mindsphere, Moksha, Ka-Sol, O.O.O.D, Ololiuqui, Planet B.E.N., Psychaos, Psyko Disko, Quirk, Shakatura, Sandman, Shaolin Wooden Men, Tarsis, Ypsilon 5, Xenomorph that there isn’t really any end to listing albums & artists. Use Discogs to find other projects by artists you like (look up all the projects each individual member was part of, and the projects of members of those projects and so forth and you’ll quickly find a lot of releases to listen to) Psynews.org review section to discover more, Psydb and keep exploring the sound ^_^