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11 posts tagged

Progressive Psy

Track of the week: Salva Divinorum

E-Clip is no doubt one of my favourite artist and a big inspiration to me, his production always innovative. We’ll certainly see more of him later in this blog, but now I’ll post one of his first releases that became iconic.

Love this game of build-ups and drops here, that moment at 4:51 and another one 8 bars later especially.

Artist E-Clip
Title Salva Divinorum (Original Mix)
Release Press Hold
Label Iono Music
Year 2011
BPM 138
Key Fm
Sep 23   Progressive Psy   Psytrance   Track of the week

Track of the week: Lucid Logic

You probably haven’t heard the names of Fonarev nor Second Sine before, but in Russia, they are well-known producers and DJs. Fonarev has pioneered the Russian Trance scene since the 90’s and considered one of the most influenced DJ, while Second Sine is an upcoming producer with a fantastic production that already proved his skills with releases on credible labels.

This collaboration floats in between Progressive Psy and the regular Trance worlds, and this why I like it so much.

Artist Fonarev & Second Sine
Title Lucid Logic (Original Mix)
Label JOOF Mantra
Year 2016
BPM 136
Key Gm
Aug 26   Progressive Psy   Track of the week   Trance

What is Progressive

Or why Progressive Psy tracks you know are probably not Progressive at all

A few days ago I introduced Psytrance Guide and got tons of feedback. Most people are happy with subgenre names, some few are pissed-off. That’s fine.

But what’s interesting is that quite a lot of people were saying that the audio samples I’ve put in the Psytrance subgenre are actually Progressive Psy and not Psytrance. It’s not the first time when I see this misconception, so today I’d like to talk more about this and explain why this is wrong.

What does Progressive mean

First things first, the word “progressive” is an adjective that gives some quality characteristics to the noun. In music, the words like this were introduced to describe a certain mood of the genre, for example:

Deep House
Hard Techno
Uplifting Trance
Progressive Psy

Eventually, these words became part of the genre names, but their original meaning hasn’t changed.

Talking about progressive specifically, it gives a sense of... well, you guessed it, — progression. Whereas in some other genres you just want to skip forward and finally listen to “that drop”, in Progressive music that sense of progression and immersive building-up is the goal itself. It’s very consistent, often with no climax or big emotional peaks which other genres typically have.

And the difference is not only in aesthetic. In progressive music, a sequence (whether it be a melody or, let’s say, a pad) lasts much longer, sometimes it can go pretty much the entire track duration as the opposite to non-progressive music which typically changes sequences every 16 or 32 bars.

In House and Trance

Before we get into Progressive Psy, let’s take a look at some progressive examples in other genres first.

This is a proper Progressive House:

See how smooth and straightforward these tracks are? If you just scrabble through you might think that nothing really happens in these tracks, it’s just the same loop keep going. But if you listen carefully from start to finish, you’ll notice how one layers builds-up over another, how it all sums up together in a mesmerising experience. This is what Progressive is all about.

Now let’s take a look at more trancy examples:

I intentionally put so different tracks here. As you can hear they vary in tempo and rhythmic patterns, however, each of these tracks has a clear sense of progression and slow build-up over time.

In Psytrance

As we approaching Psytrance territory, let’s take a listen to some older iconic tracks that widely considered as the roots of the Progressive Psy subgenre:

And here is some proper Progressive Psy of the present days:

As you can hear, the production quality certainly get better over the past decade, and Progressive Psy as a subgenre has evolved becoming more dancefloor-focused. But the thing is, it still has the same smooth and straightworad progression just like the older Progressive Psy of the 00’s and just like both Progressive House and Progressive Trance. And that’s the key point.

On a contrast, here is what many people tend to believe Progressive Psy is:

You probably realise by now that this is not Progressive despite it share a similar tempo range and even the same driving bassline. The last track above might be especially tricky because it’s a remix of a Progressive tune, but don’t get confused: that climax by the end clearly puts it out of the Progressive territory.

Psytrance like this usually has much more prominent leads and overall more “occupied” sound spectrum with filtered leads, textures, acid riffs, one-shots, and special effects. Also, Psytrance typically has more beat interruptions, transitions, and breakdowns; one lead can start and in 16 bars after a totally different lead might come instead.

I hope now you see the difference that simply because a track has 136 to 138 BPM it doesn’t automatically put it into Progressive area.

I call everyone to love music regardless of its genre name, but since we have to use some names for our verbal and written communication with each other to describe music, let’s use the right names then.

Aug 9   Progressive House   Progressive Psy   Progressive Trance   Psytrance Guide

Track of the week: Mutation

I’m not a big fan of Offbeat Progressive, but this track so masterfully crafted so I couldn’t resist. The production quality, the groove, and the dark theme are amazing.

Artist Egorythmia & Static Movement
Title Mutation (Original Mix)
Label Iono Music
Year 2017
BPM 140
Key D#m

Listen also to this track in the latest Rave Podcast.

2017   Progressive Psy   Track of the week

Track of the week: Afro Samurai

This track is weird. It doesn’t have a regular Psytrance bassline nor crazy-modulated leads, yet it has some hypnotic and unique feeling that attract my ears.

Artist Datacult
Title Afro Samurai (Original Mix)
Release V.A. Psychedelic Revolution
Label BMSS Records
Year 2015
BPM 138
Key F#m
2017   Progressive Psy   Track of the week

Track of the week: Monstrum

Love the mechanical feeling in this track. These hats, snares, acid bleeps, and sidechained pads in particular are so good!

Artist Brainiac
Title Monstrum (Original Mix)
Label Sourcecode Transmissions
Year 2016
BPM 140
Key A#m
2017   Progressive Psy   Psytrance   Track of the week

Track of the week: Systematic Numbers

Mindwave style has also been slightly different from the mainstream Progressive Psy. I like his deep, hypnotic, yet melodic music, and “Systematic Numbers” is one of these tracks. I also like the length of this track allowing to slowly build up the atmosphere.

Artist Mindwave
Title Systematic Numbers (Original Mix)
Label TechSafari Records
Year 2016
BPM 138
Key Em

If you like this track, check also Mystify.

2017   Progressive Psy   Track of the week

Track of the week: Zlow

This track is weird. It doesn’t sound like a typical Progressive Psy and even sound a little bit “dirty”, and strangely enough, this is probably what attracted my ears when I heard it for the first time. That YouTube video is just a 3-minutes long preview, be sure to check out the full-length version.

Artist Duotekk
Title Zlow (Original Mix)
Label TIP Records
Year 2011
BPM 136
Key Fm

Listen also this track in my mix on Sunlife FM.

2017   Progressive Psy   Track of the week

Track of the week: Synthesize

I’ve been playing this track at some parties and every time the dancefloor went nuts. Love the long progression and the dark vibe here. Miroslav’s style is unique, once you get familiar with his music you’ll always recognise it.

Things are starting to get serious at 2:30.

Artist Manmachine
Title Synthesize (Original Mix)
Release Goa Culture Vol.9
Label Yellow Sunshine Explosion
Year 2013
BPM 137
Key D#m

Listen also Manmachine guest mix on Rave Podcast.

2017   Progressive Psy   Psytrance   Track of the week

Track of the week: Black Essence (Nerso Remix)

Nerso did a great job remixing this track, I like its simplicity in an old-fashioned way: no triplets, no 2-minutes long breakdown, no pitch-rising vocals. Just a straight melodic Progressive Psy, it sounds almost like a slowed-down Full-on from 2004~2005 but much more polished in details.

The things kicks off at 2:19. Notice how the bassline velocity pattern changes at 2:48.

Artist Aquafeel
Title Black Essence
Remixer Nerso
Label: TesseracTstudio
Year 2016
BPM 136
Key F#m
2017   Progressive Psy   Track of the week
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