The age of psychedelic may be far behind us but the influence it has made on the industry and today’s musicians is still very clear. The counter-culture that was rife during the ‘60s that brought mind altering drugs to the masses may not be as apparent now, there is no longer a sea of VWs and dye shirts, but opening minds with the help of music is something that best creators are evidently keeping alive. Although many may have switched up their instruments to include more than just distorted guitars, the essence of psychedelic remains in certain circles. With wild melodies, solos unpredictable patterns all combined to send your brain into a frenzy, check out these contemporary psychedelic acts.
Known as a subgenre called psytrance, it is no surprise that this Israeli duo are at the top of the list. Known for their intense rhythmic and low-end music that carefully treads the line of dubstep without teetering into wacky wobbles, the boys from Infected Mushroom like to go mad on each track. With a range of sounds that include catchy distorted hooks (Kipod), orchestral strings (Scorpion Frog), Spanish guitar noodling (Becoming Insane) and even a Foo Fighters cover, these inventive and prolific musicians refuse to be put in a box.
Another electronic duo but with a vastly different sound, Shpongle are incredible at fusing the sound of joyfully warped synths with East Asian instruments to create their signature sound. By utilising every tool at their disposal what results is a sound that is deeply psychedelic and questionably spiritual. With chants, sitar, wails and more all interlaced with highly filtered modern musicality, the lengthy tracks in their back catalogue are perfect for those who want to lose themselves in a smoky room watching the projections of a lava lamp.
From the often-wholesome sounding Shpongle to the rather dirty audio madness of Tom Fec; also known as Tobacco. Here the sound of fuzzy guitars and early synthesisers come right back around and rubbed in a little more muck. A fan of the gritty audio quality of older recordings, Tobacco’s work often sounds like it was made in a dingy studio several decades ago. Fans of psychedelic rock should find something to grab hold of here as the funky bass lines and head bobbing rhythms come through easily, if you don’t mind them being mashed into other crunchy weird sounds too.
With likely one of the brightest sounds of the bunch, Battles have created something unique by starting simple and then layering madness and mastery on top. Another duo, this time a drummer and guitarist who often add more instruments to the mix as their music frequently reaches an impressive crescendo. Many songs begin with a steady beat and a catchy riff that go down the psychedelic path of warping into something different entirely, drums accelerate, and cymbals ignite while the guitars loop licks concentrically until your brains struggles to keep up. What is remarkable about this is that despite the chaos Battles still deliver a delightfully clean sound.