July 11, 2019


Avi Shmailov (Hebrew: אבי שמיילוב) under his stage name Astrix, has been one of the leading PsyTrance producers & DJs in the world for 15 years, carrying his musical message of psychedelic emotional uplifting trance to every corner of the world, to huge festivals (EDC, Burning Man, Boom Festival, Tomorrowland, Ozora, Universo Paralello, XXXperience), to the biggest urban clubs (Brixton Academy, Ministry of Sound, O2 Arena, Pacha, Privilege) & underground events.

Astrix released five full-length studio albums at the record label Hom-Mega production based in Israel,

In his albums Astrix collaborated with artists who were also involved in the Pytrance scene, such as Infected Mushroom, Atomic Pulse, Domestic, Sub6, Psycraft, Xerox and Illumination.

Some best of psytrance songs by Astrix:












Eye to Eye Album from Astrix 2002

Coolio Album from Astrix 2004


Artcore Album from Astrix 2004


Future Music Album from Astrix 2007


One Step Ahead Album from Astrix 2009


Acid Rocker Album from Astrix 2010


Red Means Distortion Album from Astrix 2010


High on Mel Album from Astrix 2013


Remixed Album from Astrix 2013 Album from Astrix 2016


Astrix Boom Festival 2018


Astrix Adhana Festival 2018-2019


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Americans are excited to make psychedelics mainstream once again
July 02, 2019

Americans are excited to make psychedelics mainstream once again

It’s difficult to turn on the radio or open a magazine at the moment without hearing about psychedelics. A quick skim of the headlines might suggest the drugs are imbued with medicinal superpowers and Silicon Valley is collectively on one long trip.

There’s currently promising research on the potential medical uses of psychedelics; though hallucinogens have not been approved for such purposes yet, the public response to the advancing trials has been enthusiastic, suggesting that the drugs will be accepted if they are approved. After decades spent banished to the margins of society, psychedelics are determinedly making their way back to the center.

In recent weeks, further psychedelic excitement has been driven by journalist Michael Pollan’s new book How to Change Your Mind, which explores the potential uses of LSD and psilocybin (the key ingredient in magic mushrooms.)

From a scientific perspective, much of what Pollan covers has been in the public sphere for a while. The scientific studies he chronicles are ongoing, and results to date have been reported on by many mainstream publications. Scientists have indeed conducted credible trials whose results suggest psychedelics are effective at treating depression (especially among those who are resistant to existing treatments) and addiction, as well as anxiety among late-stage cancer patients. Collectively, the surge in psychedelic research after several decades when researchers were largely prohibited from studying the drugs is known as a “psychedelic renaissance.”

What’s striking about Pollan’s book isn’t the medicinal benefits he covers, but the popular response. The book hasn’t just been given major attention by the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Fresh Air, The Guardian, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others, it’s been held up as the latest exploration of something almost de rigueur. “Microdosing is hot. If you haven’t heard—but you probably have,” writes John Williams in his review for the Times. After all Rolling Stone and New York Magazine have recently devoted huge features to the subject. When the Gray Lady thinks microdosing is old news, you know psychedelics are far from the cutting edge.

This public embracement of psychedelics may be heralding the end of a 50-year backlash to such drugs. In the early 1950s (roughly a decade after LSD’s hallucinatory properties were first discovered), psychedelics weren’t seen as particularly taboo. In fact, many believed them to be a potentially major therapeutic tool. At the time there were numerous clinical trials and exploratory treatment methodologies using psychedelics to address PTSD, alcoholism, and depression, among others. Major celebrities such as actor Cary Grant were game to give the drugs a shot, and effusive about the results. In a 1959 issue of Look magazine, Grant praised his LSD-enhanced therapy to resolve childhood trauma and come to terms with the ends of difficult marriages.

Some 40,000 patients were prescribed LSD from 1950 to 1965, up until politicians moved to ban the research. This decision was influenced in part by misconceptions developed in response to rogue Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary, who popularized the phrase “turn on, tune in, drop out,” and infamously gave LSD to students without medical supervision.

Still even after the ban, many respectable figures were in favor of the drugs. “If they [LSD experiments] were worthwhile six months ago, why aren’t they worthwhile now?” Robert F. Kennedy asked the US Food and Drug Administration in 1966, shortly after the research ban was implemented.

Modern research into psychedelics only restarted in 2011. As of 2017, there were at least five early clinical studies on LSD, and five on psilocybin. Relatedly, the FDA has approved a phase three trial on using MDMA to treat PTSD, and around a dozen other MDMA studies. (Though MDMA, commonly used recreational drugs called molly and ecstacy, is not a psychedelic, its growing acceptance as a medical drugs following from years of only illegal recreational use follows a trajectory similar to LSD and psilocybin.)

Psychedelics becoming a mainstream medicinal drug sounds implausible. But, as history shows, it’s not at all. It’s happened before.

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VA approves psychedelic ketamine for PTSD treatment
July 01, 2019

VA approves psychedelic ketamine for PTSD treatment


SARASOTA, Fla. (Tribune News Service)  — This month's decision by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to offer a psychedelic drug to treat post-traumatic stress disorder while marijuana remains off limits is leaving some stakeholders flummoxed amid the ongoing wave of veteran suicides.

Spravato, derived from the family of anesthetic drugs called ketamine and produced by a division of Johnson & Johnson, will be prescribed to VA clients on a case-by-case basis and administered as a nasal spray.

Ketamine variants have made headlines over the decades for their multiple roles as sedatives, recreational hallucinogens and for their impressive track records for mitigating suicidal depression. The Spravato version, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March, requires patients to remain under professional observation for two hours following ingestion.

The addition of a new remedy for lowering military suicide rates at a moment when retired and active-duty personnel are killing themselves roughly 20.6 times a day was hailed as a milestone by VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. "We're pleased to be able to expand options for veterans with depression who have not responded to other treatments," he said in a statement. "It reflects our commitment to seek new ways to provide the best health care available for our nation's veterans."

But for those like Sean Kiernan, an Army veteran who attempted to take his life in 2011, the VA's simultaneous embargo on marijuana is incoherent.

"Ketamine was the most effective drug I've ever taken for suicidal thoughts — but it is not a long-term medicine you should use. I got psychologically addicted to it for four years," says Kiernan, president of the Weed For Warriors Project, which advocates legal cannabis for veterans, with 12 chapters nationwide.

"The danger with ketamine is the side effects, like on your urinary tract and gall bladder. I've had three surgeons telling me I need to have my gall bladder removed. My question is, why are you so willing and eager to accept something that, on the face of it, is the very thing you complain about with marijuana, like THC, which isn't nearly as strong? This is hypocrisy, and it makes no sense."

Catch-22 for veterans

The nation has been struggling with that contradiction since marijuana was classified as a Schedule 1 drug with the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

The Herald-Tribune documented the Catch-22 that many veterans find themselves in and the effort of proponents to change the law last year in its "Warriors Rise Up" project.

Despite the fact that more than 2.5 million Americans are legally using medical marijuana for ailments as disparate as fibromyalgia and cancer, all drugs labeled Schedule 1 are regarded as having no medicinal value. Ketamine is a Schedule 2 substance.

CNN reported in February that the military suicide virus is now beginning to sweep the ranks of America's elite warriors, with U.S. Special Operations Command counting 22 self-induced fatalities in 2018. Eight SOCOM operators took their lives the year before. Also, in April, the self-inflicted gunshot death of a 68-year-old veteran in a VA parking lot in Virginia brought to 22 the number of veterans who've killed themselves at VA facilities in the past 20 months.

For researchers like Brad Burge, however, the willingness of establishment medicine to employ psychedelics for the treatment of PTSD and associated psychological issues bodes well for the future of marijuana. "It is good news," he says. "It shows that things are changing in the acceptance of these drugs for mental illness."

Burge is director of strategic communications for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Founded in 1986 by New College alum Rick Doblin, MAPS is establishing scientific and legal foundations for the expanded use of psychedelics and cannabis.

The nonprofit research organization is completing Phase 3 trials on MDMA-assisted therapy. That drug, also commonly known as Ecstasy, is a controversial synthetic stimulant banned in 1985. MAPS is also studying the therapeutic applications of LSD, and it hopes to get funding for investigating Ibogaine- and Ayahuasca-assisted therapy.

Early this year, MAPS completed its first study of medical marijuana on 76 veterans diagnosed for PTSD, and will publish its results before the end of 2019. But until cannabis loses its Schedule 1 status, gaining access to acceptable samples of marijuana for the completion of MAPS' research will be difficult.

"But things are changing," says Burge. "The heads of all these administrative bodies have acknowledged there are limitations that shouldn't be there. They don't want to be put in the position of obstructing legal research."

Grilled by lawmakers in April, conservative Attorney General William Barr described the breach between the states and the feds on marijuana policy as "intolerable," though he remained opposed to national legalization. A bipartisan coalition of House and Senate members is backing the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Entrusting States (STATES) Act. STATES would exempt all businesses and individuals engaged in state-licensed marijuana activity from federal law enforcement, but the proposal still falls short of descheduling marijuana. Congress has the ability to change marijuana's status.

For veteran Sean Kiernan, the longstanding government argument against legalizing marijuana becomes glaringly archaic when compared with the mind-altering impact of a ketamine product.

"Cannabis is nowhere near as debilitating and it allows you to function in society," he says from San Diego. "I can safely use cannabis daily for the rest of my life. But hey, if you like to party? You'll love ketamine."

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