Double EP of the Week! Infected Mushroom’s “Friends on Mushrooms Vol. 2” & Shpongle’s “Museum of Consciousness”

You should be excited. If you’re not. Get excited. This week, I’m bringing you not one, but two psychedelic locomotives for your face.

First up, Infected Mushroom are continuing their fantastic collaboration series “Friends with Mushrooms” off Dim Mak. This time around, 5 tracks, featuring 2 guest artists and a vocalist, really punch up the muscle when it comes to bass, synth and wobble. It seems Erev & Duvdev have really gotten into dubstep, but as opposed to using loops/beatpacks or something, they’re doing what they do best, making the sounds themselves. If you don’t believe me, listen to the first track with Savant on a system with bass. Savant’s a surprisingly heavy choice for the track, but 4:40 into the tune, you find yourself in a very nice trancey place, with the Inf. Shroom vocals teasing you. Make sure to check out Savant’s tunes here (and his video game, which is pretty ill as well).

Now is Gold has the quintessential IM feel, with their triumphant vocals, guitar-driven beats, and everything you remember about Meduzz, Muse Breaks & Becoming Insane. The beat remains on point and there’s an almost groovy feel to the chords that dance along the persistently hard pacing & beat. Definitely a new favorite when it comes to a track to play people when they ask what the hell the Israeli dudes with the crazy mushrooms at festies is. Bomp it. You’ll thank me. Nerds on Mushrooms brings in the Pegboard Nerds, a sound I wasn’t familiar with before. There’s a glitchy, dubby, almost ragga feel to the collab that jives (what? it works.) with the rocking style of IM.

Trance Party is my favorite of the 5 tracks. I know, you’re super surprised. Totes. But their full-on, rock-drenched psy-trance chops come swirling back into view and you wonder why they ever left and for how long they’ll be staying this time around. The answer is almost eight minutes. It’s the dance-y, driving stuff that they melt faces with all over the world. There’s a lot to like here, and I hope it finds its way into a set or two before the end of the summer. The French is a track to round out the EP, focus on the rock side of IM, let them cut loose and confuse the fuck out of us when it comes to titles. The tune has some stabby synth work and heavy guitars to back them up. There’s a signature focus on original sounds and big room sounds at that. The lack of vocals give it a muted feel and it lets you down a bit more gently as the last track. Hit it up in the youtube below, and get at the iTunes and Beatport portals to pick it up.

Next up, I am delighted to present the next offering from Shpongle. The jaw-droppingly talented, well outfitted and completely insane duo of Raja Ram & Simon Posford return to bring you a circus of delight and some creepily gorgeous music. Brain in a Fishtank was released a week or two ago (the days, they bleed together), and less than a minute in, you’re being whisked into a fantastical world with the sounds of Simon and the flute of Raja pulling you deeper into this swirling miasma of sound. The bass drops and you’re off. Top-notch vocals compliment the totally original soundscape, building a lush jungle of harmony and discord. It goes a bit mad at times, but comes back to itself as your mind often does. I’ve been a fan of Shpongle since 2004, and they remain some of the best producing duos around. How The Jellyfish Jumped Up The Mountain both continues the long, storied tradition of Shpongle tracks having superbly surrealist names, but it’s pretty cool too. The bass that it pulls into is barely there but really keeps it hurtling along, like a rock skipping across a lake. As if it slowed down it would sink. The song pushes into more of the wacky universe that is the mind of Simon Posford, and makes me think of a lot of people dancing around a fire. The classical violin, the banging organic drums and the tribal feel will keep you jumping in the night. Plus, creepy-as-shit vocals at the end.

Juggling Molecules brings in some fun world-beat-y & power guitar work. And some wistful, chanty vocals, some bizarrely appropriate…is that banjo work? You really never are sure, at least when you listen to it sober. Oh, and there’s some weird jolly sounds too, so run around and enjoy. Further Adventures in Shpongleland starts ominously, as many of Shpongle’s can, but smooths into the echoic beats that we’ve loved since Tales of the Inexpressible. The more downtempo track throbs along and gives a good background to a nice glass of red wine, if that makes any sense.

The Epiphany of Mrs. Kugla starts off vaguely panic inducing. There’s a surprisingly operatic feel to the tune that reminds of Zimmer, with the same level of swarm as a Batman movie theme. There’s a pull down into some fun bassy string work, with some past-invoking chromatic steel drums that remind strongly of Nothing Lasts to my delight. The vocals combined with some lovely strings swing the track back into this euphoric feel that almost shimmers at times. Tickling the Amygdala (really spell check, you don’t know that’s a word? For shame.) has some fun with tuning bowls and modulated resonance and harmonics in ways only Shpongle can. It almost feels like it stalls and melts into your ears, being replaced by a much more high-powered beat that almost baits you to keep up and rambles forward ahead of you, spouting gibberish to throw off your focus. All the while the actual soaring guitar powers into your mind. There’s a fun dovetailing of a lot of the elements heard over the EP on the back end of this track, as you’d expect from the Impresarios of UK Psy. It glides away and leaves you wanting to go play the Shpongle discography. Put it into your face, and don’t stop rocking.

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