I’m 10 days late on this, so apologies are in order. I should’ve been yelling about this a week ago. To get you excited for 2015, 1/6 brings Friends With Mushrooms, their new full-length album. The 17 track juggernaut will include a couple of the highlights from their massive “Friends With Mushrooms” EPs that have dotted the release cycle over the last few years. To celebrate, Dim Mak wanted to make sure you knew what they sound like and to remind you just how dope their production values are, even to this day. This album is going to have a lot of surprises, but the quality you’ve come to expect will be there in spades. This track fuses the electro, world-beat, psy, big beat and dubby elements with the end of the tune really punching into some fun bass sounds. Pre-order the album here on iTunes & get ready for some sharp, effective mushrooms in 2015. (via Thump)
I’m not sure how to describe the insanity of what you’re seeing, especially if you’re under the age of 20. This is a digital audio workstation, in a non-Windows/OSX environment. Yup kids, this is what they used to look like. Apparently Infected Mushroom posted this file (that works with a program called “Impulse Tracker,” that is probably older than you are) to their site a few years ago. Someone grabbed it, held it, and tossed it into their version of a DOS emulator and the running program. Audio/video capture have allowed us the magic of audio time travel, allowing us to hear what Erez & his friend Jorg sounded like decades ago. It’s a competent, if somewhat overdone Synthy Psy-infused tune that wouldn’t be out of place today. If you’re into this sort of thing, check out this surprisingly excellent cover of deadmau5’s Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff by OxygenStar. Next time some hipster producer starts talking shit, ask him if he’s produced using this shit. Then smile and nod.
Tonight, I wanted to prep your Throwback Thursday with a track that’s both old & new. Infected Mushroom’s project re-imagining The Doors is shockingly good. This particular tune was one of my favorites, with the update being tasteful and compelling. The additional layers of bass & synth rock are never overdone, and when the triumphant power chords hit, you wonder how the original track didn’t have these elements. Put it into your face and if you can actually find it in one folder online, get it. Immediately.
1. What does it feel like to be responsible for what hundreds of thousands of event attendees see for hours at a time every year? It’s a great feeling to have and with a lot of good energy, it’s enjoyable. It’s a group experience they’re all contributing to to make something special.
2. This may be too broad but, when a club kid sees what you’re able to do and likes it and wants to do it themselves, what advice would you give them about how to start? The best way to get started is to start experimenting with trial versions of performance software. There are trial versions of most commercial visual programs, with student discounts available as well. Plenty of opportunity to get your hands on the software & experiment with it. Get yourself a good laptop or desktop or whatever you can afford and start rocking. Continue reading
(This is my New Year’s Eve review, done for Electronic Night Life. Hit up the original post here & show the blog some love for giving me some sweet access.)
I’d always assumed Savant would be less of a baller in real life, but it seems I was wrong.While a million people were partying less than half a block away from the theater, inside & down one escalator, we found ourselves ensconced within a bubble filled with ravers, club kids, New Year’s revelers & a heaping serving of psychedelic trance, dubstep & banging electro. They were able to create a party inside of the pocket dimension next to Times Square, where if I didn’t know better, I would assume it was just a regular night outside, and not be playing second (or third) fiddle to one of the biggest parties of the year.
By the time we’d negotiated New Year’s checkpoint after checkpoint, my companion & I were granted access to Best Buy Theater to see Infected Mushroom, Astrix & Savant. This massive performance was going to be Infected Mushroom’s first since August & Astrix’s first in years. Savant was doing excellent work when it came to revving up the crowd as he transitioned from Beatport Top 50 tracks to his symphonic but bassy self-produced tunes. The GA was eating it up, so after dealing with the New Year’s-amplified drink prices, we settled in for a long night of amazing beats & psy-focused music just as he was finishing his massive set. The set must have got the attention of hundreds of attendees who are hopefully downloading his new CD, “Orakel,” at a rapid pace in thanks for such an attentive & non-prerecorded experience.
We’d gotten the ok from security to start photographing right as the Fungusamungus stations began powering up. These spheres, the centerpiece of the Fungusamungus tour, were truly a sight to behold. 2 professional-grade projectors bathed the stage in what seemed like millions of colors, mapping complex images, shapes and color gradients to every surface on the spheres. Dudev & Erez were hidden inside, pushing the signature Infected Mushroom sound out into the theater, while the crowd got more and more excited. I’ve definitely seen Infected Mushroom perform without any of these new fangled toys, and it was a sight to behold then. This pushed past anything I’ve seen outside of Amon Tobin’s tour. Incidentally, I was informed at the show that the same group that did Tobin’s insane new set-up, did Fungusamungus. So there’s that.
The set did not disappoint. I’ve seen these guys perform for years, but not since they added their latest round of Friends on Mushrooms compilations, and a show of psychedelic rock-drenched trance was given a delightful topping of massive dubstep, electro and the odd classic that everyone seemingly knew the words to. To hear younglings chant all the words to Cities of the Future brings a tear to this old chestnut’s eye. Becoming Insane, Vicious Delicious & tracks from the later offerings including their track with Savant, kept the crowd moving.
As they finished, we began to make preparations to get a drink in between the set change, but roadies just came out, dropped decks & laptops down, then the two Israeli champions of psy-trance came out and straight DJ’d for the next half an hour, back-to-back. They hadn’t had enough so they kept doing work with the insane 3d projection work going on behind them. We got comfy and watched them slowly transition into Astrix. Who, not to be taken lightly, exploded out of the gate with some seriously stompy full-on psy-trance.
The crowd, that was clearly going to be there until the floodlights came on, whipped themselves into an even greater fury than they’d been maintaining previously. The GA spread out, people gave each other room, and the sizable remainder really began to cut loose. Everyone was amazingly happy to be there, to share the night and to get the chance to enjoy some crowd favorites until as late as they’d let us play. Enjoy my favorite track that Dudev & Erez obliterated the dance floor with below:
Great night, great way to ring in 2014, great job Best Buy Theater for handling the event with such finesse. This is Terry Gotham, see you on the dance floor.
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.