The Psychedelic Music of Shpongle

The Music Of Shpongle

Shpongle are a British primarily based digital ambient band that options the duo of trance music pioneer Simon Posford and DJ,Producer Raja Ram. The group additionally makes use of the enter of exterior musicians to offer accompanying sounds. Their music is finest described as psychedelic ambient and is commonly grouped into area of interest digital music genres similar to psychill, psybient and psyamb.

In The Begining

Simon Posford’s musical profession started as an adolescent, when he had the selection of both going to Oxford to review botany, or going to work at Virgin recording studios. The choice to go to Virgin was a no brainer, particularly because it supplied the prospect to study the ropes alongside such luminaries as Spike Stent. For some time, Simon moved spherical the assorted Virgin studios however the life of constructing tea and coping with fevered egos could not go on indefinitely. Issues got here to a head with the UK indies band James, who had lately completed touring however have been nonetheless in tour mentality. Posford discovered the expertise a nightmare and commenced to look elsewhere for work.

Stent advised to Simon that he ought to contact Martin Glover at Butterfly Studios. It was right here that Simon discovered the liberty to work on his personal concepts. He shortly produced a sequence of groundbreaking goa trance singles culminating within the now traditional album “Twisted” below his trance moniker “Hallucinogen”. At the moment Raja Ram had been concerned in a bunch known as the “Infinity Mission” which Simon additionally labored on infrequently. In some ways the Infinity Mission sound paved the best way for what would later evolve into Shpongle. Someday, whereas watching a photo voltaic eclipse in India, the 2 determined to see if they might seize the expertise of what that they had simply witnessed into sound. The consequence was the monitor “…And the Day Turned Into Evening”. Shpongle was born.

The Shpongle Sound

To explain the sound of Shpongle is like making an attempt to explain the phrase Shpongle itself. Some what undefinable. The band describe their sound as an odd hybrid of digital manipulation and shamanic midgets with frozen digits squeezing the envelope and crawling by the doorways of notion. See what I imply? At its core the sound is stuffed with swirling psychedelic layers of synthesizer melodies, effervescent dub like basslines, partitions of delay, an ocean of results and samples in addition to acoustic devices similar to guitars and flutes. The flute work of Raja Ram, an enormous a part of his early musical profession within the UK Prog/People band Quintessence, options closely on a few of their extra well-known tunes.


Shpongle has 4 studio albums launched to this point. Their 1998 debut CD “Are you Shpongled?” was launched in 1995 at a time when the psychedelic ambient ( psychill ) style was nonetheless in its infancy and discovering a market. “Are you Shpongled?” was an prompt hit and the duo started touring their new psychedelic ambient sound virtually instantly, discovering they have been in a lot demand on the psychedelic trance and music pageant circuit worldwide. This was partly because of the uniqueness of the sound that they had created. There actually was nothing fairly prefer it on the time. A real musical landmark that’s nonetheless thought to be the perfect psychill album ever created.

Although a lot in demand the pair had saturated their fan base considerably and wanted to develop their sound to seek out new followers. A dangerous step if you shouldn’t wish to alienate the individuals who had come to like their debut. With this in thoughts Shpongle determined for his or her second album “Tales Of The Inexpressible” in 2001 ought to embrace extra pure devices, relying much less on the samples and synthesizers of their profitable debut launch. The ensuing album was met with blended critiques. To the uninitiated it was a tremendous launch filled with creativity and marvel. To the die exhausting followers it was seen as a little bit of a disappointment. Fascinating although, after many a hear, these followers started to alter their considering and the CD was largely seen on equal par and in some individuals’s thoughts exceeding the primary album when it comes to manufacturing high quality and creativeness.

It could be 4 years earlier than the discharge of the third album “Nothing Lasts… However Nothing Is Misplaced” in 2005. The intervening years had seen hypothesis as to if the group had determined to name it a day. The title of the brand new album additionally hinted at this risk. The album noticed a return to the heady digital sounds of “Are you Shpongled?” maybe as a response to among the destructive suggestions acquired from the earlier album and its use of acoustic and pure devices. It additionally made use of monitor mixing on all tracks so that every monitor flowed into one another offering for a protracted psychedelic sonic journey. It was extensively praised within the musical media. Additionally fairly evident within the album was how the tunes had advanced into one thing that might simply assist a reside present with full backing band and dancers.

The fourth studio album from Shpongle “Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongle Land” was launched in 2009 and continued have been the third album left off. Whereas nonetheless fairly brilliantly psychedelic, the music appeared good for a reside expertise. As such some listeners have been a little bit upset with the discharge. I feel the issue was that the psychedelic ambient music scene was now awash with Shpongle like artists who had spent the final 10 years listening to Shpongle, making an attempt to emulate their distinctive sounds. Personally I discovered it to be my favourite launch since their debut. The album was ranked at #7 on Sputnik’s Finest Of 2009 listing and #1 on the PsyAmb listing.

Simon has additionally talked about that the group are engaged on a fifth album for launch in 2012. I might guess this may rely on the Youthful Brother schedule and the way a lot recording time they handle to suit into their busy schedules.

Album Paintings

One of many interesting components of any band is the care given to album covers and inlay design. Shpongle doesn’t disappoint having known as on the abilities of Mark Neal ( Nightfall Design ) and Storm Thorgeson ( designer of Pink Flyod’s “The Darkish Facet Of The Moon” cowl )

Shpongle Stay

Over time the Shpongle Stay expertise has advanced from two guys behind a mixing deck to an all out Shpongle Stay extravaganza full with enormous speaker techniques,lighting, fireplace breathers and psychedelic dancers. Seeing Shpongle reside is a little bit of a uncommon expertise nevertheless as it’s fairly troublesome to arrange all of the again musicians and dancers to journey around the globe on the identical time. We’re not speaking The Rolling Stones right here! When you’ve got by no means seen Shpongle reside however want to see what you’re lacking out on then I like to recommend shopping for a duplicate of the “Shpongle Stay at The Roundhouse DVD” from Twisted Information on-line retailer. Sensible stuff!

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