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 usually grouped into area of interest digital music genres equivalent to psychill, psybient and psyamb.

In The Begining

Simon Posford’s musical profession started as a youngster, when he had the selection of both going to Oxford to review botany, or going to work at Virgin recording studios. The resolution 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 varied Virgin studios however the life of making 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 not too long ago completed touring however have been nonetheless in tour mentality. Posford discovered the expertise a nightmare and started to look elsewhere for work.

Stent recommended 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 rapidly produced a sequence of groundbreaking goa trance singles culminating within the now basic album “Twisted” below his trance moniker “Hallucinogen”. Presently Raja Ram had been concerned in a gaggle referred to as the “Infinity Undertaking” which Simon additionally labored on every so often. In some ways the Infinity Undertaking sound paved the way in which for what would later evolve into Shpongle. In the future, whereas watching a photo voltaic eclipse in India, the 2 determined to see if they may seize the expertise of what that they had simply witnessed into sound. The end result was the observe “…And the Day Turned Into Evening”. Shpongle was born.

The Shpongle Sound

To explain the sound of Shpongle is like attempting 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 full of swirling psychedelic layers of synthesizer melodies, effervescent dub like basslines, partitions of delay, an ocean of results and samples in addition to acoustic devices equivalent to guitars and flutes. The flute work of Raja Ram, an enormous half of his early musical profession within the UK Prog/People band Quintessence, options closely on some of their extra well-known tunes.


Shpongle has four 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 immediate hit and the duo started touring their new psychedelic ambient sound nearly 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 broaden their sound to search out new followers. A dangerous step if you shouldn’t need 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 embody extra pure devices, relying much less on the samples and synthesizers of their profitable debut launch. The ensuing album was met with blended evaluations. To the uninitiated it was an incredible launch full of creativity and marvel. To the die onerous followers it was seen as a bit of a disappointment. Attention-grabbing although, after many a hear, these followers started to vary their considering and the CD was largely seen on equal par and in some folks’s thoughts exceeding the primary album in phrases of 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 chance. The album noticed a return to the heady digital sounds of “Are you Shpongled?” maybe as a response to some of the adverse suggestions acquired from the earlier album and its use of acoustic and pure devices. It additionally made use of observe mixing on all tracks so that every observe flowed into one another offering for a protracted psychedelic sonic journey. It was broadly praised within the musical media. Additionally fairly evident within the album was how the tunes had developed into one thing that would simply assist a stay 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 excellent for a stay expertise. As such some listeners have been just a little dissatisfied 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, attempting 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 upon the Youthful Brother schedule and the way a lot recording time they handle to suit into their busy schedules.

Album Art work

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

Shpongle Dwell

Through the years the Shpongle Dwell expertise has developed from two guys behind a mixing deck to an all out Shpongle Dwell extravaganza full with large speaker programs,lighting, hearth breathers and psychedelic dancers. Seeing Shpongle stay is a bit of a uncommon expertise nevertheless as it’s fairly troublesome to arrange all of the again musicians and dancers to journey world wide on the similar time. We aren’t speaking The Rolling Stones right here! If in case you have by no means seen Shpongle stay however wish to see what you might be lacking out on then I like to recommend shopping for a replica of the “Shpongle Dwell at The Roundhouse DVD” from Twisted Data on-line retailer. Sensible stuff!