That is the word that I expressed when I confirmed that the rumors were true — Shpongle will be performing two live shows this Halloween weekend. One in New York City (Hammerstein Ballroom) and the other in the Bay Area, CA (Fox Theater in Oakland). After seeing a number of Shpongletron shows (basically a Simon Posford, AKA Hallucinogen DJ Set with a cool visual display), I have always envied those people who were able to attend the 2008 incredible live show at the Roundhouse in London. The only thing I have that connects me to those lucky concertgoers is the DVD of the performance. I have to say that even the DVD is incredible. Shpongle is that good. Don’t believe me? Check these two videos out…
Don’t know who Shpongle is? Here is a quick excerpt from their website, which may help you understand why I am literally obsessed with this hyper-talented psy-trance duo:
Shpongle is an English psychedelic downtempo/psybient music project formed in 1996. The group includes Simon Posford (aka Hallucinogen) and Raja Ram (one third of 1200 Mics). Their musical style combines eastern ethnic instruments and vocals with contemporary western synthesizer-based psychedelic music. When asked to describe Shpongle’s music, Posford has responded that it is “like nothing you’ve ever heard before”.Shpongle’s first track, “Vapour Rumours”, was released on TIP Records’ Infinite Excursions compilation in 1996. Their debut album, Are You Shpongled?, was released in 1998 on Twisted Records.
Posford is generally responsible for the synthesizers, studio work, and live instrumentation while Raja Ram contributes broad musical concepts and flute arrangements. Raja Ram stated in an interview that “Shpongle” is an umbrella term for feeling positive and euphoric emotions. Shpongle’s music is heavily influenced by psychedelic experiences and frequently makes use of sonic textures that approximate psychedelic states as well as vocal samples relating to consciousness expansion, hallucinations, and altered states of awarenesss. The track, “Divine Moments of Truth,” for example, contains a vocal sample of Raja Ram describing the effects of Dimethyltryptamine.
Shpongle has played several live concerts and Simon Posford tours frequently, performing live DJ sets. Raja Ram has occasionally accompanied these sets with live flute performances. Shpongle’s first live performance was at the Solstice Music Festival at Motosu Highland in Japan in July 2001. They returned to Japan on New Year’s Eve 2003 to play the New Maps Of Hyperspace event at Tokyo Bay NK Hall. On 16 January 2004, they played a live set in Tel Aviv, Israel. As well as Simon Posford and Raja Ram, this featured Abigail Gorton (Hari Om) and Michele Adamson (credited as Michelle on the tickets) on vocals, Pete Callard on guitar, Nogera on drums and percussion, and Ott on keyboards and programming. Over the last 8 years, the band has reunited for only 10 events internationally including performances in Russia, Australia, Israel, London, and most recently Upstate New York at the Camp Bisco Festival in July of 2011. This was Shpongle’s first ever performance as a full ensemble in the United States.
On October 28 and 29, Shpongle LIVE will once again reunite for two Halloween shows in NYC and Oakland, respectively. This will truly be an incredible show. Having seen the Shpongletron set at Coachella and in Seattle, I am very excited to know that this show will be a full live set. Also, can I point out the fact that their choice of venues is fantastic! Both the Hammerstein and the Fox are memorable and historic venues that will absolutely add to a what is sure to be a special evening. As I write this, I am reminded about how excited I am for this show. Here are some important links:
And, for you who still don’t believe me…listen to this track:
photo credits: Twisted Music