Review Summary: Shpongle was a pioneer in the psychadelic world that left us truely an expierence of various rythms and music that has left an imprint on the scene.
Shpongle, a word when you recommend to anyone or say, the typical first reaction is some odd face followed by, “What’s a Shpongle?” With this, this can also bring up the same reaction with one’s reaction to the music. The ramblings of some guy in Divine Moments of Truth, or the sudden breakdowns through scattered throughout the album. It’s an album of high and lows, of tension and release. Shpongle has mastered the art of their genre leaving many psychedelic bands in the dust with their complex rhythms, intense production, or the softness of Raja’s flute breaking over the top.
The album starts out with Shpongle Falls with a slow long buildup. The clearness of water droplets hitting upon a surface break down in between the first two tracks which just showcases the pristine production on the album. Vapour Rumors starts out a slow drifty flute track until climaxing into a staccato flute and synth driven beats. It’s the psychedelic genre exploding through the speakers before breaking down into a few oddly chosen voice samples.
Shpongle Spores stays relatively tame when coupled with Behind Closed Eyelids (prize to whoever figures out what their referencing to hah) the odd noises throughout the song is used to only enhance the music with enough changes to not bore the listener. Divine Moments of Truth (or DMT, a very hallucinogenic drug) is probably Shpongle’s most famous song starts out with a rambling voice with an odd jungle-esque rhythm behind it. It is probably Shpongle’s musical peak and the entire song never lets up with enough voice samples, DJ breakdowns, and electric violins solos to keep any drug user happy. The song eventually breaks down at the end to make way for nearing the end of the journey with …And The Day Turned Into Night.
This is an album which much of the electronic/psychedelic world has hailed as one of the greatest pieces of work. If I were to point any flaws the album is a little on the longer side, clocking in at an hour 18 min listening all the way through can be daunting but it does change enough to rarely drag on. The problem with this album is in comparison, Tales of the Inexpressible this album does not seem to be as varied or diverse.
This music is certainly not for everybody as most would probably find it too weird or out there and no clear melodies or direction may put off a first time listener. It is an intense album at times with peaks and valleys and much in between. Shpongle would go on to release two more albums to form a trilogy and while this may not be my favorite album of theirs, it does fit second on the list. The music on the disc is definitely a long ways away with mainstream music of today as a huge leap. It is an album that conveys a sense of wonder about the world and around us. It is meant to be listened to and not just background music but late at night with a high quality sound system or any place that conveys nature in its purest form. It’s incredible production just leaves me with questions as to how this album and Shpongle seem to be ignored in music awards and categories.
They will clearly be missed in the electronic world but they have left behind great music. So the question remains: Are You Shpongled? (Generic joke)