By: Forward Musiq
This Sunday we present the lords of psychedelic trance, and their ever evolving musical formula, Infected Mushroom.
Few acts have the priviledge of being pioneers of an underground genre, and lesser are the ones who take that formula and just take it hudrends of levels above what was though possible to acbieve. This is the case of Infected Mushroom, the act of Erez Eisen and Amit Duvdevani that went from being a DJ of a wonderful genre to a stadium hard hitting live act that rivals those done by metal bands. Their formula: Psychedelic Trance. The mere fact that Psychedelic Trance is re-known internationally today is due to these two artists. They brought the genre into the light of the public, and gave it their own touch of crazy and genius.
Erez Eisen was born on the 8th of September of 1980 in Qiryat Yam in Israel. At the age of 4 he learned to play an organ and later at the age of 8 he learned to play a studio piano in the Haifa Conservatory. At 11 he began to experiment with digital music, the Impulse Tracker being his first instrument. By the time Erez was 18 he was already deep into the world of DJ’ing and was a well known producer in the underground scene of psy-trance as well as performing under such aliases as Shidapu and Shiva Shidapu.
Amit Duvdevani was born on November 7, 1974. At the age of 7 he was already playing piano, then proceeded to to aspire to a more heavy metal sound and punk rock. He joined a local Haifa punk rock band called Enzyme and played the keyboards. In 1991 he assisted his first trance rave and since then became fascinated with the genre. During his military service he earned the nickname Duvdev, and after finishing it and spending almost a yea in Goa, India, he decided to make music. He collaborated with Shidapu on four tracks that where never released. it was here that he united with Erez.
Under the alias Shidapu & Duvdev, Eisen and Duvdevani united forces in 1998 and released a few tracks of a more happy and simple nature of trance. After some more polishing and searching for a style, they formed Infected Mushroom and began working on their first album.
Released in 1999, The Gathering is Infected Mushroom’s breakthrough as new artists and to bring the genre psy-trance into the mainstream audience. The album features an overall heavy and dark sound that is complimented by a rhythmic atmosphere. Psycho gained a lot of critical aclaim and many positive reviews, being one of their best and most known tracks so far. Other songs that stand out in the album are Release Me, The Gathering and Virtual Voyage.
Classical Mushroom was released on 2000 and was regarded as one of the best psy-trance albums that has been ever made, having Bust A Move as the album’s main dish, and often being called their best track in the genre. The album features a more melodic side of the duo, incorporating often symphonic and melodic breaks that give way to the name, Classical Mushroom. The main tracks in the album are Bust a Move, Disco Mushroom, Sailing in the Sea of Mushroom and The Missed Symphony.
Infected Mushroom’s next full length released came a year later in the form of B.P. Empire. Released in 2001, the album stood as a departure from their re-known psy-trance expertise and into more melodic and symphonic daring grounds. Though many received the change in sound with open arms, the more loyal fans of the psy-trance genre criticized Infected Mushroom from taking a more progressive approach to the genre that did not favor it. Overall the album did well, focusing the use of symphonic breaks and middle-eastern melodies with often classical pieces halfway through the song creating a blazing trail of pure genius (This is perfectly viewed in their song Dancing With Kadafi). Other tracks that stand out where Spaniard, B.P. Empire, Noise Maker, and Tasty Mushroom.
Released in 2003, Converting Vegetarians was released in two discs. The first one being called “Trance Side” which was done to satisfy their more trance loyal fans, having dance-floor material like the popular Deeply Disturbed. The second disc is called “The Other Side” and contains a more experimental flow of songs, ranging from down-tempo to synthpop. It is also the first time Duvdev sings (Converting Vegetarians). From the second disc, Converting Vegetarians, Blink and Illuminaughty are of noteworthy value.
IM The Supervisor
Infected Mushroom’s fifth studio album continued their now evolving formula of incorporating psy-trance with various musical genre’s. The overall tone of the album is slightly darker than the rest, yet contains songs that stand out as cheerful or amusing. One example is IM The Supervisor which gained it’s name when Duvdev was trying to call for a taxi through a German receptionist in a hotel in Germany, and got frustrated since the receptionist could not understand him. When he asked for the supervisor, the receptionist said: “I’M the supervisor!” The album also contains further vocals done by Duvdev such as in IM The Supervisor and Cities of the Future, one of the bests songs from the album. In 2004 as well, guitarists Thomas Cunningham and Erez Netz joined the band when performing live. Thomas played when they performed in the US, and Erez Netz during the rest of the gigs. After intense touring and moving their studio from Haifa to Los Angeles, California, Infected Mushroom added Brazilian percussionist Rogerio Jardim to their live show. With this the set pieces to their new album became evident, a new change in their sound, one that would skyrocket them into the international scene.
Vicious Delicious became what their experimentation with sounds had been rising up to. The album is a heavy and melodic mix of trance, psy-trance, tri-hop and nu-metal,(Artillery) and overall metal. A great change that gained a lot of fans, but at the same time, alienated some of the more loyal ones. The album’s main song is Becoming Insane, a heavy and intense Spanish Guitar influenced song that is widely considered one of their best songs. Artillery follows as a runner up, being a unique mix of tri-hop/ nu-metal something never before done by the band. Heavy Weight is another metal/trance epic that is also widely considered one of Infected Mushroom’s best songs. Other songs that are of note-worth are Vicious Delicious, Suliman, Forgive me, Special Place and In Front Of Me.
Legend of the Black Shawarma
Legend of the Black Shawarma, originally a concept album, was released on September 8, 2009. The album showed a more mature and polished form of Vicious Delicious, continuing the same formula of metal/psy-trance. The name comes as a joke when Duvdev and a Australian friend where cage diving with sharks, and Duvdev said that to the sharks his friend would look like a black shawarma, a Middle-Eastern delicacy. Although the album contains a great deal of good songs (many saying this is their best album so far) 3 stand out as the best of the best. Sa’eed the energetic and intense metal/psy-trance roller-coaster with tribal drums became one of their most favored songs for a while. Killing Time, a collaboration with Perry Farell is also widely considered one of Infected Mushroom’s best songs so far. And finally Smashing the Opponent, which featured Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis. Other songs that stand out are Poquito Mas, Herbert The Pervert, Project 100 and Legend Of The Black Shawarma.
Infected Mushroom without a doubt has become one of the most influential acts the world has seen. Their constant evolving formula gives them a fresh new taste every-time they release new material, and their metal influenced live act gives their fans a taste of everything they have to offer. With more reason, they are expecting to release a new album this year (May 8, 2012) that will be so far their most experimental work so far, including genre’s such as Dubstep, Electro-House and Drum & Bass while continuing to be the lords of psy-trance. And it is in this last genre where they excel the most. They have managed to bring forth psy-trance as a re-known international genre outside of what it was once considered as a underground movement. But not stopping there, the crazy and energetic duo molded the genre to their own constantly changing formula and created a unstoppable force that will keep rising as the years go by.
Release Me- Infected Mushroom
Psycho- Infected Mushroom
Bust A Move- Infected Mushroom
Disco Mushroom- Infected Mushroom
Noise Maker- Infected Mushroom
Dancing With Kadafi- Infected Mushroom
Deeply Disturbed- Infected Mushroom
Deeply Disturbed (Infected Mix)- Infected Mushroom
Converting Vegetarians- Infected Mushroom
Blink- Infected Mushroom
Illuminaughty- Infected Mushroom
IM The Supervisor- Infected Mushroom
Muse Breaks RMX- Infected Mushroom
Cities of the Future- Infected Mushroom
Becoming Insane- Infected Mushroom
Merlin (Infected Mix)- Infected Mushroom
Artillery- Infected Mushroom
Vicious Delicious- Infected Mushroom
Heavyweight- Infected Mushroom
Suliman- Infected Mushroom
Forgive Me- Infected Mushroom
Special Place- Infected Mushroom
In Front Of Me- Infected Mushroom
Sa’eed- Infected Mushroom
Smashing The Opponent feat. Jonathan Davis- Infected Mushroom
Herbert The Pervert- Infected Mushroom
Killing Time feat. Perry Farell- Infected Mushroom
Killing Time (Infected Trance Remix)- Infected Mushroom
Project 100- Infected Mushroom
Legend Of The Black Shawarma- Infected Mushroom
Riders on the Storm (Infected Mushroom Remix)- The Doors
Deck & Sheker- Infected Mushroom
I’m Alive Feat. Paul Oakenfold- Infected Mushroom
Pink Nightmares- Infected Mushroom
U R So F****d- Infected Mushroom
Evilution feat. Infected Mushroom with Jonathan Davis- Datsik