Shpongle

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Shpongle is an English psychedelic music project formed in 1996. The group includes Simon Posford (aka Hallucinogen) and Raja Ram (one third of The Infinity Project). The duo are considered to be one of the progenitors of the psybient genre – a genre combining world music with psychedelic trance and ambient. Their musical style combines traditional music from all over the globe 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.

Shpongle: Raja Ram (l.) and Simon Posford (r.)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 awareness. For example, the track, “A New Way to Say ‘Hooray”, contains a vocal sample of Terence McKenna describing the effects of DMT, and the most popular song from their first album ‘Divine Moments of Truth’ alludes to DMT in its initialism.

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.

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