It sounds like the soundtrack to life’s meaningful pilgrimages and spiritual awakenings. The tripified, glitchy melodic beats that Shpongle produces also could easily be, what I would imagine, fills the brain of artist Alex Grey on a daily basis. On Friday, the Fox appeared like a pre-Burning Man Ritual— where furry boot refugees from the infamous desert town of Black Rock City came to converge and pay homage to their god.
Even though flute player Raja Ram was absent, Simon Posford rocked the turn tables to all the Psybient hearts content. The night’s festivities were part rave and part Cirque du Soleil, dusted with a heavy dose of psychedelic fodder.
Posford appeared like one of Robin Hood’s merry men of trance, complete with a feather in his cap and a crescent moon smile that made appearances throughout his set.
Before the turn tables could even heat up, two creatures entered from either side of the stage. Their entrance was grand, yet they walked as though in slow motion—An effervescent native chief and his queen ready to enchant, delight and mystify with their strange moves.
‘Dorset Perception’ started with a traditional Cuban-guitar feel. The salsa-like intro catapulted into a choppy cluster of nonstop grooves. Melodic far-east vocals coated the song adding a very human element between the heavy machinery of techno beats.
‘When Shall I Be Free’ sounded like it could be used to induce belly dancing or coax a venomous snake out of a basket. The instrumentals were reminiscent of Indian flutes and sitars. The dreamy recording of a hypnotic female voice brought the trance tune to new heights. Her continuous questioning of her liberty had my mind flooding with images of a maiden held captive.
‘Star-Shpongled Banner’ came upon us slowly, like a thick stream of honey oozing down a lush hillside. A calm voice echoed, ‘I am a shaman, magician/The sun is purple/3-D dimensions/I am for mental extensions...’ heightening the mystique of the already perplexing aural landscape.
A bevy of creatures, perhaps the sacred ones that reside inside pulse-laden chakras, made appearances throughout the gig. Whether it was the presence of a unicorn playful thrusting its horn or a hoop-master commanding a day-glow orb, the theatrics definitely proved effective.
At one point, Posford simply let the computer magic go to work, as he exited his DJ booth and danced around stage to his beats with pure amusement.
Proving that you don’t need a four-piece band to keep crowds on their feet, Shpongle has perfected the art of melting faces and turning cerebellums into squishy Jell-O. But, who would expect anything less from these musical innovators whose logo is a medusa-like floating head with three sets of eyes?
On this summer eve, tranceified house-loving music fiends left completely and utterly shpongled.