structure

The Shpongletron Experience at the Boulder Theater

Shpongle & Z2 Entertainment are proud to present The Shpongletron Experience with Random Rab & Hallucinogen at the Boulder Theater on Saturday, April 23rd, 2011.

After three groundbreaking albums over the course of a decade, the internationally acclaimed electronica project Shpongle has returned from what fans feared was the end of the project when Nothing Lasts…but Nothing is Lost, their third album, was released. Not prepared to leave us hanging, electronic music pioneers Simon Posford and Raja Ram have continued to push the envelope and break boundaries to create yet another sonic masterpiece: the much-awaited fourth Shpongle album, Ineffable Mysteries from Shpongleland.

There are languages here that Shpongle fans will know and love as much as their previous work, and yet there are some massive leaps forward in terms of production techniques, sonic trickery, structure, and direction compared to all of the previous outings to date. With influences drawn from anywhere from Steve Reich and Mike Oldfield to the Batman movies and beyond, this really is another over the top record in terms of production skills, tonal textures, and original ideas from Shpongle. It is rich in detail and emotion, in worldly and otherworldly samples and inspiration, and in harmonic and melodic construction.

Ineffable Mysteries from Shpongleland opens with the massive Electroplasm, a rapidfire ascent into eastern scales and rich harmonic textures, underscored with a strongly pronounced rhythmic foundation. They dial in a different mode with Shpongolese Spoken Here, which transitions from glitchy breaks to four-on-the-floor mayhem before settling into a more laid-back but bouncy number. Nothing is Something Worth Doing is a grounded yet floaty work featuring a sophisticated tonal and harmonic palette, six-and-a-half minutes of timelessness before fading into the long-awaited Ineffable Mysteries. With original atmospheric and vocal samples from India, this tracks simple beginnings lead to a strong rhythmic drive and incredible sonic manipulations blending Raja Rams flute, Indian vocals, and synthesized creations.

That journey is followed by another - I Am You moves through shifting sands of time and sound, from its mysterious beginning through its central love song inspired by a special muse, evolving into a rhythmic and sonic tapestry of phenomenal complexity. Invisible Man In A Fluorescent Suit opens with a mournful cello solo that expands in true Shpongolian fashion into a celebratory melodic blend of synthesized and organic instrumentation before fading into the next track. No Turn Un-Stoned is cut from a different cloth, with a broodier opening that morphs into shimmering effects and soulful vocals floating over crisply defined rhythmic elements.

The final track is a multi-faceted jewel in the crown of this glowing album: Backwards Through The Cosmic Mirror features a grounded four-on-the-floor rhythm that supports forward-moving harmonic and sonic explorations with as many twists and turns as the previous tracks, eventually fading into the floating sea of soundlessness from which its brilliance arose.



Shpongle continues to evolve and inspire, as their sold-out gigs worldwide have demonstrated. The anticipation for this album is such that their launch party at the Roundhouse in London this October sold out and a second night had to be added. The demand for this album is expected to be in proportion to the uniqueness of its content. The CD booklet was designed by Storm Thorgerson, who created the classic record sleeve for Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and other timeless releases, making the entire package a consistent creative tour de force. Unique in their sound, structure, and style, Shpongle is at the forefront of the music of our generation.

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Check out some earlier Shpongle coverage on Grateful Web.

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Tickets are on sale at Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

Tickets are On Sale Friday January 21st!

GA / $35  + $2 for under 21 ticket buyers

Ideology Maintaining Structure; The necessity of gender roles in the public/private dichotomy

- for the Grateful Web

The feminine ideal in American culture no longer embodies a submissive woman kissing her husband goodbye as he leaves for work to earn the "family wage" while the wife/mother hands out lunch sacks to the children. However, these "June Cleaver" images have been very effective in getting women to take pride in their role as a housewife - reinforcing their own oppressive location in the hierarchical structure of American social relations. Capitalism and patriarchy have shook hands, working together in continuing to find new ways to trick the American public that domesticity equates with femininity and masculinity equates with power. These superstructures are at fault for the foundation of female oppression; not only because the sexual division of labor has instinctively put women in a disenfranchised location in the system, but also for the social paradigms that continue to reinforce the basic assumptions/needs of capitalism and patriarchy.

 

Several theories posed from socialist feminists argue that separation of the private and public spheres on the basis of gender is inherent in a capitalist system creating a society that organizes its structure of social relations around female oppression. The theorist Betty Friedan addresses the social consequences of this public/private dichotomy, namely the way it affects the domestic woman, from the vantage point of liberal feminism. I will use these two very different forms of feminist thought to support my argument that the current ideologies and structures sustaining the sexual division of labor are the main sources of female oppression. The current definitions of femininity and masculinity play a large role in reproducing this detrimental way of life even though it continues to be counterproductive in the movements to cease all forms of oppression, including those of feminist struggle.

 

Dissecting the public/private dichotomy in both social mind and body should be the most crucial concern on the agenda of every form of feminist thought. The permanence of the division of spheres lies deeper than you could ever imagine. It cannot be changed by a revolution of any particular government, as socialist and Marxist feminist might suggest. It cannot be touched by the solutions of access posed by liberal feminists. The ideologies and paradigms supporting the sexual division of labor are embedded in both micro and macro levels of capitalism and patriarchy. The performance of the gender roles that make this system possible exist on an abstract, unconscious level. People are brainwashed by the ideals of masculinity and femininity to the point where we, as men and women, are transformed into vessels of performance of gendered bodies. The prescriptive guidelines mapping our gender tell American women that they are less of a woman if they are not domestic servants; and tell men that they are less of a man if they are not productive, successful and powerful.  Women might be more accepted in the labor force than ever in recent history but there are some basic truths about these gender roles that haven't seemed to move:  for women, the house is never clean enough; for men, you can never have too much power or money.

 

The structures might have created the ideology, but it is at the level of ideology where change will be most successful. The system of maintaining gender categories/classes works so smoothly, its games and tricks go un-noticed to the general public. This is how gender is a form of (and effect of) power. It is not the sort of power that can be pinned on one person, group, or institution; but rather a system swallowing us whole, and spitting us back out as acceptable gendered bodies.  It is when these gender ideals are eradicated that women (and men) will truly be free and equal not only in the public/working sphere but also in the private/domestic. I believe that woman and men are continually compromising these forces of society in revolutionary ways and telling the media (who produce these limited prescriptive gender ideals) to "fuck off" producing a gradual transformation from the June Cleaver stereotype and replacing it with the independent, sexual, successful woman model of femininity.