3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Divine Moments of Truth,
This review is from: Are You Shpongled (Audio CD)
One of the seminal ambient dub works of the 90's was `Mystical Experiences' by `The Infinity Project'. This was a very liquid and organic mixture of dub, global ambient music and echo flute work. It was a record I bought not only because I liked the vivid cover but also because of the involvement of Raja Ram who I had known from the Notting Hill free festival psychedelic ethnic Jazz fusion counterculture group of the late 60's and early 70's Quintessence. The flute work on this album and `Are You Shpongled?' is very reflective of this. For years I rated this LP, until in 1998 Shpongle fluxed into this dimension. This debut was to some degree a complete work but also a taste of what was to come. `Are You Shpongled?' is more sedate and ambient than the other two Shpongle works. It has much more of Raja Ram's flute to the forefront of the recording. The characteristic trademarks of Shpongle are all there, the stretched and distorted vocal sounds, the bizarre high frequencies as synth sounds squeak and murmur, with strange voices gurgling some sort of ancient universal language from a DMT netherworld. The CD is ethereal and takes the listener on a sort of journey as it peaks and troughs with world beats coming in at different moments, understated samples about flying saucers and mystical processed ethnic vocals. The work is very well balanced and the 7 songs themselves are more compositions in a song cycle of a continuous piece of music, it is only `Divine Moment of Truth' (DMT) that really stands out separate and that is just the point where what you have been listening to seems to come to together and make sense. With the first proper communication from Shpongleland where vocoders annunciate an incantation to LSD and DMT before the whole track transforms into tribal drums and cosmic chants. The final track `...And the Day Turned to Night' is the way the whole thing winds down in a surreal soundscape that is nearly 20 minutes long, bringing you gently back to your own reality. Shpongle massages your brain and streches out time. The CD is nearly 1 hour 20 minutes long and it really feels like a worthwhile trip. Although the other two Shpongle LPs are more musically diverse and eclectic, this is where it all began our first voyage into Shpongleland. Simon Postford shows his unparalleled genius with everything he works on. I would recommend this CD to anyone who likes to treat their ears to a wholesome aural experience and a journey to really cosmic electronic realms. It compares to nothing and just is Shpongle.