Album: “Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland” (2009)
If you already got shpongled long ago, there might be a sense of dread accompanying the excitement with which you will approach this album. The reason for my cynicism was clear – where could they go after Nothing Lasts…But Nothing Is Lost?
Electroplasm, though lilting, does little to reassure or prepare one for the musical experience that is Shpongle, and equally unconvincing is Shponglese Spoken Here. Great electronic music with classical guitar, but it’s the kind of stuff that needs visuals to help you into it. What are music videos for, yeah?
Good stuff follows – Nothing Is Something Worth Doing and Ineffable Mysteries are the songs that reinstate why Shpongle is so bloody awesome. Unless any of you from the shpongled lot haven’t heard “music” before, Nothing Is Something Worth Doing should remind you of a classic Metallica song off the …And Justice For All album. Keep guessing till the end of time, losers.
Having been a listener of Raja Ram’s work with 1200 Micrograms, and a fan of Simon Posford’s Hallucinogen (I loved both Twisted and The Lone Deranger…Goa Trance!!!), it’s stunning to see where these guys have taken themselves.
The electronic wizardry finally overpowers me with I Am You, and you’ll be glad the song stretches past 11 minutes. The best thing about this album is it doesn’t try to live up to expectations fans of Shpongle have, makes no effort to match up to Are You Shpongled? or Tales Of The Inexpressible, and therein lies its strength and force.
Boys can raise their ugly bald heads and hail their favourite Shpongle album as the band’s greatest work and girls can sway their child-bearing hips with full righteousness, but as Invisible Man In A Flourescent Suit, No Turn Un-Stoned and Walking Backwards Through The Cosmic Mirror (psytrance, baby!) make themselves comfortable before me between a fresh morning and a lazy afternoon on a Sunday, I can tell you this is the most clever psybient music that’s come out in awhile.
Shpongle have almost always taken things a notch up with every step in their career, and with Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland they pay no attention to all the hype that anything they created would generate, and have given the most mature album from their glowing discography. Hard to believe, impossible to deny.