The Beginner DJ Blog

Shpongle – Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland Review

Muxx March 17, 2010 Reviews No Comments


When I heard a new Shpongle album was in the works, I completely lost my breath. As a huge fan of Shpongle, the announcement of the new album had me sit up immediately.

What did Raja and Simon plan for the next album? Where could they go with it? When, when, when!

With each Shpongle album, Raja and Simon showed how influential their impact on the electronic music scene was.

Shpongle - Ineffable Mysteries of Shpongleland

With the first release of Are You Shpongled? the world was caught off gaurd as Raja’s and Simon’s previous releases were heavily PsytranceĀ - respectfully 1200 Mics and Hallucinogen.

So what were these two going to create? Was it going to be the greatest psytrance album of all time?

Not at all. Instead, Raja and Simon surprised everyone by making a downtempo album (now refered to as Psybient): Are You Shpongled?

After the release of Are You Shpongled? the world demanded more and that’s exactly what Raja and Simon planned to give them.

In 2001, Shpongle released their phenomenal album Tales of the Inexpressible.

With such hits as Star Shpongled Banner, Around the World in a Tea Daze and of course A New Way to Say Hooray.

Tales of the Inexpressible seemed like Shpongle has hit its peak. However, this wasn’t going to stop the duo from further releasing their next album…

By 2005, Shpongle were already considered one of the most influential groups in electronic music, but it was finally set in stone with the release of Nothing Lasts…But Nothing is Lost. With Nothing Lasts… Shpongle included an entire new range of instruments, samples and tricks.

Originally created as 8 tracks, Simon divided them into 20 various songs to act as the various plateus of dreaming.

After Nothing Lasts… what else could Shpongle possibly do? They’ve already created 3 of the greatest albums of electronic music, how in the hell were they going to follow it up?

Finally, they released their fourth album: Inneffable Mysteries From Shpongleland, a monumental album filled with new energy, incredible sampling, twisted instruments and of course, the Shpongle touch.

I almost feel out of place reviewing a Shpongle album because you really need to make the judgement yourself.

Reviews will never explain how you feel about each song. Depending on which state you are in, the album can have a whole new meaning. With each listen, a whole new world is opened up from small details you may have missed before.

I always recommend you listen to your albums multiple times, in various emotional states to really decide if you enjoy the album.

Instead of trying to point what each song sounds like or builds upon, I want to share with you what I feel from each song instead of trying to label them.

This is my review of Shpongle’s Inneffable Mysteries From Shpongleland…

Electroplasm
Electroplasm is the first track off the new Shpongle album and boy does it make an opening.

The entire feel of Electroplasm is as if you’re being guided through a middle eastern bazaar full of animals, vendors and many wonders of the world.

Much like the ending lyrics of the song, it literally feels like you’re drunk, wobbling down the street, blowing your mind.

Shpongolese Spoken Here
The second track is aptly named Shpongolese Spoken Here and is one of my favorite track off this album.

The first half of the track is this blast of glitched out sounds and an amazing set of dis-joined lyrics set to a driving, progressive beat. As the second half picks up, it chills back down with an amazing display of spanish sounding guitars.

The song is both extremely trippy but ends you very somber and relaxed.

Nothing Is Something Worth Doing
What an amazing name for an amazing track. Just the name itself puts you into deep thought about how society puts this pressure that you should be doing something at all times when, in fact, nothing is something worth doing.

This is perhaps the most chilled out track on the album. It’s one of those perfect songs that make you reflect about the world around you and allows you to absorb all the wonder of it.

Ineffable Mysteries
Just as you begin to feel very relaxed from the previous song, Ineffable Mysteries throws you right back into the psychedelic world of Shpongle.

You know you’re going for a ride when the voice begins to warp and kicks back in with deep, ethnical chanting. The female voice toward the later half of the creates a warming break for the excellent play of Raja.

This track is the in between, it helps break up the album from the ethnical feel of the beginnign of the album into the more introspective later half.

I Am You
I Am You is my favorite track off the new Shpongle album by far. I remember hearing bits of it from a recording when Shpongle was touring and it blew my mind then and did again, doubly so, on the album release.

I love this song because it’s downright beautiful. The lyrics provoke those deep thoughts you’ve had about people you love, it’s almost too much.

This whole track is a perfect example of the genius of Shpongle, they can’t be matched, it’s perfect.

Invisible Man In A Fluorescent Suit
The 6th song of this album, Invisible Man feels like there is some sort of opposite persona from the one you’ve created and know, yourself.

There is always a part of us that longs for adventure and some kind of completeness, I believe this song is meant to represent this.

In some way, it’s a reflection on yourself through the use of spiraling synths and an, almost, childish rhythm.

It’s definitely a introspective trip.

No Turn Un-stoned
No Turn Unstoned is my second favorite track on this album. I’ve always loved crazy, synthed out voices so this one really does it for me.

The bassline and synths in this album are some of the best on the entirety of the album.

This track really shows the amazing skills of Raja, the flute compliments this track so well. The lyrics are sung by a gentle female voice that is very soothing, very comforting.

Walking Backwards Through The Cosmic Mirror
Finally, we’ve reached the end of the album, the final track: Walking Backwards Through The Cosmic Mirror.

Besides being a very complex and magnificent tune, it really does seem to take you backwards through space and time, it makes you think of what you’ve heard over the last hour of the album.

The guitar work in this track is the best off the album, it’s so menacing, that off note. The bassline and kick drives the song back up to speed, throwing you back into the weird world of Shpongle. It ends you on one final bit of flute, to bring you back into your own world.

Afterthoughts
Wow, what a truly intense album.

It’s been years since Shpongle has released a new album and I’m grateful they’ve waiting this long to build their own experiences to share with us.

I’m very torn between this album and Tales of the Inexpressible.

This album has a much more “darker” sound to it at times, everything felt so much deeper and authentic.

Overall this album goes on regular play for me, it’s one that you’d put on during some experimentation or if you’re relaxing during a rain storm.

It’s the perfect album to sit outside and absorb the stars.

I don’t want to rate it but if I had to give it a final score, it would be: 8.5/10.

For me, I would have loved for the synthed voices to continue through some of the tracks. The older albums felt a bit more psychedelic at times which I would have loved if there were one or two more harder songs.

This is what Shpongle is, this album really shows their perfection and their evolution. Shpongle continues to expand their sound, they can’t be compared.

Put on some headphones, sit in a dark room and listen to this album.

I guarantee that it’ll blow your mind.

Buy Shpongle – Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland on Amazon


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