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Shpongle - Nothing Lasts... But Nothing Is Lost


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Unlike the first two Shpongle albums, I haven't listened to this in almost three full years. Simply no lasting appeal.

Really? It engages me every time, and then when I get to ...And Nothing Is Lost, leading into When Shall I Be Free and the Stamen Of The Shamen... it puts me into a highly emotional trancelike state...


The melancholy piano line at the end of And Nothing Is Lost... totally enrapturing... and When Shall I Be Free is just SO beautiful and moving and deep in my opinion.... Clearly this is the intended centerpiece of the record... I feel it was all composed that way quite deliberately... I think of the whole rest of the album before that as preparing you for this section. The hypnotic slow washes and the repetition of the first line of the lyric over and over, then building and swirling and building and swirling.. the muttered voices... then in a sort of musical orgasm BOOM! the drums and Bass crash in and those glorious circular arabic guitar filligrees! Then there's the couple of terribly sweet bars when the whole background beat and every else drops out at 3:05 except for the vocals in beautiful double-harmony, along with that rolling very Pink Floyd-esque Bass/Guitar unison vamp that then drop-slides down an octave as the lyric is repeated once more, then all the other parts suddenly come back and do their thing till the end. Wow!


And Stamen of he Shamen - what a track! That bassline with the Mexican-esque trumpet section floating over top... somehow it all just really clicks together SOOOO perfectly and captures my attention and my heart. And trumpets! Who would have expected trumpets! Highly dramatic as no natural wind instruments have been used up to this point I do not believe, at least not so front-and-center... providing for a great contrast that really tickles our organic neurons after all the electronics. Very surprising to hear no matter how often I listen to it... still totally unexpected, and something about the emotional character of the melodic musical composition here just gives me goosebumps and makes me almost want to cry while at the same time feel very happy.


I don't know how to explain it and I don't know how the hell he came up with this, but there it is. It is simultaneously melancholy, fascination-trance, celebratory and so damn FIERCE! all at the same time.


Utterly phenomenal and extremely touching. Pure genius. Why these 4 short simple lines of lyric, which is the entire lyric, repeated over and over like a hypnotic mantra (no, not like a mantra, it *IS* a mantra!) giving more proof that some sort of divine inspiration was clearly at work here:


When shall I be free?

When I shall cease to be.


No more I, but we...

in perfect harmony


What I would give to have been in a big tripping crowd peaking at 2AM at some festival , hearing/seeing this song performed live (hopefully in an extended version? (ARE THERE ANY EXTENDED VERSIONS floating around?)... I bet it would have been a transformative experience like no other!

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  • 3 years later...

to much routine in this release and not enough soul...


still it's sphongle style but I have the feeling they didn't put any effort into this work...


6/10 I rate it..


It seems that I changed my mind after 7 years, This album grew on me and that's good (or how it should be).



Shpongle ‎– Nothing Lasts... But Nothing Is Lost (2005)


This shpongle took me some time to appreciate. The first album is still unbeatable

but this one comes pretty close. After his debut Sphongle decided to use a lot of samples

and world music influences. Sometimes that was to much for me. In this releases

he doesn't use to much world music samples and gets back to the more original sphongle

sound. What off course has changed since 1998 (better of not?). But I like it.

It's a good ambient journey with variated patterns and not overloaded compared to other

shpongle releases with are sometimes a bit over the top and imo not relaxing at all

considering into the ambient perspective.



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  • 2 months later...

So I have been listening to this album a lot lately after a short visit to Shpongleland last week with Ineffable Mysteries and have been trying to figure out why I never took as much interest in it as the other Shpongle albums. This is by far the most wild, imaginative and intricate album Si and Raj have made. Nothing Lasts... sounds digital, glitchy, and yet vibrant with nature and full of geometric imagery.


There is a somewhat desperate sound in the Nothing Lasts trio of songs but yet a calming nature to some of the later tracks like Connoisseur of Hallucinations. I think this album is very close to nature, moreso than other Shpongle albums, and inspired by cultures of the world that are close to nature as well. It's as if this album is like the soundtrack to movies like Baraka and Samsara. With that said there are a number of not so great songs on here like When Shall I Be Free - The Stamen of the Shamen and then the album kind of suffers some pacing issues with dull sections like Invocation and Exhalation sandwiched between already short songs lacking in composition.


If Ineffable Mysteries is like a fantasy dream world, Nothing Lasts... is the real world in all its beauty, terrifying complexity, and the human expression trying to explain it all.

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