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Shpongle - Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland

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Lamersen    0

Hey Psyheads,

 

Just saw this getting around on Twitter, not too many full reviews floating about online at the moment and this one had quite a diffrent take...... :lol:

 

Ineffable Mysteries from Shpongleland - Shpongle (2009) - A full review/critique - http://bit.ly/XErIM

 

Whats everyone think of it? :blink:

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Lemmiwinks    35

I admit I was surprised to see that Shpongle have released something new, considering that Nothing Is Lost was supposed to be their final album... The thought that this is just a collection of B-side material that wasn't good enough to feature on their older albums crossed my mind, but luckily it seems that these are all new creations. This album marks a bit of a return to their original roots (almost a decade since their first album), considering that there are much more arabic/ oriental influences and less hispanic ones. So I guess that depending on just when you became a Shpongle fan, you will find this a good or a bad thing (personally I prefer this ;) ). I'm also a bit surprised that they completely abandoned the Terence McKenna samples which were kindof their trademark (or maybe they just got pissed off from being copied by Entheogenic?).

And it all just sounds a lot more "straightforward" compared to their older stuff, more World-music like and less psychedellic, although I must admit that the randomness of Are You Shpongled? got on my nerves sometimes so being straightforward isn't necessarily bad.

 

Other than that, all the "traditional" Shpongle elements are there: blending electronic music with World music samples, heavily distroted voices, trippy samples and just about every sound ran through LFO-controlled filters, giving that bouncy-waterdrop feel that has become carachteristic of their sound. BUT there are also some new additions like a (relative) abundance of 303 sounds and also some oldschool Hallucinogen trademark arpeggios (some parts will make you feel like listeing to Twisted all over again).

 

I love Electroplasm, it really brings out the best in both worlds (World music and electronic music). I mean, there are not many artists out there that can blend classical violins, sitars, 303s and whale samples and make it all sound GOOD!! This is a true masterpiece IMO.

 

Then comes Shpongolese Spoken Here which is a bit of a letdown compared with the starting track. Only the second half picks up quite nicely with a dub rythm and a nice guitar melody on top, as well as one of those oldschool Hallucinogen arpeggios I've been talking about. It sounds good but it could've been better IMO.

 

Nothing is Something Worth Doing is one of the weakest tracks here, it all sounds empty and new-ageish, like the kind of music you'd hear in the background in a massage parlor. By this time I started wondering whether Shpongle didn't lose it this time...

 

But luckily Ineffable Mysteries kicks in next with a lot more energy. The arabic samples might be too much to handle at first but the more you listen to the track, the more it all starts making sense. And it really pays to wait for the track to unfold, the best part IMO is around 7:30 : you have a 303 playing some rapid 32nd notes, only after a while do you realize that they're following the main arabic chorus sample, and then again a trademark Hallucinogen arpeggio kicks in. It all works miracles! Again, not many artists manage to blend in such diverse elements and make it all sound good.

 

Then comes I Am You, or as I like to call it, "the Shpongle lovesong". It was love at first sight with this one, the voice melody is just divine and actually made me want for it to last longer (I usually tend to find voical melodies a bit cheesy). I can just imagine thousands of couples in chill-outs all over the World holding eachother closer when this melody plays. Again, you'd find the idea of Shpongle doing a lovesong quite odd, but believe me, it all works out VERY nicely if you hang on to it.

 

Then comes a slower track Invisible Man in a Fluorescent Suit which, just like Nothing is Something Worth Doing hits me as a bit weak and new-ageish... so I usually press next here...

 

No Turn Un-Stoned is up next, which is the only full-vocal track here. It starts pretty promising but then it REALLY goes downhill starting from 3:00, with a melody that sounds a bit like bar-music bleh... too bad cause the beginning was really sweet.

 

Walking Backwards Through The Cosmic Mirror is pretty nice on the other hand! The background rythm and melody sounds a LOT like some oldschool trance music (I mean REALLY oldschool - think the early 90s), on top of which Shpongle do their "thing" with wierd voice effects and LFO-filtered sounds. At times it all might sound a little hectic but all in all I like this one as well :)

 

THE GOOD: I love the use of (very) oldschool elements like the 303s, the Hallucinogen-trademark arpeggios, etc

 

THE BAD: a bit too "straightforward" at times. OK, Shpongle always was like 50% World Music - 50% psychill, but at times this album sounds like 99% World Music - 1% psychill...

 

CONCLUSION: Surprisingly good actually! I don't like all the tracks (but I never liked all the tracks on a single one of their albums, so that's normal). I'm happy I've got this and it will definately get a LOT of spins in my CD-played for months to come! 4,5/5

favortie tracks: 1(!!), 4, 5(!!), 8.

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Lemmiwinks    35

Hey Psyheads,

 

Just saw this getting around on Twitter, not too many full reviews floating about online at the moment and this one had quite a diffrent take...... :lol:

 

Ineffable Mysteries from Shpongleland - Shpongle (2009) - A full review/critique - http://bit.ly/XErIM

 

Whats everyone think of it? :blink:

 

 

well the dude basically gives his personal rants for 2/3s of the "review" and really reviews it in the last 2 paragraphs... there are better reviews out there IMO, although I quite agree with his concusion ;)

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technosomy    238

yeah, i can definitely see how people think it sounds some kind of like younger brother and i also got the feeling that simon worked a lot more on this one than raj did. when i read the booklet i got the feeling that most of the ideas came from si, while raj mostly is named in combination with the flute.. not that i think he did that much more on the previous shpongle albums, but this time raj really got into the background i think. but to me this is not bad at all and it definitely IS different from the previous ones - but it sounds good =) lots of love for details and lots of stuff going on in the background etc..

so, yes it could also be a hallucinogen album somehow, but he's the musical genius anyway in my opinion...

 

hence its soooo good

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technosomy    238

I admit I was surprised to see that Shpongle have released something new, considering that Nothing Is Lost was supposed to be their final album... The thought that this is just a collection of B-side material that wasn't good enough to feature on their older albums crossed my mind, but luckily it seems that these are all new creations. This album marks a bit of a return to their original roots (almost a decade since their first album), considering that there are much more arabic/ oriental influences and less hispanic ones. So I guess that depending on just when you became a Shpongle fan, you will find this a good or a bad thing (personally I prefer this ;) ). I'm also a bit surprised that they completely abandoned the Terence McKenna samples which were kindof their trademark (or maybe they just got pissed off from being copied by Entheogenic?).

And it all just sounds a lot more "straightforward" compared to their older stuff, more World-music like and less psychedellic, although I must admit that the randomness of Are You Shpongled? got on my nerves sometimes so being straightforward isn't necessarily bad.

 

Other than that, all the "traditional" Shpongle elements are there: blending electronic music with World music samples, heavily distroted voices, trippy samples and just about every sound ran through LFO-controlled filters, giving that bouncy-waterdrop feel that has become carachteristic of their sound. BUT there are also some new additions like a (relative) abundance of 303 sounds and also some oldschool Hallucinogen trademark arpeggios (some parts will make you feel like listeing to Twisted all over again).

 

I love Electroplasm, it really brings out the best in both worlds (World music and electronic music). I mean, there are not many artists out there that can blend classical violins, sitars, 303s and whale samples and make it all sound GOOD!! This is a true masterpiece IMO.

 

Then comes Shpongolese Spoken Here which is a bit of a letdown compared with the starting track. Only the second half picks up quite nicely with a dub rythm and a nice guitar melody on top, as well as one of those oldschool Hallucinogen arpeggios I've been talking about. It sounds good but it could've been better IMO.

 

Nothing is Something Worth Doing is one of the weakest tracks here, it all sounds empty and new-ageish, like the kind of music you'd hear in the background in a massage parlor. By this time I started wondering whether Shpongle didn't lose it this time...

 

But luckily Ineffable Mysteries kicks in next with a lot more energy. The arabic samples might be too much to handle at first but the more you listen to the track, the more it all starts making sense. And it really pays to wait for the track to unfold, the best part IMO is around 7:30 : you have a 303 playing some rapid 32nd notes, only after a while do you realize that they're following the main arabic chorus sample, and then again a trademark Hallucinogen arpeggio kicks in. It all works miracles! Again, not many artists manage to blend in such diverse elements and make it all sound good.

 

Then comes I Am You, or as I like to call it, "the Shpongle lovesong". It was love at first sight with this one, the voice melody is just divine and actually made me want for it to last longer (I usually tend to find voical melodies a bit cheesy). I can just imagine thousands of couples in chill-outs all over the World holding eachother closer when this melody plays. Again, you'd find the idea of Shpongle doing a lovesong quite odd, but believe me, it all works out VERY nicely if you hang on to it.

 

Then comes a slower track Invisible Man in a Fluorescent Suit which, just like Nothing is Something Worth Doing hits me as a bit weak and new-ageish... so I usually press next here...

 

No Turn Un-Stoned is up next, which is the only full-vocal track here. It starts pretty promising but then it REALLY goes downhill starting from 3:00, with a melody that sounds a bit like bar-music bleh... too bad cause the beginning was really sweet.

 

Walking Backwards Through The Cosmic Mirror is pretty nice on the other hand! The background rythm and melody sounds a LOT like some oldschool trance music (I mean REALLY oldschool - think the early 90s), on top of which Shpongle do their "thing" with wierd voice effects and LFO-filtered sounds. At times it all might sound a little hectic but all in all I like this one as well :)

 

THE GOOD: I love the use of (very) oldschool elements like the 303s, the Hallucinogen-trademark arpeggios, etc

 

THE BAD: a bit too "straightforward" at times. OK, Shpongle always was like 50% World Music - 50% psychill, but at times this album sounds like 99% World Music - 1% psychill...

 

CONCLUSION: Surprisingly good actually! I don't like all the tracks (but I never liked all the tracks on a single one of their albums, so that's normal). I'm happy I've got this and it will definately get a LOT of spins in my CD-played for months to come! 4,5/5

favortie tracks: 1(!!), 4, 5(!!), 8.

 

nice review lemmi, not enough of us oldies paying this thread the respect it deserves

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frisbee    3

funny that Lemmiwinks calls track 3 weak. after ~10 spins of the album, Nothing is Something Worth Doing is my favourite track. not from the album but of the year.

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Sawfly    2

Disappointed, but I kinda knew I was gonna be. Better than the last one though.

 

I Am You is the worst track here, just awful.

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Jon Cocco    90

Shpongle - Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland

2009

 

 

Track list

 

1. Electroplasm

2. Shpongolese Spoken Here

3. Nothing is something Worth Doing

4. Ineffable Mysteries

5. I Am You

6. Invisible Man in A Fluorescent Suit

7. No Turn Un-Stoned

8. Walking Backwards Through the Comic Mirror

 

 

Finally. A downtempo album that is up there with Solar Field's Movements. Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland is better, more in spirit with the essence of Shpongle than the previous album, which sounded like a great albeit rehash in some ways (to many people) than the previous two masterpieces. So how does the fourth album compare to the others?

 

 

 

1. Electroplasm is an engaging opening vehicle. Wow. Ethnic inspired, dark, groovy, intricate. It goes from dark and moody to ethnic, moving, and intelligent/driving, and back to dark, wickedly musical. Superb track. A

 

2. Shpongolese Spoken Here is great, though takes some time to pick up. It's continuously changing, smooth yet twisted transistions. Great guitar work - beautiful. The song becomes more peaceful as it progresses, finds itself towards the final third. The opening is more powerful IMO. That's fine though; this is great and adds substance, beauty whereas the last was more driving and devilishly ethnic. A-

 

3. Nothing is something Worth Doing as in meditating, being still I presume. Beautiful acoustic, drums, and infectiously incoherent vocal work, progression, drums. The introduction is attractive and leads us into this colorful like poetry, as if we just sat back to relax and fell through are carpet into another land. A-

 

4. Ineffable Mysteries is wonderful. The introducing sounds like a cross between a circus or zoo is in the background, and then that sense of scenery joins a mysterious, floating roller coaster track into the colorful, fairly dark unknown. The feeling throughout this album is GREAT. The male vocal work around 1:44 is alright, and gets quite catchy around 2:00. A low pitched, circus like melody soon arrives with several supports, complimented by an en elegant, ethnic Psy score. The song never falls into circus sounding cheese like a track or two did, going for the circus sound on Talpa's 2008 album. Entering flute work sounds great with the developing, psychedelic harmonies. Ambient and other instrumental work gives the song a nature edge to its electronic element. An sweet, little psy-interlude in the mid-fourth minute is cool albeit short before the track introduces a new wave of experimental, wild yet flowing musical scores, instruments, and bang-a-ranged, stylish vocals. The song is eventful and interesting from start to finish, even if it overloads the senses to compensate from having a clearer vision. The result is a track filled with sights and scenery, that develops- layers flow seamlessly into one another with the core, psychedelic, and groovy, animated artwork and foundation. Ambient notes towards the end produce a heartfelt degree of emotion. Great/excellent track. A-

 

5. I Am You is another strong track, one with lyrics, vocals. Having a vocal track is smart for numerous reasons. While I'm glad they limited dialogue to one track (there are some in Track 7), the musical overtones are far from mainstream in the generic sense. The lyrics work, exist mainly in the middle third. Although a few later samples sound more random (giddy maybe to spice it up), the overall song strong. It seems to attempt being two things however (singing piece and musical evolution without lyrics), and in that I appreciate that, probably more than had the song been lyric full. A-

 

6. Invisible Man In A Fluorescent Suit is one huge, musically rich and absorbing, emotive and suddenly powerful, climactic buildup. FIlled with colors, wonderful textures, strings, and more; this is one of the most engaging and emotive track I've heard all year. A floating transition or what appears to be an interlude begins at 5:23, but soon develops into a healthy, musically deepening evolution of the song. Coupled with uolifting melody/sound work towards the end, the song is fortunately not one-dimensional (the great albeit linear first five minutes). Another great, if not excellent track. The awakening feelings are beautiful, and the mind that is conscious of them. A-

 

7. No Turn Un-Stoned is another great track. The female vocals are good with the bouncy bass line and acoustic/ambient backdrop. I think some will have preferred this track to have no lyrics, but the female vocals and lyrics I find, give the track a fairy tale/escapist edge less present in the others. The music is wonderful, sounds trip-hop almost if not for all the Psy-art that continuously swims throughout its sea of sound. A-

 

8. Walking Backwards Through The Cosmic Mirror is magical. Remember the last track on Younger Brother 2? Well this sounds nothing like that, aside from the building emotion drive at its core spine. The song gets better, more thoughtful, developing, surreal, and infectious as it progresses. A major hook is soon after the three-minute mark. Water droplets appear, soon joined by an electric guitar that is barely heard thus not distracting from the PSY sound in the front. This small detail factors into the mix, fades, and a catchy beat is triggered off, instigating what appears to be a Goa aggressive melody/sound at the five-minute area forward. This part is super. The song is fierce and aggressive while remaining smooth and sleek; the voice samples compliment until the 6:30 forward coming down peace blanket. Excellent, intelligent, and memorable closing. A

 

 

In conclusion, Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland involves more work, magic, and innovation than the previous Shpongle album, which I enjoyed but found good/great overall, not excellent/superb. The album does have a more worldly edge than previous Shpongle albums, and I love it. They haven't eliminated the Psy work or it wouldn't be Shpongle. This is definitely a trippy album, more than on first listen. I admit one or two tracks seem more World at times than Psy/Chill, but the innovation and musical element is more intricate, imaginative, and infectious than most World albums out there. Furthermore, Shpongle always had an ethnic edge present on previous albums; numerous innovations have been created in the open field. At times the album sounds like a cross between an awesome, new Younger Brother release and Shpongle. The only track I'm not in love with is I Am You; the voices (that begin around halfway through) make the song feel less spacey and surreal than surrounding tracks. Although the dialogue is conscious aware; I appreciate that. That said, my mind is less present in the unlimited, surreal world because of the singing. I really do not mind such vocals on one track though, accompanied by delicious melodies and numerous other tasty musical elements and emotion. Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland is a contender for best album of 2009. It snuck up on me. I didn't know about its existence until November, 2009, and what a surprise. This is awesome to many (because some people will always be disappointed) Shpongle fans, and I'm thankful to Simon and Raja Ram for pushing the envelope once again and releasing a wonderful, passionately produced album. I'm really sorry that a few people are not in love with this release. I find it beautiful and a step up from the previous Shpongle album in so many ways. The album is harmonious, spiritual, floating, psychedelic, innovative, artistic, infectious, and fun. This may be my most favorite Shpongle album. Ever. Highly Recommended.

 

 

Favorite tracks - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8.

 

 

A-

 

 

 

 

Samples

 

http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/twi/twi1cd036.html

 

http://www.saikosounds.com/english/display_release.asp?id=8236

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simorq    0

... 3. Nothing is something Worth Doing as in meditating, being still I presume. ...

 

Yes, I'm pretty sure that's where they were going with the title.

 

... 7. No Turn Un-Stoned is another great track. The female vocals are good ...

 

One of the only things I'm not really happy with on this album are Michelle Adamson's vocals on this track...I don't know, I'm just not feelin it. Hari Om's vocals, at around 3 minutes, on the other hand, are exquisite.

 

... The only track I'm not in love with is I Am You ...

 

I definitely agree with you here. A lot of people are really liking this song, but to me it's the weakest on the album. Maybe it sounds a little forced? I don't know.

 

 

I can't believe how many times I've listened to this album now. How many times have you played it?

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Kombo*    0

This album disappointed me on the first few listened... I keep hearing bits of DMT mixed in there so it seems unoriginal, and I consider the lyrics cheesy... we speak Shpongelese just seemed like a mess.

 

IMO Shpongle have got worse every album, even though others disagree. Are You Shpongled was an ambient masterpiece that makes my top 5 albums every time - the other two have good portions but noting like the classic that AYS? was!

 

Anyway I'll listen to it more, see if my opinion changes!

 

I had a very bad feeling when I first listened to the samples at twistedmusic.com, I was very disappointed.

But it happens rarely, I don't know why it happens only in a few releases (for me), when you first listen to it you wanna vomit then the second listen is a totally new 'approach'.

I'm so glad they keep it that way, the way we all love.

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MIT    0

Int short: they didn't lost it. Hope in next 2-3 years they make journey to Amazon, Ngorongoro, or at least Mars.

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Redington    4

I think Nothing Is Something Worth Doing is my favorite track now. Following closely behind it is Invisible Man In A Fluorescent Suit and No Turn Unstoned.

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Noizi    0

Lovin' this album. It's got such a cool vibe, like psy meets ambient meets ethnic meets whatever-the-fuck.

 

Great release. ;D

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shpongle released beautiful cd as always. and here i want to say that half of success is that it is shpongle itself. they definetely have their own exclusive style that many of us are fond of. but the other side of this is that from album to another these music has less and less shine & glory. musicians are trying to refresh our impression by using some new features here and there. little bit vocals, little bit humour - all these thing are nice but cant realy pretend to be revelation. soon the time will come to bring more radiacal changes to fit the demands of the people who listening to project all these years. i wish shpongle good luck and to be brave enough to turn their music to a new channel and to tne next creative stage!

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-=InFeST=-    0

plz help anyone

 

who know which mantra are the words from track n.4 "Ineffable Mysteries" at the beginning from ??

 

i mean vocal like:

 

Ga ma dha pa pa dhaa pa ma pa dha

Ri ga ma pa dha pa dha ma paa dhu

Ri ga ma pa ma dhu ma dhi sa

 

 

Does anyone know which mantra is it??

 

need help!

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emmmgeee    0

Nothing Simon does will ever beat the first album, at least from a downtempo perspective. That said, Nothing Lasts was by far my least favourite album. Really didn't get into it, and still struggle to. This album is so much better. It is almost as good as Tales of the Inexpressible, and if the last track was half as epic as as '... Tea Daze' or '... Into Night' Then it would've got number two in my insignificant tally of Shpongle albums. Can't beat the first cos the first is so much more spacy and synth based. It is other-wordly whereas the subsequent albums all have real instruments as the foreground. Fair enough I guess, it's his band. Also, the liner notes were really interesting. Talks about how all the tracks were made, albeit briefly. Hope Sound on Sound or Future Music interview him more extensively. Good photos too on CD sleeve.

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johnb820    156

1... 2... 3... How about one more, for good luck.

 

Ineffable Mysteries is the most accomplished Shpongle album yet. Electroplasm begins right where Simon left us last time except this one has something different to it. Could it be the Indian influence? Could it be the mature and well thought out movements within the songs? Maybe it's the exceptional studio effects. The truth is while all of those things are present on this album, the reason why Ineffable Mysteries is the best Shpongle album and is potentially one of the best albums I have heard, period, is the Love and Passion all throughout it. This is something that I felt was lacking on Nothing Lasts.

 

Shpongolese Spoken Here takes us to the tight percussive genius that Shpongle is known for and just when you think you got the song pinned down, it shifts into the dub territory. This track is clearly a nod to what made Shpongle so successful in the first place. Nothing Is Something Worth Doing is quite possibly the most beautiful song I have ever heard. I can put it on and feel like everything is going to be alright, that there is still love in the world. Ineffable Mysteries and I Am You show us the Indian influence that is scattered throughout the album while Raja Ram brings us his most exciting and thrilling flute solos out of any Shpongle album.

 

Invisible Man is the next most accomplished song on this album. I can't stress enough the beauty of this album. This is healing music while it still paints a crazy, funny picture for us to laugh and admire. Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland propels this project to another level and proves that with time, passion, and love, something amazing can be accomplished. I really feel like saying a word or two to those who can't appreciate this album for what it is and to those who may not have purchased it. I'll just say that you are missing out on some beautiful artwork within the packaging.

 

So thanks to Simon Posford for bringing some light and positive energy to the world. We can only wish that such art can continue to find its way into the lives of those who need it.

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kathmandu    3

Michelle Adamson's singing in the track No Turn Unstoned in one of my favourite parts of the album. That is also because I fell in love with a very pretty suomi tytön who had the best hashish, dancing to this track at Shpongle Live.

"Like a madman groping in a dark room seek the light to burn away the gloom. I’ve lost my mind but my feelings are true everything I do, I offer to you. Now I’ve found you we can make our own luck ..........so I shall eat you ..."

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d_cisle    0

plz help anyone

 

who know which mantra are the words from track n.4 "Ineffable Mysteries" at the beginning from ??

 

i mean vocal like:

 

Ga ma dha pa pa dhaa pa ma pa dha

Ri ga ma pa dha pa dha ma paa dhu

Ri ga ma pa ma dhu ma dhi sa

 

 

Does anyone know which mantra is it??

 

need help!

 

It's not a bhajan, it's "do re mi fa sol la ti" (Indian musical scale/swara)

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Trance2MoveU    375

Wow. Just wow. I am late to the party on this one, but what a ride. This is the definition of evolution of sound. At no point in this disc is it boring or cliche. Some of the voice effects I could've done without, but never did it make me dislike a track. The first and last track are on a whole other plane of awesome and the middle is mostly sublime.

 

I never really got the appeal of Shpongle until this album. Having had my eyes opened, I shall listen to his previous albums with this new all seeing eye.

 

Great work. How do you top something like this?

 

Mdk

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Wow. Just wow. I am late to the party on this one, but what a ride. This is the definition of evolution of sound. At no point in this disc is it boring or cliche. Some of the voice effects I could've done without, but never did it make me dislike a track. The first and last track are on a whole other plane of awesome and the middle is mostly sublime.

 

I never really got the appeal of Shpongle until this album. Having had my eyes opened, I shall listen to his previous albums with this new all seeing eye.

 

Great work. How do you top something like this?

 

Mdk

 

I sure hope he will

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abysis212    0

I happen to agree with Tennant's assessment of this album mostly. Haven't listened to it much in depth so obviously there is room for it to grow on me. However, it felt like the melodies lacked depth and the territory was rehashed. I remember listening to Shpongle Falls for the first time and almost shitting myself. It was so different and so awesome and perfect. I loved how the earlier albums just felt so different from everything else. This one unfortunately feels like more of a familiar Shpongle rather than an attempt to reach out and reinvent their sound. Obviously the production is top notch and it is well composed. Just don't feel the excitment...but that may change some day.

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Manuser    268

Some weaknesses here and there but on the whole I like this album a lot.

It's very diverse which is a strenght for such an album, track 4 has nothing to do with track 7... this track (7) is one of the highlights here with its dreamy atmosphere.

Some parts of this album are a bit too much "world music" for my taste (example track 4), still it is a strong album IMO stronger than 'Nothing lasts..."

Highlights: "Electroplasm" (awesome guitar riffs), "Nothing is something worth doing", "No turn un-stoned". By the way the outro of the last track (outro of the album) is spot on.

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