Top 10 Best Shpongle Songs



Simon Posford and Raja Ram, the psynamic duo that make up Shpongle, have been twisting our brains for the past two decades with their field reports on the psychedelic experience expressed through the art of psychedelic electronic music. 



How time has flown, and what a flight it has been. From the timeless classic of their debut album "Are You Shpongled ?" to the dark hidden spaces of their fifth album "Museum Of Consciousness", Shpongle have grown into a worldwide phenomenon on the psychedelic music scene. 

As a tribute to celebrate getting truly Shpongled for the past 20 years I present here my all time favorite best Shpongle songs. These are listed in chronological order ( release order ) and represent a selection of my overall top 10 tunes by Shpongle.

image of shpongle members
Shpongle - Raja Ram ( left ) Simon Posford ( right )

01. And The Day Turned To Night
Album : Are You Shpongled ?

Not so many psychedelic chillout songs can claim an eight minute build up. Hell, most songs are done and buried by then. Not this monster of a tune. And The Day Turned to Night is a modern masterpiece of song making that is, as much as I hate to say it, yet to be bettered by Shpongle. I might be biased as I do love long songs and this one clocks in at an extravagant 19 minutes. 

That's 19 minutes of some of the best electronic music you will here in you life mind you. Layer on layer of psychedelic sound in continually peeled away and added across a vast universe of bliss. When questioned about his favorite Shpongle track Posford chose this very song. One listen and you'll understand why.  






02. Divine Moments Of Truth (aka DMT)
Album : Are You Shpongled ?

While "And The Day Turned To Night" may be considered the most ambitious tune on the their debut album, DMT is the true fans favorite. It's certainly one of mine too. When the DMT-LSD-Doo-Dee-Doo-Daa-Waa-Woo processed voice sample comes in you are taken on a magical carpet ride through the infinite, spirally corridors of a DMT trip complete with magical singing elves. 

I once emailed Simon to ask how he came up with that trippy voice and it turns out it was just some free Mac plug in he used to get the effect. Just goes to show that its not the tools but what you do with them that counts. 

I think what I really love about DMT is the last two minutes. The song rises up and breaks through a wall into a voice exclaiming "Okay!" as if saying here we are, you have arrived now let me show you what its all about.




03. Once Upon The Sea Of Blissful Awareness
Album : Tales of the Inexpressible

One of the most haunting and melancholic psychedelic songs you will ever hear, Once Upon The Sea perfectly demonstrates Shpongle's  ability to produce beautiful, stripped back music. The touching vocals from Abigail  Gorton, with backing from the ever present Michelle Adamson have been known to reduce people to tears as they float in and out across an endless ocean of dreams. 



 

04. Around The World In A Tea Daze
Album : Tales of the Inexpressible 

“…we can take this huge universe, and put it inside a very tiny head. We fold it…” so begins the sermon on the  Da MounT that is "Around The World In A Tea Daze". Biblical in scope, this tune combines all the best bits of Shpongle - the time signature changes, memorable quirky samples, driving bass lines, melodic synth shenanigans, emotive builds and stunning percussion into one colossal tune.




 

05. Star Shpongled Banner
Album : Tales of the Inexpressible 

I'm fortunate enough to have been in the middle of a frenzied dance floor at a dusty outdoor festival in Australia when Posford played an extended version of this song. The crowd went absolutely f$#%ing mental !

The smiles on the faces of the people me around on that packed floor were as wide as the horizon itself. The elated feeling everyone felt that day is a memory that will live with me forever. The growling synth line in the second half of the tune harks back to that classic gnarliest synth sounds Posford used in his 1995s "Hallucinogen" album. 




06. When Shall I Be Free / Stamen Of The Shamen
Album :
Nothing Lasts…But Nothing Is Lost


Shpongle's third album was rumored to be their last. With the title "Nothing lasts...but nothing is a lost" ( a line originally attributed to William Blake, used by Terence McKenna and then sampled by Shpongle ) it's easy to see why such rumors might spread. If it was to be their last, Shpongle certainly decided to go out in a decidedly different fashion. Sure there was still the crazy Shpongleness about it but what surprised fans was that every track, 20 of them, was only an average 3 minutes long ! 


What this actually forced you to do was listen to the album as a whole as each track feed into the next. A master stroke of production ? In reality, Shpongle has admitted to making a mistake with the track splitting which led to the shortened tracks. It must have been quite challenging for Raja to come up with all those track names ! 

So with that in mind, I've gone with these two tracks as if they were originally intended as a whole single track. With its "When shall I be free ? When I shall cease to be ? No more I but we in perfect harmony" mantra we are given a shot of celestial introspection in the first song and then a sultry siren's seductive seance in the second half sends your brain into blissful ecstasy.





 

07. I Am You
Album :
Ineffable Mysteries from Shpongleland

"I'm always taking that extra little bit too much" says who I assume is Raja Ram under some processed vocals towards the end of I Am You - one of Shpongle's most polished gems in the glittering box of psychedelic jewels that is their fourth album. 

Just what he is taking too much of is a mystery - DMT ? LSD ? THC ? Time ? Fibre ? Whatever it is, I Am You is a song you can never get enough of. The vocal refrain "I am you and you are me - I'll always be with you" lives long in the memory well after this spiraling, hallucinatory brain worm has ended.




08. Invisible Man In A Fluorescent Suit 
Album : Ineffable Mysteries from Shpongleland

A beautiful orchestral opening gives way to a playful melody over delicate cascading arpeggios. The second half of this song really shines with a soaring atmosphere as if one has become a bird in flight, flying over the treetops looking down from above. The samples towards the end are of interest too - not often you here people say "shit" in a psychedelic dub tune.



 

09. The Aquatic Garden Of Earthly Delights
Album:
Museum of Consciousness

There is a feeling of tension in this song. A dark, foreboding and  accelerated panic that is preset throughout Shpongle 5th album "Museum Of Consciousness". I don't know if that atmosphere was intentional or not but its certainly something many fans have noticed and commented on. Lots if Raja's lovely flute work here again and a more than subtle tribute to David Lynch's Twisted Peaks if I'm not mistaken.



 

10. Tickling The Amygdala
Album :
Museum of Consciousness

A slow, dubby delight with a hint of Pink Floyd's "On The Run". Reminds one of "Monster Hit" from their debut album. The end is similar to Posford's solo piano track "E" he wrote for the compilation Twelve.




So there we have it - a quick run down of my best favorite Shpongle songs of the past 20 years. Will the journey continue ? Lets hope so. I'd love to hear what your favorite songs are too ( including remixes ) so drop a comment below and let us all know which tunes get you feeling completely geschtonkenflapped !

 
You might also enjoy these links :

- Simon Posford Mix ( Shpongle, Hallucinogen, Younger Brother and more )
- Shpongle Wallpapers

   
Posted on 8.5.16 by PsyAmb TAG : | 9 Comments ( ADD NEW COMMENT )

9 comments :

omahasolo said... @ 10 May, 2016

very nice

Anonymous said... @ 14 May, 2016

It was a monster hit !

Anonymous said... @ 14 May, 2016

Just about every song on the first album would be in my top ten.

Rafe420 said... @ 19 May, 2016

Hey i got a question: Could someone please tell me the exact time in I Am You where he is supposed to say "i'm always taking that extra little bit too much" ?
I listened to the ending part 10 times now, just can't seem to hear it..

PsyAmb said... @ 19 May, 2016

Hi Rafe,

Check around 9:04.

Now that I listen to it again, he might be saying "take in that extra ...." rather than "taking that extra ...."

Is that what you mean ?

JawaVawa said... @ 25 May, 2016

Awesome list. Thanks for putting this together.

Anonymous said... @ 27 May, 2016

It's like trying to choose your favorite child ! If I have to choose I'll go for DMT.

VenusC said... @ 27 May, 2016

That Posford mix is incredible. Do you have a FLAC version of it ?

ANJAN said... @ 31 May, 2016

rumours of vapor ! come on has to be inthe top 5-7

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