#songbender part 39 – Shpongle – Shpongle Falls
Well hellllllo once again dear lady and that gentlemen who isn’t really but we’re polite enough not to bring this up in the first sentence!
this is a circular vortex…..spinning. spinning. spinning. spinning. spi@$#%#%^?!?#>$#$>%
So we have a new year, which I’m sure loads of people told you to be happy, too bad there’s no way to actually go up again to them next year and kick them in the face “THIS YEAR WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HAPPY YOU FKIN LIAR”
aaaand it’s been a while, so even though i was giving it some thought what should be next, i finally got to the conclusion that since it’s number 39, and has 9 in it, which is my number, i’m not going to beat around the bush (the bush does not like to be beaten around, you know), and let’s go with a big one.
This is from Posford’s first Shpongle album, which is weird. This is still the biggest influence of mine since like forever. I remember learning about Hallucinogen, and reading up on it on the internet in like 1998 and 99 (in a university computer room, mind you, not like we had any internet sorta crap in those days at home – AAAND in fact i have a cool story about this, which i may share one day, but only if someone asks me nicely). So when i got this Shpongle album i was like, ok, wtf, i mean, Simon knows his stuff, but this is something new, i guess.
And IMMEDIATELY i was blown to pieces, and never recovered. In fact, i honestly think if it wasn’t for this album, i would have not gone into this “create electronic shit” at all. This was just SO MIND BLOWING to me at the time. I knew about rock, metal, even extreme metal, i’d know about jazz and folk and all kind of niche stuff that is actually brilliant, not many people know about them, and even in the electronic scene, the aphex twins, the squarepushers, the noise-ridden drum&basses and the demoscene guys, you would honestly think you’ve seen it all –
but i never came across shit like this. this was just resonating on another level. just check this freaking song out, and i’m not putting this one out there as the biggest Posford/Shpongle song. That’s for another day, and i’m pushing that back intentionally. This one is meant to represent the shock and awe that i felt when just unknowingly put this album on, and this is actually the first track.
It’s not exactly a song you would call a verse-chorus-verse, right? but even for an ambient one, it’s chaotic. The last almost 2 minutes are just ambient noise, just like the beginning.
I was sitting there like……”you can DO THAT? and get away with it??!?!!” well FFFFFFFFF me. And again, i could write a thesis on just the intro of this shit. Pieces that are never heard once they are played. All these noises, distorted human speech, ambient atmospheres that were NOT COMMON in these days! this has been a brilliant album, and still has no1 in my shpongle discography (even though Simon made some unbelievable further albums later on). But that was another time and another space, later on.
This first one has the biggest Shpongle song ever on it, but this is not that one. This is the first one on the album, and from the history perspective it’s more important for me than “THE BIG ONE” that we’re going to explore later.
But for now, please welcome the mad genius, Mr. Simon Posford and Raja Ram on the flute, together they are called Shpongle, they do innnnnsane live shows with stuff you honestly wouldn’t believe, just check it on youtube, it’s mindblowing, so they have multiple successful albums, with insane songs on them, they are one of the first influences of mine whenever i’m asked about it, so there’s nothing else i can say.
That bassline in the middle, i mean COME ON. Psy-dub was NOT A THING in these days. But after this, it was.
(btw Ott and Simon are close friends, and Ott has remixed Simon’s early work into a whole album, which is absolutely freaking unreal)
Slow, kick-drum centered beat that has the kickdrum in the place of the snaredrum? with a dominating bassline, flute-solos, extreme distorted noises and rich textures? Well Nancy you sign me the fuck up right there!
So lady and gentleman, please welcome one of the big ones for 2024, this is how we celebrate the new year, i guess. This is Shpongle Falls.
(and please be patient with it and i recommend at least 3 re-listens to really grasp it
AND FOR PROPER ENJOYMENT PLEASE USE HEADPHONES IS POSSIBLE, OR TURN THAT SHIT UP PPPPPPROPERLY, YEAH.).