Among all the albums coming out today, few are more noteworthy than the sequel to Infected Mushroom’s monumental 2003 album Converting Vegetarians.
12 years after the fact, Converting Vegetarians II marks a return to the psychedelic/goa trance sound that catapulted this Israeli duo to international stardom. Infected Mushroom would say that they never left, but in the years after the original CV album, and after IM The Supervisor in 2005, the duo clearly began to adopt a more distinct live persona, culminating in the recruitment of Brazilian percussionist Rogério Jardim in 2007. Following that, releases like Army of Mushrooms and Friends On Mushrooms further pushed Infected Mushroom away from their original sound, despite still retaining a sound all their own.
CVII is an incredible return to their native sound, a sound so unmistakable and indicative of their journey that shivers run down my spine. The first track of the album, “She Zorement,” plays like Beardyman on shrooms, undulating and pulsating with rhythm and natural Infected Mushroom modulations. If you weren’t aware, Infected Mushroom takes each sound individually and warps it, making each song and sample entirely unique. This is nowhere more apparent than on “Zoan Zaound,” a swing-type electronic tune that combines many of their soundscapes from The Legend of the Black Shawarma with a new-found sensibility.
One of the most impressive tracks on the album is undoubtedly “Pink Froid,” a tripped out psychedelic journey tribute to Pink Floyd (if you missed that). Just like “The Pretender” on Army of Mushrooms, Infected Mushroom has proven that they are more than capable of transposing some of the most iconic work from other artists and completely absorbing their essence, all while recreating it in a reverent and original way.
“Blue Swan 5” is probably one of the tracks on the album closest to real trance. I can imagine seeing acts like Cosmic Gate and Aly & Fila playing it out without an issue, even with the emotionally charged live guitar sequences.
And that leads us to one of the more unique pieces on the album, “Fields Of Grey,” the first on the project to feature full English vocals from Duvdev, and accompanying vocals from Sasha Grey, whose name likely influenced the track name – or perhaps the other way around. It’s also the only track on the album really to go as hard as it does.
To say that this is one of the more traditionally musically inclined albums of 2015 would be an understatement. Natural instruments and progressions abound, giving the overall work a completely organic ambiance. And leave it to the final track “The Surgeon” to really drive that point home. Beautifully arranged classical elements meld with unmistakable goa undertones, creating a wholly unique perspective on electronic music and music in general.
Don’t sleep on this album. Get it on iTunes now.