Sway to this psychedelia

Jan 26, 2014, 13:55 IST | Moeena Halim

Simon Posford brings Shpongle’s psyambient brand of electronica back during his multi-city tour 

What happens when a flautist teams up with an electronic musician specialising in psychedelic trance? Their listeners get Shpongled.

Nagarjuna and father Akkineni Nageswara Rao
Simon Posford is excited about being in India again after two years

Raja Ram and Simon Posford refer to their music as being “nothing like anything you’ve heard before.” What Shpongle fans are treated to is an almost hauntingly psychedelic sound — a brand of electronica that is of a much softer, more ambient variety.

“He (Ram) describes visual images, like a lake shimmering in the sky, which I try to convert to music,” reveals Posford, who takes care of the production, instrumentation and programming for Shpongle. “Ram is a wonderful muse and inspiration with a wealth of musical knowledge from Jazz to Classical, and of course, a wonderful flautist and a cunning linguist,” adds Posford, about the musician he’s worked with since 1996.

Apart from Ram’s enchanting flute pieces juxtaposed with a hybrid of electronic manipulations, Shpongle’s tracks sometimes include bits from other instruments and vocals as well. Perhaps this is what makes Shpongle, which Posford describes as a “mixture of several English words: Spangled, mashed, stoned”, such a fitting name for the duo. “It is a word invented by Raja Ram whilst feeling...Shpongled,” he claims.

When the duo tours together, they are usually accompanied by a full live band of 11 other musicians. Unfortunately, Shpongle fans in the country will have to wait a while before they are treated to this extravaganza. Posford, who toured the country solo two years ago, will represent the duo alone again this year. Not surprisingly, it is Indian food that the musician is looking forward to the most on his return. “Dal makhani, Lachha paratha and Lassis on the beach in Goa,” lists Posford, dreaming of his Indian tour.

If you missed Shpongle’s performance in the city last Friday, you could always catch him spinning his tunes at the lovely Sula vineyards Fest or along Goa’s beachfront club Bardo. “Anywhere that is outside the city, in nature, improves the experience,” says Posford, who promises a “wine-soaked Bacchanalian celebration of love and life” at his Nasik performance.

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