Shpongle is a downtempo/ambient Psychedelic trance (or Psybient) project from the United Kingdom. The core members are Simon Posford (aka Hallucinogen) and Raja Ram (one third of The Infinity Project), but they often collaborate with other artists. Their sound has sampled Eastern ethnic instruments and Western contemporary synthesizer-based psychedelic music. Posford is responsible for the synth and studio work while Raja Ram contributes with flute arrangements. The project was formed in 1996 after the pair viewed a solar eclipse in India. The two went into the studio and attempted to duplicate the experience in sonic form, and the result was a 20-minute track, “…And the Day Turned to Night,” which was featured on Shpongle’s first album “Are You Shpongled?” and the Twisted label compilation Eclipse – A Journey Of Permanence & Impermanence.
Shpongle is not a dictionary recognized word; in an interview taking place in Russia, Raja Ram stated that Shpongle is an umbrella term for feeling positive and euphoric emotions.
Shpongle’s first track, “Vapour Rumours”, was released on TIP Records’ Infinite Excursions compilation in 1996. Their debut album, Are You Shpongled?, was released 1998 on Twisted Records. Their latest album Ineffable Mysteries from Shpongleland was released on November 28, 2009.
Shpongle have played very few full live concerts, although Simon Posford often plays Shpongle DJ sets. These DJ sets have sometimes been accompanied by Raja Ram on flute (e.g. Orchid Farm, Israel, 2002, Glastonbury Glade stage 2003, and Camp Bisco 2009).
Shpongle’s first live performance was at the Solstice Music Festival held at Motosu Highland in Japan on 19 to 21 July 2001. Shpongle played on 21 July. They returned to Japan on New Year’s Eve 2003 to play the New Maps Of Hyperspace event at Tokyo Bay NK Hall together with 1200 Micrograms (featuring Raja Ram) and Hallucinogen.
On January 16, 2004, they played a live set in Tel Aviv, Israel. As well as Simon Posford and Raja Ram, this featured Abigail Gorton (Hari Om) and Michele Adamson (credited as Michelle on the tickets) on vocals, Pete Callard on guitar, Nogera on drums and percussion, and Ott on keyboards and programming.
Prior to the release of their fourth album, Shpongle played a sold out live concert at The Roundhouse venue in Chalk Farm, North London on October 31, 2008. The band featured Andy Gangadeen (drums), Nogera (percussion), Chris Taylor (bass), Pete Callard (guitar), Harry Escott (cello) and Dick Trevor (keyboards and programming); Michele Adamson and Hari Om (voices), three dancers and for one song only Manu Delago on hang drum.
This was followed on 20 December 2008 by a concert in Moscow featuring the same lineup. Shows were also planned for March 7 and 9 2009 in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. These were cancelled due to non-payment of the deposit by the promoters.
In 2009, Shpongle played a headlining date at the Ozora Festival held near Ozora, Hungary on 15 August; and two album launch shows at the Roundhouse on October 30 and 31. The duo returned to Moscow to play at Milk on December 12, 2009.
On August 3rd 2010, they are due to play at the Ozora festival in Hungary again. This will be their tenth documented live performance.
Are You Shpongled? (1998)
Tales of the Inexpressible (2001)
Nothing Lasts… But Nothing Is Lost (2005)
Ineffable Mysteries from Shpongleland (2009)
Untitled Fifth Album (2012)
Shpongle Remixed (2003)
Shpongle Unreleased Remixes – Download only (2008)
Live at the Roundhouse 2008 [TWSDVD002] (2009)