Infected Mushroom

Mining Israel's Goa trance of its hottest intensities, Infected Mushroom remain one of the Middle East's biggest international cult successes.

Erez Aizen's cheap background in obsessed bedroom computer tinkering had led him into and out of a number of crude dance efforts, and when a mutual friend suggested he should get together with Amit Duvdevani, a thrash metal fan who had just returned from an aborted career path in India, the two found enough in common to surreptitiously explore the rising psychedelic trends pouring out of the nation's clubs. The results -- 1999's The Gathering, which was heavily inspired by the surreal ambient dance of Simon Posford, X-Dream, and Transwave, and 2000's Classical Mushroom, an aggressively melodic trance LP that broke the European, Japanese, and American markets -- elevated Infected Mushroom to one of Israel's key trance production duos.

The duo's third album, B.P. Empire, found them deviating a bit from their established psy-trance sound, experimenting with classical and Middle Eastern-influenced melodies and slower tempos. 2003 double-CD Converting Vegetarians took this genre experimentation further, designating one disc for more straightforward trance tracks and a second disc with tracks ranging from ambient and abstract electronic music to synth-pop and downtempo. IM the Supervisor followed in 2004, and found the duo adding new production techniques and influences as well an increased presence of vocals. The album was more accessible than previous efforts and became their most commercially successful release to date.

Following IM the Supervisor, Infected Mushroom relocated to Los Angeles, and began working with guitarists Thomas Cunningham and Erez Netz. The duo was ranked number nine in DJMag's Top 100 DJs poll in 2007, confirming their status as the most popular psychedelic trance act in the world. IM's 2007 full-length, Vicious Delicious, expanded their stylistic range beyond electronic dance music, encompassing hip-hop, rock, and Latin music. The album features more guest appearances than previous albums, including vocals by Gilberto Cerezo of Kinky and Canadian hip-hop group Swollen Members, as well as the increased presence of live instrumentation. 2009's Legend of the Black Shawarma (released in North America by Paul Oakenfold's Perfecto label) took their rock/trance fusion sound even further, including collaborations with Korn's Jonathan Davis and Janes Addiction's Perry Farrell, as well as IM's remix of the Doors' "Riders on the Storm."

In late 2011, Steve Aoki signed Infected Mushroom to his Dim Mak label. The group's first release for Dim Mak was 2012's Army of Mushrooms, yet another stylistic expansion, featuring dubstep, electro-house, and drum'n'bass tracks, as well as a cover of Foo Fighters' "The Pretender." The group then undertook a massive North American tour dubbed "The Unveiling," which featured an ambitious, overwhelming audio-visual set-up. This was followed by another North American tour, "FungusAmongUS," along with guests the M Machine. IM released a collaborative EP called Friends on Mushrooms, Vol. 1 in early 2013, followed by a second volume later in the year. The duo also produced a track on Lady Gaga's 2013 album Artpop. Friends on Mushrooms, Vol. 3 appeared in 2014, and a full-length titled Friends on Mushrooms, containing tracks from the EPs as well as two new songs, was released in early 2015. Later that year, IM released Converting Vegetarians, Vol. 2, which found them revisiting the psy-trance sound of their earlier work. ~ Dean Carlson, Rovi

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