Infected Mushroom at the Ventura Theater
By Cesar Augusto Rodriguez 10/17/2013
Amit Duvdevani and Erez Eisen have carved out a special place in the psychedelic trance scene, truly making it their own. Usually known as a genre within DJ sets, this Israeli duo that goes by the name Infected Mushroom has infused the style with live drums, ripping guitars and some intense vocals. They have customized their sound without sacrificing the ever-present heavy-sided psychedelic kick drum and fast beat that exists in most psy-trance music. The result is indeed unique, and even their newer work that goes beyond 4/4 beats still has their signature sound. There is a reason they play more than 100 shows a year, and have been releasing music since the late ’90s: Infected Mushroom is a master of mind-bending musical art.
The Los Angeles-based crew brought some pulsating, infectious and tripped-out sounds to the Ventura Theater last week. If you were expecting the visuals that were used in previous shows, such as The Unveiling last year at the Avalon in Hollywood, you may have been disappointed. Thursday’s light show included not much beyond the use of the house lights. More than a few people were looking forward to some video projection craziness as these guys have been known to play some sets while standing inside modified spheres that served as screens for heavy eye-popping, brain-twisting visuals. This didn’t happen for Ventura. The sounds were the focus and they did not let their fans down.
No band or DJ can feel right if the proper crowd-warming is not performed correctly. Setting the stage for the next artist is an art of its own. Ventura’s own DownNgoinG (aka Mark Adamz) brought the crowd front and center early on and threw down some proper noncommercialized broken-beat bass music that surged and wobbled through the walls of the venue.
The introduction to Infected Mushroom occurred with an initial dose of live bone-vibrating drums accompanied by a bikini dancer sporting an alien mask. Although drummer Rogerio Jardim has played many shows with Infected Mushroom in the past, this show featured Cary Stephen White (CwhitE), instead. Cary posted on Twitter “DRUMS ON ACID!!!! First show ever! Thank u infected mushroom, and friends and family for your support!” It is unclear if Drums on Acid is a new project that will continue to be shared alongside Infected Mushroom shows. Nonetheless, his electronic drum performance set a solid dance beat that set the stage for some metal-esque guitar-shredding by Tom Cunningham.
Frontman Duvdevani quickly joined and the Mushroom kicked it off with “Sa’eed” off the Legend of the Black Shawarma release. The energy was full pedal-to-metal throughout the set. Even the Depeche Mode “Personal Jesus” partial cover was full-on psyched-out with continued dosing of Cunningham’s guitar. The set took a well-received transition when the original duo played more glitch-hop-based tunes off the newer release Friends on Mushrooms. Without diving too deep into the new material, the song I was waiting for, “Cities of the Future,” was a perfect return to their classic sounds, which is what they played toward the last part of the show. In response to the crowd asking for “One more! One more!” was what sounded like a different version of “Heavyweight” from their Vicious Delicious album. Starting with high energy, ending with high energy, giving the fans the classics and mixing in some newer-style sounds was a perfect “infected” sonic adventure. Thank you, Infected Mushroom for bringing your psychotropic soundwaves to Ventura.