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Infected Mushroom: 'Psy-Trance' From Israel

Infected Mushroom guitarist Tom Cunningham focuses on keeping pace with drummer Rogerio Jardim at a performance in Toronto.
Nate Plutzik
Infected Mushroom guitarist Tom Cunningham focuses on keeping pace with drummer Rogerio Jardim at a performance in Toronto.

Electronic dance music doesn't appeal to everyone.

"To people who aren't dance-music fans, it sounds awfully repetitive," says Will Hermes, a senior critic for Rolling Stone. "It might just sound like THUMP, THUMP, THUMP, THUMP. It's intended to be really loud in dark rooms for people who have had a few drinks in them."

Members of the Israeli band Infected Mushroom would take issue with that statement. Infected Mushroom is at the forefront of an emerging musical genre called psy-trance — complex electronic music with the sophistication of rock or jazz. Keyboard player Erez Aizen says he and his partner Amit Duvdevani want to bring the world around them into the nightclub.

"To write a trance track is the same as a normal song. Sometimes it's even harder, because it's in one note," Duvdevani says. "No lyrics, no catchy frames, only with one note. So to do a good trance track is 100 times harder than doing a normal song."

Electronic Music With A Twist

Aizen and Duvdevani admit it's difficult to make dance music interesting. So to mix things up, they began adding real instruments to their voices and keyboards.

"We became a full band onstage and got much more reaction in places that didn't know electronic music," Duvdevani says.

According to Hermes, Infected Mushroom isn't the first band to make this transition. He says that the group's diverse sound makes it stand apart from the rest.

"They have songs that are pretty similar to '80s-style synth-pop, and they have stuff that, to me, sounds a lot like prog rock that doesn't sound all that different from Rush or Styx or latter-day Pink Floyd. Some of their use of electronics is not strictly dance-floor-oriented."

Infected Mushroom recently released its latest album, Legend of the Black Shawarma, in September. Aizen and Duvdevani hope people will look beyond the stereotypes of electronic music and give it a listen.

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