Shpongle – Museum Of Consciousness (2013)

For me, Shpongle is the perfect music for the expansion of mind, body and soul; the perfect background noise for the ingestion of opiates, fungal hallucinogenics and dimethyltryptamine. However, even though I don’t sit around fires chugging bowls of ayahuasca that often, I do feel that sometimes I am halfway there, thanks to Shpongle’s ethereal “psytrance” (yes, that’s a real genre) and its ability to take me other worlds.

Museum Of Consciousness is apparently the final Shpongle album. If you are familiar with the group’s earlier works, then what you can expect here is more of the same – in the greatest way possible. We’re talking 9, 10, 11 minute trips into twisting, turning, lush musical worlds that are dripping in gorgeous instrumentation and driven by stoned yet purposeful beat programming. We’re talking flutes, lutes, harps, synths, sitars. We’re talking blips, blops, bleeps; whirls and whizzes. We are talking total clarity and immersion into the Museum Of Consciousness.

The highlights for me are the two longest tracks; “How The Jellyfish Jumped Up The Mountain” and “The Aquatic Garden Of Celestial Delights”. The former is a pacy, fluid journey through an audible hallucination, whereas the latter is a lurching, plodding epic of cataclysmal chill out proportion. Things get even weirder by “The Epiphany Of Mrs. Kugla”, where the Shpongolians tread into territory that can only be described as a bombastic film score. I can conjure up swooping montages of a villain’s lair; a damsel in distress, or a world gone to shit. And who is here to save us? Simon Posford and Raja Ram, most definitely.

This thing is longer than 4 DMT trips.