After two decades of pioneering the psytrance genre, Amit “Duvdev” Duvdevani and Erez Eisen of Infected Mushroom are somehow just getting started.
Founded in 1996 at the height of the electronic music boom, Infected Mushroom has since released more than a dozen albums and built a reputation as one of the best-selling groups in Israel and the dance music scene in general. Over the years, we’ve heard high-profile collaborations with Lady Gaga, Steve Aoki, Matisyahu, Paul Oakenfold, Korn’s Jonathan Davis, The Doors’ Ray Manzarek, and many more.
Now the two are scheduled to head back home where it all started to celebrate 25 years as a group at Israel’s Yarkon Park, in an annual gathering with their hometown fans.
“We like to go back to Israel, where we started producing our music. It started as our hobby, we just had fun producing and experimenting with music,” Eisen said EDM.com in an interview prior to their performance at The Depot in Salt Lake City. “We wanted to keep it that way and keep having fun. That’s why we started, it’s a really nice job to have, but we take it seriously.”
And take it seriously, they do. Throughout their hit albums, the duo continued to defy genres as they overlap their definitive psytrance sound with complex melodies and hypnotic arrangements of rock, metal and classical accompaniments.
“Because we grew up learning classical music, we make our melodies quite complex,” Duvdev said. “We tend to think more deeply about the development of a song and that has really helped us with our composition over the years. It makes it easier to actually play and know the chords rather than on the computer to write.”
In addition to crossing the boundaries of genres, Infected Mushroom also continues to offer unparalleled production quality. The duo own several Polyverse production and plug-in tools, produced with the demand and desire for musical experimentation over the decades. That glitchy, psychedelic, unique sound the tandem is known for escapes from an average of over 200 channels per song and a plethora of tools and tricks to make it all happen.
“With our plugins, we tried to be unique and create something that wasn’t there before. What is missing in the market that people would buy and use?” Eisen said.
“What we like about a plugin is one that’s easy to use and you can get a lot out of it. We have over 200 presets that we’ve worked really hard on. They’re for people to use, but ultimately , they’re for us. All our tracks have at least one of our plugins being used,” continued Duvdev.
If you’ve ever attended an Infected Mushroom show, you’d understand the complexity of what goes into developing their music. Even just listening to their albums, you can hear the evolution of the duo over the years as they were given more creative freedom with the rise of technology and available production tools.
But Infected Mushroom’s sonic innovations don’t stop with their exploratory production work or their live shows. With the unrelenting inspiration to do what has never been done before, the pair took the energy from their live concert experiences and transported their otherworldly electronic sound to the metaverse. Recently partnered with Oculus for a special Racket NX “Infected Mushroom Music Challenge”, gamers and fans were launched into a digital realm for the ultimate game of psytrance racquetball.
“In the VR world, the sound possibilities are insane,” Duvdev gushed. “Imagine you’re already in a VR world where what’s around you is secondary and the virtual elements are all around you, below you and above you. It’s incredible to put sound into that. It’s a new way to record and consume music for a whole new experience.”
As if that wasn’t enough, Infected Mushroom didn’t wait long to enter the increasingly popular NFT space with their most recent EP, shroomeez. In collaboration with illustrator and artist FARGO, the four-track record spanned three collections: the first featuring 100 completely unique, original AI-powered “shroomeez”, the second featuring four futuristic worlds inspired by the four songs on the album, and the third offering the exclusive rights to own an Infected Mushroom number. because of his size and scale, the project is one of the biggest drops of its kind in the history of Nifty Gateway, the online digital art auction platform for irreplaceable symbolic art.
“NFTs are a new way for artists to display their art in a digital way and music happened to be in between. Erez and I have been following digital artists for years and that’s how we’ve always chosen the art for our albums, looking for the craziest art concepts out there,” said Duvdev. “More NFT drops are coming, hopefully one more this year. We’ll go into this further. We produce a lot of music, but don’t always release it when it’s not the best time or we don’t think it’s right for a particular project. NFTs can allow us to release more music in this new unique way in addition to exclusive artwork.”
“NFTs are a new way for artists to display their art in a digital way and music happened to be in between. Erez and I have been following digital artists for years and that’s how we’ve always chosen the art for our albums, looking for the craziest art concepts out there,” continued Duvdev. “More NFT drops are coming, hopefully one more this year. We’ll go into this further. We produce a lot of music but don’t always release it when it’s not the best time or we don’t think it’s right for a particular project. NFTs can allow us to release more music in this new unique way in addition to exclusive artwork.”
Whether exclusive via an NFT drop or made public to fans, there is indeed more music on the way. With over a year off tour, the tandem was able to write and produce a plethora of new music. And as the world is once again rumbling with live shows, it’s only fitting for Infected Mushroom to push themselves into the creative space to write a brand new album.
“The music is ready, we just need to finish it. Our upcoming album is full of collaborations,” teased Duvdev. “We’re collaborating with an Israeli band called Hope 6, reggae rock band 311, Israeli singer Ninet Tayeb, psytrance producer BLiSS and more. We love working together because it always adds something new to our music. We haven’t made an album this diverse since 2009 Legend of the black shawarma. This is as much an Infected Mushroom album as it gets.”
While Infected Mushroom is not currently on a full tour, she plays special “dreamstate” DJ sets in select cities around the world. The duo have just returned to Salt Lake City, Utah and will soon be heading to the Monstercat Showcase at the Melkweg Amersterdam in Amsterdam on October 14 before returning to the US for a series of headlining acts at Electric Daisy Carnival, Freaky Deaky Festival and Dreamstate Festival.
For a full list of upcoming tour dates, visit the Infected Mushroom website.
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