In its 25 years of making music, the Israeli psy-trance duo Infected Mushroom has always approached its creative process with a variety of sources at hand. Using everything from analog synths and acoustic guitars to a panoply of effects processors and their own Infected plug-ins, the pair – Amit “Duvdev” Duvdevani and Erez Eisen – has given us a dozen memorable full-length albums and supported it all by touring the world.
So, it should come as no surprise that its 13th album, IM25 (Monstercat), a career Silver-Anniversary celebration, features tastes of musical genres from all over the map. Indeed, IM25 offers electro-pop (“Lies & Deceptions” and “Zazim Beyhad” with May Sfadia), quirky Middle-Eastern flavors (“Turkish Nights” with Joseph E-Shine), and mind-bending, guitar-fueled glitch (“Billy on Mushrooms” with Mr. Bill). But it’s the collabs with Israeli talent Bliss (aka Yonatan Marcow) that really stand out.
“Boss La Rosh” delivers crunchy beats and dramatic synth lines with Sabbath-like stun-guitars, while epic single “A Cookie from Space” ventures into prog territory with its relentless, disorienting pulse. The psychedelic flourishes remain and the dancefloor drops are there, but the tracks’ nervy melodies and forceful rock flavors shine through.
As the duo prepped for a dozen North American tour dates – from NYC to Honolulu – DJ LIFE caught up with Duvdevani, 48, and Eisen, 42, to discuss their 25th anniversary of making music and more.
DJ LIFE MAG: You two have been making waves in electronic-music scene for 25 years. What’s the view been like from your perspective?
Infected Mushroom: Dance music now has a wider audience, which has resulted in a worldwide takeover of music and culture. Our little world has become an artifact of popular culture – what was once a hard-to-find party in the forest is now a massive production with big sponsors. Stages are bigger, sound is beefier, lights are trippier. In a lot of ways, the stigma that once plagued dance music has made way for understanding and engagement. I’m grateful our passion has become shared by so many people. Dance music rises above the variables that typically divide us, so I’d like to think the changes over time have allowed for more connectivity and unity on this planet.
DJ LIFE MAG: How would you say Infected Mushroom’s sound has evolved since then?
Infected Mushroom: With the advance of technology and the influence of emerging sounds, we’ve managed to adapt to the changing world, while holding onto our signature style. We don’t like being in a box, so we’ve used the passing of time to try new things, collaborate, and innovate – resulting in a loyal following, who we dearly love.
DJ LIFE MAG: You two are recognized as pioneers of psy-trance music – how do you think that genre has withstood the test of time?
Infected Mushroom: The number of psy-trance fans – and fans of all electronic music – has grown immensely over the last 25 years. The genre we helped to pioneer, known as psy-trance, has evolved since the early days, with many talented musicians pushing new boundaries and their own signature styles. Psy has become more stylistically accessible to the masses, and has gained respect amongst lovers of all electronic-music genres.
DJ LIFE MAG: In the studio, what’s your current set-up look like?
Infected Mushroom: Currently, we are using a Mac with an M1 Max chip, two Barefoot Sound monitors, three UAD Apollo interfaces, Eventide H9000 effects processor, Lexicon 960L digital-effects system, API preamps, Neve 1073 preamp/EQ, Blue Bottle tube mic, some Universal Audio compressors, Teletronix LA-2A leveling amp, Moog synths, and other various keyboards, along with our wicked Infected plug-ins.
DJ LIFE MAG: Over two decades in the studio, is there one piece of equipment that helped define your sound?
Infected Mushroom: That would have to be the Eventide unit. We’ve updated the model over the years, but it’s always been with us. It’s such a special effects processor with a unique sound.
DJ LIFE MAG: When it comes to production, what’s a studio session like with Infected Mushroom?
Infected Mushroom: Sessions often start from a recording on the iPhone and an idea we randomly come up with. After making a melody, then we proceed with a kick and bass groove. Once we have the melody and groove dialed-in, we have fun and play around like storytellers.
DJ LIFE MAG: When the ideas aren’t coming in the studio, what do you do?
Infected Mushroom: Let it roll. Work on a new idea. Move on to a new day. Don’t take it too seriously. If we are really blocked, we leave the track and revive it later on. Oftentimes, giving it a rest is the best thing you can do.
DJ LIFE MAG: Tell us about your 25th-anniversary album, IM25, and how it came together.
Infected Mushroom: This is an album that celebrates a quarter-century of the evolution of our sound. It came together organically during the extra time we had in the studio during COVID. We are so proud of the musical diversity, collaborations, and support from our label, Monstercat. Moreover, we are honored, after all this time, to still be relevant and respected. Excited to see what will come in the next 25 years. Our legacy is our music, and we want to keep making more of it for the world.
DJ LIFE MAG: Two months prior to its inclusion on the album, “A Cookie From Space” was released as a single. Also, after the album’s release, “Zazim Beyhad (We Move Together)” was its first single. What’s the story behind those two tracks?
Infected Mushroom: “A Cookie From Space” was the first single because the album is musically diverse, and we wanted to usher it in with a modern psychedelic jam reflecting our signature vibe. We love collaborating with Bliss – it’s like a three-headed monster. We have been dropping this bomb on dancefloors, and it has been making people go mental. So, we figured it was a good song to lead off with. The song “Zazim Beyhad” drops with the album… Monstercat liked this powerful, melodic track, and felt like it offered a unique sound, so we went with that.
DJ LIFE MAG: Is Infected Mushroom pumping the brakes following the album’s release? What are your plans?
Infected Mushroom: Pumping the brakes is not something that we do. Staying busy is what we are good at. We will continue making music and breaking dance floors for as long as you’ll have us. Cheers to another 25 years!
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