y first Infected Mushroom experience was in 2014 at Chicago’s House of Blues but I had no idea that this Israeli duo had been a cornerstone of Psytrance since 1996. Infected Mushroom is the brainchild of two classically trained musicians, Amit Duvdevani & Erez Eisen, and it became the best-selling groups in Israeli music history with their other-worldly uptempo sounds.
Infected Mushroom is a big part of psytrance history but they've also kept their pulse on new sounds and stayed current. They just dropped a collaboration with Ganja White Night, they released a full-length album in 2022 with guest appearances from Mr. Bill, they produced a song for Lady Gaga in 2013, and they have a hefty international tour schedule.
Just this year they’ve played shows in Tel-Aviv, Australia, Germany, London, Italy, the Pacific Northwest, and more. Their next big show is a Retro Live Set in the Negev desert in Israel! But what makes this pair so damn compelling?
Before we get into their live performance prowess, let’s talk about their production and sound design. It’s hard to ignore the live elements of an Infected Mushroom track. You’ve got the distorted, sometimes chilling, vocals by Duvdev, lengthy guitar samples, and hard-hitting psytrance drops that range anywhere between 135 to 190 BPM! The stark contrast between the inventive and layered melodies that precede the familiar thumping of a psytrance drop is what makes the Infected Mushroom experience so tantalizing. They are also known to experiment with styles outside of psytrance and my favorite example of this is the second side of the 2003 album, Converting Vegetarians.
I caught an Infected Mushroom DJ set at Portland’s 45 E45T in May 2023 and they were on fire. At a live set, you will usually see Duvdev singing with live guitar & drum performances but this one was just about connecting on the dance floor and letting go of your thoughts. The intense tempo can be a bit disconcerting at first but once you let your body take control it becomes a blissful time. One of my favorite parts about an IM show is waiting for some delicious dubstep breakdowns.
It is truly a journey to see Infected Mushroom as they seamlessly travel between the familiar psytrance drops to spooky interludes to mind-blowing dubstep breaks and back to the psytrance. Anyone could tell how dedicated the fans were by their wild reaction to hearing the guitar intro and Spanish vocals from, “Becoming Insane.”
I don’t know if it's the intricate fast-paced melodies or the pulsating images of colorful mushrooms but there certainly is something very psychedelic about seeing Infected Mushroom. Make sure to catch them in North America this summer at Electric Forest, Papadosio’s Summer SEEquence, and more…