After two decades of pioneering the psytrance genre, Amit “Duvdev” Duvdevani and Erez Eisen of Infected Mushroom are somehow just getting started.
Having formed in 1996 at the height of the electronic music boom, Infected Mushroom have since released over a dozen albums and earned a reputation as one of the best-selling groups in Israel and the dance music scene at large. Over the years, we’ve heard high-profile collaborations with Lady Gaga, Steve Aoki, Matisyahu, Paul Oakenfold, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Ray Manzarek of The Doors, and many more.
Now the two are scheduled to head back home to 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 love going back to Israel where we started producing our music. It started as our hobby, we were just having fun producing and experimenting with music," Eisen told EDM.com in an interview ahead of their performance at The Depot in Salt Lake City. "We wanted to keep that going and keep on having fun. It’s why we started, it’s a really fun job to have but we take it seriously."
And take it seriously they do. Throughout their chart-topping albums, the duo have 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 about the development of a song more in depth and that’s really helped us with our composition over the years. It makes it easier to actually play the chords and know them instead of writing them on the computer."
Along with crossing over the boundaries of genres, Infected Mushroom also continue to offer unrivaled production quality. The duo owns several Polyverse production and plug-in tools, produced with the demand and desire for musical experimentation throughout 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 plug-ins, we tried to be unique and make something that wasn’t there before. What’s missing in the market that people would buy and use?" Eisen said.
"What we like in a plug-in is one that is easy to use and that you can get a lot out of it. We have over 200 presets that we worked really hard to make. They are for people to use, but ultimately, they are for us. All of our tracks have at least one of our plug-ins that are being used," Duvdev continued to explain.
If you’ve ever attended an Infected Mushroom show you’d understand the complexity of what goes into the development of their music. Even just listening to their albums, you can hear the duo’s evolution over the years as they gained more creative freedom with the rise of technology and production tools available.
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But Infected Mushroom's sonic innovations don’t stop at their exploratory production work or at their live shows. With the unwavering inspiration to do what’s never been done, the pair took the energy from their live concert experiences and transported their otherworldly electronic sound into the metaverse. Recently partnering with Oculus for a special Racket NX “Infected Mushroom Music Challenge,” gamers and fans alike were launched to a digital realm for the ultimate game of psytrance racquetball.
“In the VR world, the sound possibilities are insane," Duvdev gushed. "Imagine that you are already in a VR world where what’s around you is secondary and the virtual elements are all around you, underneath you, and above you. Incorporating sound into that is unbelievable. It’s a new way to incorporate and consume music for a whole new experience."
As if that weren’t enough, Infected Mushroom didn’t wait long to enter the increasingly popular NFT space with their most recent EP, Shroomeez. Collaborating with illustrator and artist FARGO, the four-track record included three collections: the first featuring 100 completely unique, original AI-powered “shroomeez,” the second featuring four futuristic worlds inspired by the four tracks on the album, and the third offering the exclusive rights to own one Infected Mushroom song. Due to its size and scale, the project is one of the largest drops of its kind in the history of Nifty Gateway, the digital art online auction platform for non-fungible token art.
“NFTs are a new way for artists to show their art in a digital way and music just so happened to intersect with that. Erez and I have been following digital artists for years and this is how we’ve always chosen the art for our albums, looking for the craziest art concepts out there,” Duvdev said. “More NFT drops are coming, hopefully another one this year. We’re going to continue diving into this. We produce a lot of music but don’t always release it if it’s not the best time or we think it’s not suitable for a certain project. NFTs can allow us to release more music in this new unique way alongside exclusive artwork.”
Whether it’s exclusively through an NFT drop or made publicly for fans, more music is indeed underway. With over a year off the road from touring, the tandem was able to write and produce a plethora of new music. And as the world rumbles with live shows once again, it’s only fitting for Infected Mushroom to push themselves into the creative headspace to write a brand new album.
“There is music ready, we just need to finalize it. Our upcoming album is full of collaborations," Duvdev teased. "We’re working with an Israeli band called Hope 6, reggae-rock band 311, Israeli singer Ninet Tayeb, psytrance producer BLiSS, and more. We love doing collaborations because it always brings something new to our music. We haven’t done an album that is as diverse since 2009’s Legend of the Black Shawarma. This is as much of an Infected Mushroom album as it gets."
While not currently out on a full tour, Infected Mushroom are out playing special “dreamstate” DJ sets at selected cities around the world. The duo just returned to Salt Lake City, Utah and will soon head to the Monstercat Showcase at Amsterdam’s Melkweg Amersterdam on October 14th before returning to the U.S. for a string of headlining performances at Electric Daisy Carnival, Freaky Deaky Festival, and Dreamstate Festival.
For a full list of upcoming tour dates, head to Infected Mushroom's website.