Review by Chantel Mary
After almost 5 years since last gracing Perth with their presence, Israels electronic based duo Infected Mushroom, is back. Currently touring across 4 countries, this iconic pair have been making a name for themselves in the doof doof world of psy-trans, and since 1996 have been ‘converting vegetarians’ to embrace their psychedelic, acid induced rave sound. I was extremely excited to hear their eclectic mix of heavy trans and the more slowed down electronica style displayed in albums such as ‘Converting Vegetarians – The Other Side’.
As I got closer to Bar1 in Hillary’s, I could already hear the heavy warbling sounds of bass from the first support, DJ Lachie Hyde. As I walked into the room the first impression I got was of an intimate psychedelic womb. Multicoloured lights circulated the room illuminating the dreadlocked heads of 90% of the crowd. Screens behind the stage portrayed tessellated forms and patterns undulating in time to the classic 4 by 4 trans beats of DJ Lachie. It was visually and audibly delicious. Although the club was still filling up their were people on the dance floor who seemed to be in a world of their own, pulling out some rave dancing I hadn’t seen in years, some even twirling neon lights to add to the atmosphere. It was a really uninhibited, free vibe.
DJ Lachie Hyde is Perth based and has been spinning decks all over town making a name for himself. Supporting Infected Mushroom would have been an awesome opportunity for him as although he is only 21 he has a really authentic trans sound using fluent samples and changes of tempo. After a solid hour and a half of Hyde’s high intensity sounds the room was considerably more congested as second support DJ Jordan Leist got onstage and seamlessly took the reins.
Leist is another homegrown Perth DJ with a more modern ‘club’ vibe. He opened with a Chemical Brothers remix that got everyone going nuts. With his massive build ups and even bigger drops you could tell he knew how to work the audience. Unlike DJ Lachie Hyde, who played a lot of original sounding beats, Leist was remixing an array of well picked tracks for an Infected Mushroom crowd. Going from The Presets to Prodigy and even mixing a broken beat version of the ‘Men At Work’ classic, ‘Land Down Under’. The whole atmosphere of the room was building with intensity (and sweat) and at one point smoke bubbles emitted from the stage covering the crowd in a psychedelic haze. Finishing off his almost 2 hour set with a drawn out remix of the classic 90’s techno track ‘Born Slippy’ by ‘Underworld’ the crowd was thoroughly primed and ready to infect mushrooms.
Having never been to an Infected Mushroom show before I was pleasantly surprised to see that a lot of it was played on live instruments. With a guitarist, keyboardist and electric drummer forming their positions on stage, I was super excited to hear how their music would translate live. The eerie sounds of a classic Infected Mushroom intro began to fill the room as people began to sway. With one half of the Israeli duo – Erez Eisen – already seated behind the keys, everyone lost it when the unmistakable bald head of Amit Duvdevani made its appearance. Without skipping a beat Duvdevani started jumping around in a circle with a maniac grin plastered on his face as they opened with ‘She Zormat’ from Converting Vegetarians 2 (arguably one of their heavier albums). Although this crowd was relatively small compared to a lot of their shows you could tell they were holding back nothing.
Their live sound was incredible, with Duvdevani’s vocals sounding almost studio worthy and Eisens classically trained keyboard improvisations literally blowing your socks off, this duo were on fire. They played a greatmixture of tracks that displayed all their different talents, like ‘Becoming Insane’ from 2007 album Vicious Delicious, ‘Saeed’ from 2009 album Legend of the Black Shawarma, ‘Pink Nightmares’ from 2012 album Army of Mushrooms and heaps more off of Converting Vegetarians 1 and 2. Whether you were an old fan or a new fan they had you covered. The energy in the room was electric and everyone was moving like a single entity to the warped electronic mastery which is Infected Mushroom. At one point Duvdevani took over playing the keys so that Eisen could throw beaded necklaces into the crowd in true bush doof fashion. After rounding off their more than two hour set with a medley of new tracks brought out last year there was not one person in the room who was ready to go home (despite it being 2am), everyone started shouting for an encore and after a few belated minutes they came back out to massive applause. The drummer finished things off with an epic electric drum solo and after huge thanks to their avid Perth supporters the intrepid night of psy-trans adventures had come to an end.
There is no doubt in my mind that I will be seeing these guys whenever and where ever I can, their live performance was exceptional and the general hippy vibe of the crowd is something I could definitely get involved with again.