Shpongle – Museum of Consciousness Shpongle – Museum of Consciousness

Shpongle - Museum of Consciousness (2013)

Shpongle – Museum of Consciousness (2013)

Oh fuck, that is not the cover. Oh Christ, this is going to get us pulled over. I honestly do not know what I expected as that multi-faced deity has graced almost every cover from UK psybient duo Shpongle. Oh, psybient? Its nothing. Just a blend of atmospheric psychedelic electronic music with heavy undertones of psychotropic adventures. Yes, it is literally the album the one guy in the dorm puts on every time you get high. It is escapism and completely ludicrous. It is also, above all else, goddamn entertaining.

Shpongle, aside from all the drug jokes I am about to make, offers a unique concoction of lounge driven downtempo encased in what feels like an endless sphere of production. The landscape of sound is vast and dense with melodies which rarely ever feel out of place. If I could use one word besides the billion I just did I would settle on “lush.” That or “euploueshia” but only one of them is an actual word used by people and not made up on acid. For all intents and purposes, Shpongle is a successful electronic duo which an recognizable sound, arresting execution and consistent output. I just wonder why it is only bought by people with an obsessive interest in eastern mysticism. –sigh– Perhaps this band is doomed to stay in the pits of hippie pulp.

Museum of Consciousness… yes, you read that right…is the 5th album in a stable output since the late 90’s. The album continues the long track length tradition of Are You Shpongled? and sits comfortably at a little over an hour. It is a long experience but surprisingly Museum of Consciousness never drags. Even with the titan selections “How The Jellyfish Jumped Up The Mountain” and “The Aquatic Garden of Extra-Celestial Delights,” the arrangements never become repetitive. This feeling of renewed sense can be attributed to a consistent beat and almost a non repeating array of whacked out sounds. It was only after repeated listened while sitting in a sweat lodge that I realized that Museum of Consciousness maybe Shpongle’s most accomplished record.

As opposed to the jarring techno wash of their debut and the sewn track list of Nothing Last…But Nothing is Lost, Museum of Consciousness offers a variety of accessible points of entry. Whether or not it is the dense orchestration in “The Epiphany Of Mrs Kugla” or the ultra smooth jazz in “Juggling Molecules,” Museum of Consciousness, for all its giddy stupidity is a fun record. In fact, I will go a step further and say that it is and potentially could be a critical success. While it does not offer the heady intellectualism like Nichaolas Jaar or Jon Hopkins, it does cater to a specific audience and succeed in that relationship. It just had to have that cover didn’t it? You show up to a dinner party wearing a Phish shirt and then wonder why no one will come talk to you. Come the fuck on Shpongle.

Museum of Consciousness Tracklist

Brain In A Fish Tank
How The Jellyfish Jumped Up The Mountain
Juggling Molecules
The Aquatic Garden Of Extra-Celestial Delights
Further Adventures In Shpongleland
The Epiphany Of Mrs Kugla
Tickling The Amygdala

Shpongle - Museum of Consciousness , reviewed by Kaptain Carbon on 2013-07-31T07:25:28-07:00 rating 3.5 out of 5

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