my first exposure to Sphpongle was when i was a sheltered tween, and my only recollection of my early listens to their music was confused distaste, followed by writing them off as “weird music”. as an adult, however, ive developed a taste for weird music and this week i found that i had unfairly maligned the group. let’s check out Shpongle’s 2001 record, Tales of the Inexpressible.

the record opens with Dorset Perception – the latin guitars on this song are excellent, and the track builds a lovely core. i’m not sold on the sampled vocal elements close to the start here (the more melodic voices that come in later are great), but as they blend into the background i can really settle into the track. the back half of the track, where the horns pop in? great. love it. StarShpongled Banner is a more laid back track for sure. there’s an almost haunting element to this one. the layered echoed vocals, the wind instruments on this one – very neat. the more industrial elements in the second half of the runtime are a very interesting development too. A New Way To Say Hooray! is a weird one – the start’s a little slow on this one but it def gets into some interesting bits. Room 23 is one of the less impactful tracks here for me. not bad, but just kind of breezes by. My Head Feels Like a Frisbee is def a different vibe, but i really like it, esp as the track builds and builds. they always get me with the horns! makes sense to take things back down a notch with Shpongleyes. i feel very neutral about it. Once Upon The Sea Of Blissful Awareness is a real nice time – the vocals here are so soothing. Around the World In A Tea Daze is a darker track, this one’s neat but i get a little lost around here on the record. Flute Fruit, the shortest track on the record, is a very mellow outro.

faves – My Head Feels Like A Frisbee
dislikes –

i feel a little under-equipped to discuss this album beyond general vibes but i found this mix of world music and psychadelic vibes to be really neat to vibe with tbh. id expect by what little sampled bits they used that this album would be real good stoned or otherwise effected, haha. despite normally not getting super into extremely long tracks i didnt “feel” the long runtimes here – the structures flowed extremely well together and each song utilized the space it occupied to develop the sounds they were building.

i really dug the overall experience of falling into a groove and just riding along with the music. i will definitely need to check out more of their stuff.

Tales of the Inexpressible – 7/10

the winner of this week’s suggestion pool is Against All Logic’s 2018 record, 2012-2017. i’ll be back next Friday, May 20th for a review, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i pool all suggestions in one place, and draw a person, then a pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)