hello folks! this week for the weekly review, we are checking out another record by Shpongle, and this time it’s a visit to the Ineffable Mysteries from Shpongleland, released in 2009. i had a pretty good time last time we checked out Shpongle‘s work, so i’m pretty excited for this one!

Electroplasm kicks off with a fairly slow build, and the track moves through quite a bit of sounds in its 10 minutes – largely, it’s brooding and almost cinematic. an extremely interesting song. i like the almost dial tone/electronic sfx playing they do through the early parts of Shpongolese Spoken Here. it straight up sounds like they’re having fun, haha. i think the vocal sampling is neat but like it less than the earlier parts of the track. love the fun little what, Spanish guitar near the end? that’s a fun touch. Nothing Is Something Worth Doing is a really neat track – i can absolutely see how this ended up the most played track on the record. its fairly accessible, its got a very mellow listenable sound, and its a good time. Ineffable Mysteries really pulls at my weak spots – there’s some fat fucking brass or sax playing early in the song that absolutely pulls my attention every time. i like quite a bit of the vocal work on this track too! some of the stuff in the middle doesn’t really work for me, but i do like the track overall. REALLY like the vocals in I Am You, i feel like the choral, reverent tone absolutely works wonders here. the bits that begin right around the 8 minute mark are absolutely stellar too. Invisible Man In a Fluorescent Suit leans back into what i was picking up from Electroplasm, where it feels cinematic – my brain immediately imagines the scenes that would accompany this track. and the crest on this one, at the fourish minute mark! extremely nice. i’m kinda just aight on the rest, though i do like the “so i took a really big hit” joke followed by like, a lot of mallet percussion near the end of the track. gets a laugh outta me. No Turn Un-Stoned has some absolutely delightful vocals. Walking Backwards Through The Cosmic Mirror is our last dip into that moodier vibe for the closer. i feel okay on this one – they do some fun shifts in vibe like with the pulsing, dancier synths, and i can respect a closer than messes around a bit stylistically.

faves – Ineffable Mysteries, I Am You
dislikes –

maaaaaaaaaan i know its a personal failing but sometimes i feel kinda unequipped to give the long long tracks the proper reviews when i encounter them, and this record took me a bit to fully process by having 3 tracks over 10 minutes. that is by no means negative marks on the record (esp since two of those songs are my fave tracks on this record, haha), but it feels like i have less to say than i maybe should, especially for a record as dense and that experiments and covers as much as this one.

but yeah, even though it took me a bit i really did dig this record. i was reading a bit into it and i def felt the larger world music influence on this record, but i didn’t catch some of their experiments in instrumentation, like the Hang musician Manu Delago they brought in for Nothing Is Something Worth Doing. a very very strong record, and one that i don’t think i would have encountered except for these recommendations, so i’m glad i spent some time with it!

Ineffable Mysteries from Shpongleland – 7/10

for the next Weekly Album Review, i’ll be listening to Sailing the Seas of Cheese, by Primus. i’ll be back next Friday, October 27th with that review and to pick another weekly record, 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 one 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.)