Shpongle will be releasing our new album titled "Museum of Consciousness" today!

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Twitter: @SimonPosford

Comments: 1089 • Responses: 78  • Date: 

ShpongleMusic221 karma

Blimey - just look at all these questions! Hello everybody :::)

theKaufMan135 karma

Hi Simon.

At your NYC Shpongle LIVE show at Hammerstein ballroom on Halloween 2011, I may have gotten a bit too "Shpongled" and decided to join you and the band up on stage not once, but twice. I wrongly thought the entire show was the culmination of my whole life and that I was going to be transitioning on to another dimension once the show ended. The first time the security was really nice to me and let me back in, but in my altered state of mind I figured I should go back up for a second go. Security was not so nice this time and dragged me out leaving me to wander the streets of New York Shpongled beyond all belief.

Primarily, I want to apologize for making such a rude entry into your grand production...

As for my question: Do you often listen to and/or produce your own music under the influence of psychedelics? Or are you naturally attuned to creating such incredibly mind bending music without the aid of substances?

ShpongleMusic113 karma

I think that one is able to draw from the experiences of the past, which is enough to help inspire creativity in the present.... But to work a computer whilst under the influence is too much of a Brain Bocca... so i stay off them whilst actually working.,...

ShpongleMusic69 karma

Well after 4 hours here my eyes are feeling gooey... I hope i supplied an occasionally relevant answer or two.... Now it's time to get back to preparing a Live Set for OZORA Festival. I'll see some of you there! Love, Simon x x x

dnask8r4668 karma

What psychedelic experience/drug has influenced your musical composition and creativity the most?

ShpongleMusic184 karma


clintzoto60 karma

Can you briefly describe the sound collection process for an album? I mean, do you go out in the street, cave, or wilderness with a microphone?

ShpongleMusic107 karma

I have a handheld recorder made by zoom which i take with me when i go somewhere that i suspect might contain a rich seam of sonic ore - India, Bali, Japan etc. ... And i take as many recordings as possible. With some (like in India my ex-girlfriend and i recorded the singer and various samples that made it onto Ineffable Mysteries) it works very well.... other times i will get the recordings 'home' and find that it is all wind noise... and i already make plenty of that myself!

pineapplemaster17 karma

Wow, so that was an original sample! Amazing. I had always assumed it came from a sample compilation. Where did you find that singer? How did it happen?

ShpongleMusic48 karma

For the 1st two records we used sample CDs, but around the 3rd we decided it's much better to use only our own recordings.... My ex-girlfriend and i found the singer through our rickshaw driver in Jaipur, India... we went to a local music shop and recorded what we could, before discovering the singer and inviting him back to our hotel room to record him properly.... i gave him a lo string drone and a soft beat to sing along to.... The story is in the CD booklet i believe...

kopiko30 karma

...or making first contact with an extraterrestrial species?

ShpongleMusic179 karma

For this i think the best way is to use a chemical key, that opens the door to other universes & dimensions, allowing you to explore for a brief time.... although it is difficult to bring back the treasures you can find there....

PositiveMouse58 karma

What's the story of how you met Raja Ram?

ShpongleMusic80 karma

We met at Butterfly studios, enjoying some home-cooked Indian food with the other artists that were recording there. We became instant friends and went to many parties and festivals together, making music under a variety of names. Raj provides the inspiration and running commentary, while i compose all the parts on the computer. It's a winning combination! If i can get him to stop talking for a moment :P

Borgbox18 karma

He does have a way with words.

ShpongleMusic65 karma

He certainly does... he is a cunning linguist, you might say....

geotagger56 karma

Mr. Posford

I Just want to let you know I am a huge fan. Your music, and projects you have been involved in have been hugely influential to me. The soundscapes you have created have helped change me through the years, and for that I have always wanted to say thank you.

My question is what artists and music have influenced you, or do you enjoy listening to?

ShpongleMusic294 karma

So many artists... we often list them in the album credits.... How about i make a Spotify playlist that shares some of my influences & what i enjoy listening to?

clintzoto43 karma

Do you use entheogens while actually in the studio during production?

ShpongleMusic175 karma

I have done... but it has never been conducive to actually progressing with the track we are working on... it ends with me on the sofa, listening to tunes and spacing out... which is exactly what we make Shpongle for! But to actually make the music i need to be able to follow thought processes.... Raj will usually give each tune "The Acid Test" when i am close to mixing it...

drewsufff41 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA Simon!

What's your favourite genre/artist that people would find surprising?

ShpongleMusic88 karma

Probably the album "Breakfast in America" by Supertramp.... part of the soundtrack of my childhood.... I've always loved The Cure since i was 13....

skaboss449339 karma

Is there any truth to a US live band tour? I recall you hinted at a live show at Red Rocks during Feed the Rocks. Also, your sunrise set in the Negev Desert a couple years ago blew my mind something great. Thanks for being the man!

ShpongleMusic69 karma

None at all. We will never tour with the band - it's too many people, too expensive, and too complicated. But we all would love to do a couple of one-off shows in the US.... Red Rocks being one of them. If we can find anything exciting, fun and different that will persuade the 13 musicians we employ in the band to all give up their day jobs for a moment (which range from touring with Further, Bjørk, playing West End shows, to writing scores for 300 musicians in Dubai) then it becomes feasible... but most of the time it's just not practical, I'm sorry.

ShpongleMusic7 karma

None at all. We will never tour with the band - it's too many people, too expensive, and too complicated. But we all would love to do a couple of one-off shows in the US.... Red Rocks being one of them. If we can find anything exciting, fun and different that will persuade the 13 musicians we employ in the band to all give up their day jobs for a moment (which range from touring with Further, Bjørk, playing West End shows, to writing scores for 300 musicians in Dubai) then it becomes feasible... but most of the time it's just not practical, I'm sorry.

PrimeIntellect9 karma

You should look into playing at the Gorge in washington, absolutely the best venue in the world

ShpongleMusic7 karma

That looks amazing! I'm not sure we could fill it though....

rootsrocka35 karma

Are you performing at Burning Man this year? If not, do you plan to in the future?

ShpongleMusic35 karma

Working on it, but it's looking unlikely right now

funkykong32 karma

So what is the Kugla effect?

The song titles on each album offer a lot of visual representation of the journey one goes through while listening to your music. How does that process come about? I imagine Raja Ram laying on a couch spitting out angelic banter while you're working away.

ShpongleMusic64 karma

That is very much how we work :) Raj fills books and books with drawings and entertains me with stories about growing up as a young Jew in Melbourne in the 40s... he tries to make me laugh & put me off my concentration, so sometimes i'll stick a microphone in front of him while he does it, to provide more sonic fodder for the track. He once told me about a housekeeper his family had called Mrs Kugla who cooked with preposterous amounts of oil.... Even to boil an egg she would use pints of the stuff.... One evening Raj decided to cook dinner at my house, and whilst it was delicious, he had definitely studied at Mrs Kugla's school of cooking... i started calling him "Mrs Kugla" as a joke. There are many boring hours during the making of an album, where i am engrossed in programming on the computer and Raj is clearly getting impatient and twitchy, so he will come up with a few ridiculous song titles or anecdotes that will lead to song titles.....

difdifdif26 karma

Any chance for us to see Rajs drawings?

ShpongleMusic38 karma

Sure... they are all over the CD booklet! LOL..... I might photograph a few also

difdifdif6 karma

Thank you! I didn't know that! I would love to have all of your records, and have actually looked in to buying them second hand, however the vinyls of Shpongle and Younger Brother are usually selling for a minimum of 200 euro each. Any chance of any reissues or a box set? I know we are many that would love to complete the Shpongle discography on vinyl!

ShpongleMusic15 karma

That's why i suggest buying 2 now, and selling 1 on ebay later!

maddolax32 karma

What is your favorite song you have produced?

ShpongleMusic133 karma

Shpongle - And the Day turned to Night. Younger Brother - Your Friends Are Scary. Hallucinogen - Shamanix.

ShpongleMusic82 karma

Shpongle - And the Day turned to Night. Younger Brother - Your Friends Are Scary. Hallucinogen - Shamanix.

rushpongled31 karma

Hey Simon! The new album is awesome! Absolutely love it. Thanks for giving us the link a week early.

My question is: Did you ever read any of Phantoms in the Brain after I gave it to you in STL? If not, it's no big deal. Just curious if it was something that you found interesting.

Thanks for everything. We love you :::)

ShpongleMusic44 karma

Funnily enough i just started reading it in the last few days... weird... I'm very much enjoying your annotations, btw :)

rushpongled16 karma

Haha awesome! Hopefully you tried out the experiment to feel your nose a few feet in front of your face. It's such an unexpected experience.

Again, thanks for the new album. It's nice to hear the finished project after all of those shows on the Masquerade tour.

Stay Shpongled :::)

ShpongleMusic19 karma

I tried the hand one many years ago.... It's extremely disconcerting!

AlphaKale26 karma

Simon! Thank you for doing this AMA! It’s 3:00am here in Melbourne and I totally bailed on class tomorrow for this. I attribute my interest in electronic and world music, and as a result a broad musical expansion, entirely to you, which has had a significant ripple effect on my life, so the chance to talk to you means the world to me. You better believe that’s a pun, welcome to Reddit.

I have three questions if that’s alright:

  • When are you going be working with Ott next?

  • What is your opinion on regular, consistent use of psychedelics for spiritual purposes? For example, psilocybin monthly.

  • …and finally, when are you coming back to Australia!? I was only introduced to Nothing Lasts in about March 2011 (right after Rainbow Serpent), and I’ve been anxious for your return ever since!

Thanks again for your incredible art, and as long as you're making music, you'll have my support :) Love from Australia.

ShpongleMusic38 karma

  1. Ott and i recently discussed working on something... he lives quite far away though.
  2. I think it is admirable and to be encouraged. In a ritualistic setting? Probably beats going to church!
  3. One day...

sarvair24 karma

Hi Simon, You recently posted a video on your Facebook page of a Logic Pro session, I beleive it was one of your new tracks. This session had over 200 tracks in it, is this normal for you guys to produce a song with so many tracks?

ShpongleMusic32 karma

Yes... Normally we have between 130 - 250 tracks before either the computer or my head caves in... On one tune i remember recording 75 tracks of guitar!! Of course we only used about 12....

pineapplemaster12 karma

Is Logic what you use primarily? Do you use Ableton as well?

ShpongleMusic28 karma

I use Logic in the studio and Ableton on the stage

EntJits23 karma

Greetings Simon. Thank you for a great new album and a whole career of great music!

Few questions:

  1. You've influenced modern trance music in many ways that most listeners probably don't realize. What's your opinion on the current genre of trance and psy-trance?

  2. Who are your biggest philosophical heroes/idols? (Besides Terence McKenna, of course)

  3. What do you see as the future of Shpongle and the future of Simon Posford? More big live shows at festivals? DJ sets? Something completely new?

Thank you Simon for all of the hard work you've done for us, the fans!

ShpongleMusic65 karma

  1. I can't really offer an opinion on the current genre of pay-trance as i don't listen to it anymore. About 10 years ago it seemed to me that the music was sort of imploding - it was all starting to sound the same with very little innovation... The same basslines, the same Kik sounds and very little unique defining character that separated not just different artists, but different tracks... Very quickly i got jaded by the scene and lost interest in music that didn't appear to be progressing anywhere new... The trance musicians in the early and mid 90s had already performed all those tricks, played those riffs, and over-used those sounds.... So if you show me the current innovators, i'll be better able to answer...
  2. Robert Anton Wilson, Bill Hicks, Christopher Hitchens, Epicurus, Rumi, Douglas Adams... RAW definitely had the biggest effect on me... and Bill Hicks is my most loved...

karmakit22 karma

I remember seeing half a promise of a new Hallucinogen album on the Twisted forums long time ago. Will it ever happen?

Thank you for being great! Bought the new album, and can't wait to see you on the Troxy in October!

ShpongleMusic41 karma

Half a promise yes! The truth is i don't know if i will do another Hallucinogen album.... I notice with Shpongle that some people's reaction to a new album is "I'm disappointed - it doesn't sound like my favourite earlier album" or "I'm disappointed it sounds too much like earlier albums"... in any case there is so much baggage associated with previous albums that it can weigh you down, so i'm more likely to release under another name... maybe even 'Simon Posford' :)

SorryamSmarts19 karma

Hello, I remember seeing you at the Masquerade on May 21, 2011 which was the supposed date of the Rapture. I remembered when you walked back up for the encore you just simply said "unlike Jesus I'm back". That was cool.

ShpongleMusic27 karma

Lol... wasn't the venue called "Heaven", too?

Towlie0318 karma

1) You always have an awesome bass tone, usually carrying the song, what machine makes that guy? 2) Any good DMT stories?

ShpongleMusic35 karma

1..Whatever is convenient.... On the first album i strung a massive elastic band across a wooden chair and used that... Often i will play bass guitar, sometimes i'll play the sh101 or another synth... Moog is good... 2... Yes, loads!

gematanzen18 karma

Thanks for all the great music over the years, Simon!

I have only one question: Where did you get the audio of that hippie guy from "Even Dwarves Start Small?" The guy who doesn't like to work too often unless it's for something groovy....

ShpongleMusic25 karma

That was from a documentary about The Isle of Wight festival... in the 70s i think... the sample was from a carpenter who helped build the stage. I'm sure it's on YouTube... funny documentary, complete with a desperate promoter getting on stage and telling crowd to "F*ck Off!" and warnings about bad acid etc...

paul_g_allen10 karma


ShpongleMusic47 karma

That is Carlos Santana himself! Talking about the effect of adding congas to the band....

Nekenieh17 karma

I love the new stuff, but any chance you'd remix some old classics? I was really impressed with Infected Mushroom's new mix of "The Messenger", and it got me wondering how some of your old tracks like "And the Day Turned to Night" would sound with all the new technology and skills you've acquired since then.

Question for Raja: Your flute playing sends me in to another world, just how long have you been blowing minds with that thing?

Edit: One more, have you ever seen that Flash Back animation by Danny Gomez(, who uses Divine Moments of Truth for the music? This was my first taste of Shpongle and I've been stuck in Shpongleland ever since.

ShpongleMusic35 karma

Unfortunately those old classics were written on obsolete, long-forgotten computers, with floppy discs and an assortment of abandoned technology. It's unlikely i would be able to find any original parts. One time we started a remix of "Day turned to Night" using none of the original files, and that turned into the track "Invisible Man"... listen to them back to back and you'll hear the similarity... but the remix came out so different it seemed prudent to call it a new track.

javionics17 karma

What's your normal life like? Is it like the average persons? Or do you do something different like shop at farmers markets or anything that would differentiate someone?

ShpongleMusic90 karma

Unremarkable. I live in a small town, i go to supermarkets buy junk food and consume it in bed while watching junk TV. Those are the good days. Other days i am racked with guilt at achieving nothing but completing a whole season of 24 on Netflix... my studio is calling but i'm not listening. Some days i'm typing absolute drivel into my laptop, humbled by the fact that a few people somewhere actually are mildly interested in what i have to say. Very occasionally i am on a stage in front of thousands of people... but that isn't really me... I'm out of my body by that point. I wish i could be out of my body when my physical form is sitting uncomfortably on a plane, about to be probed by an un-enlightened security guard who gropes people in an airport for a meagre wage. We are all the same but different.... aren't we?

jtrobot16 karma

How did you meet Michele Adamson? What's she like?

ShpongleMusic24 karma

I almost ran her over with my car leaving a party. She's one of my best friends.

TheFrienderman16 karma

Who would you pick as the emissary of our species if we're ever contacted by aliens?

ShpongleMusic33 karma

Great question!! I'd happily send Raja Ram... the right combination of Love, Humour, Fun, knowledge of art and music, and smooth talking...

Scarbrow15 karma

Hey Simon, I've been a huge fan of yours for a couple years now, glad to see you doing an AMA. Couple questions

  • Does the age gap between you and Raja ever cause any difficulties - creatively, professionally (or even technologically?)

  • I'm looking forward to Benji's Even Tundra and Younger Brother's electronic Vaccine remixes. Are there any other upcoming Twisted releases you're able to tell us about?

Thanks for doing the AMA, I look forward to reading your responses (and listening to the new album once it finishes downloading!)

ShpongleMusic37 karma

Good question! I was flicking through Raj's book of drawings after one session and noticed he'd written: "Sometimes it feels like Simon is my father... sometimes it feels like he's my son." Mentally i'd say we both old souls that are young at heart... on a mental/emotional level, age has very little to do with it.... But physically the cracks appear occasionally: at 72 years old, Raj's hearing is undoubtedly starting to go... This can be frustrating in the studio when i want to play him something i have worked on, particularly if there's a lot of high frequency content that he can't make out.... We had a fight during this album, where Raj thought my frustration about his hearing was in fact some kind of condemnation.... He said "You wouldn't make fun of me if i was in a wheelchair!" I replied, "Of course i wouldn't..... but if we were about to run the 1500meter hurdles and you turned up in a wheelchair i might be slightly worried" We solve it by having Raj listen on headphones extremely loud, while i work quietly at the speakers...

rickbeats15 karma

Hey Simon! Your drums are always so intricate so I was wondering how much of the drums in your songs are live kits (if any) and how many are programmed. Love the new album. Thanks!

ShpongleMusic18 karma

I nearly always play some kind of live drums, as well as programming... I love to do live hi-hats, and a live snare... The kick i don't mind being totally programmed, but i appreciate the subtle variation of a real hat and snare played on a kit. I'm not a great drummer, so i still have to fix it in the computer, but i think it adds an organic flavour..... (whatever the heck that means!)

DrBenPhD15 karma


What is your favorite type of pie?

Also, what other types of music do you listen to on the reg?

ShpongleMusic36 karma

3.14159265359 .... What's the reg?

geotagger15 karma

Mr Posford,

Your music uses influences from cultures from all over the world. I have never run into another shpongler in the wild here in the us.So I was wondering what countries have given you the biggest reception to your music? Where are some of your largest concerts held?

ShpongleMusic45 karma

Without a doubt, Israel. Then there are pockets around the world: Russia, Japan, Colorado, Hungary....

clintzoto12 karma

I've never stumbled upon another Shpongler in the U.S. either. I find this strange. I'm from Oklahoma...not the most cultured state in the union, but still...

ShpongleMusic48 karma

I've stumbled across plenty! Maybe it's the hat ;)

SparklePlatypus14 karma

Does the Shpongle "mascot" have a name? (Kind of like how Iron Maiden's mascot is named Eddie.)

ShpongleMusic16 karma

We just call it "the shpongle mask"

fuckyouimthewizard14 karma

How much of your music is sampled vs composed? Like are the horn parts in "my head feels like a frisbee" sampled from something else is or did you and raja compose it?

ShpongleMusic38 karma

That was one of the last commercially available samples we used... We probably tweaked it around quite a bit, but a couple of times i have identified the original samples on other tunes... so eventually we realised, "Wow - everybody is using samples! Let's never use them again.... and only record our own stuff from now on."

diger1014 karma


I have every album that you and your music collaborations have released. I have to admit though, I have paid for very few of them.

As someone that owns your own record label what is your opinion on piracy? How do you think it has affected your music and label?

ShpongleMusic22 karma

Don't get me started! Really?

LydianBlue5 karma

If you have strong convictions on the matter of piracy, I'd love to hear them. It's my personal opinion - and perhaps others on here would agree - that the paradigm of 'buying a cd, presented by a record label' is more dead than alive at this point. Piracy undoubtedly takes money away from the artists, but also from the big record labels. That I believe is a positive and healthy thing.

Ps youre a genius i love everything youve done. :]

ShpongleMusic30 karma

Why is it a good thing to take money away from artists and big record labels? The big record labels nurtured bands like The Beatles, Pink floyd, Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi hendrix, Radiohead, The Cure, The Smiths.... Do you think since the advent of piracy, that record labels these days are investing MORE in talent, or LESS? They used to be curators of music and nurturers of talent.... do you see more of that in the charts today? I submit that piracy has caused a 'dumbing down', a lack of investment in brilliance, and an increase in the disposability of music... a lack of appreciation and value in creativity.

mineown202020 karma

uh oh

ShpongleMusic15 karma


I_Am_You_14 karma

I hope you're still answering questions, I got here late! Still haven't heard the new album because me and a special group of friends are waiting for a day we can all listen together. We will have a ceremony of sorts and send pics.

Anyway, would you consider performing at a wedding? Your music is very important to me and my fiance /u/Rouxbyslippers and we would give anything for you to play

ShpongleMusic26 karma


ShpongleMusic27 karma

Contact my booking agent: Brian Edelman [email protected]

tommib13 karma

Hey Simon!

I'm a huge fan of Shpongle and Younger Brother in particular (like tons of folks here on this IAmA).

Two questions for you:

  1. What's your favorite song of Vaccine? mine is Crystalline (I seriously get red eyes and shivers by listening to it)

  2. What do you think of the Israeli crowd? What do you think is the reason Twisted and Psybient in general are so insanely popular down here?

Much love! A million thanks for the new album!

ShpongleMusic21 karma

  1. Train... i love Crystalline too.

  2. My biggest fans! I think there are possibly many reasons why psy-trance took off so massively in Israel, too long to go into here... but it's to do with oppression, national service in the army, escaping authoritarianism but through a heavily bonded bunch of people that leave the army and go to places like Goa, & experience freedom and counterculture with their friends....

LorryWaraLorry13 karma

Hi Simon, massive fan of your work, in particular Shpongle and Younger Brother.

I have a couple questions if you don't mind.

  1. Is your October gig in London Troxy a full live experience like the one in the Roundhouse or a dj set like last year's Twistival? I absolutely enjoyed Twistival, but would be pretty stoked if it was a live concert!

  2. How is your relationship with Ott currently? What is the reason he split from the Twisted Label? (I understand if you would like to refrain from answering this one)

ShpongleMusic20 karma

  1. It is one of the rare full band shows....

  2. We are still friends... there were no hard feelings and Twisted are proud to part of Ott's transition from recording engineer to successful musician.

mwolski13 karma

How is Raj doing? :)

ShpongleMusic20 karma

He is good... He's going out for Pizza with his grand-daughter tonight, i believe....

diablo7513 karma

Hi Simon! I'm that pledger who came from the USA last year for the studio workshop with you and Benji. I still remember watching batman on your iPhone; "Holy Hi-Fi!". It was a terrific educational experience that really helped me and I wanted to thank you two again for being so cool and so kind. The new album is brilliant! I don't have any questions for you, just wanted to say hi and wish you all the best. Cheers!

ShpongleMusic17 karma

Hi! Did you ever mix the song we started?

mardish12 karma

I'm on mobile and just saw that your album is now available on Google music today, so I'm quite excited to get home and listen to it. I often listen to music for about two hours at the start of every work day,  and Shpongle puts me in a special mood that no other artist has ever been able to touch, and so I'm glad you're still producing. I have two questions: do you ever feel like experimenting in new genres? And also, what kind of music, artists or genres, do you listen to and admire? Thank you for all of the great days you've helped to kick off and congratulations on the new album!

ShpongleMusic28 karma

Yes i love experimenting in new genres... check out Younger Brother... I listen to all kinds of music... as i mentioned in a previous question, i think i will just post a Spotify playlist of inspiration :)

empw12 karma

Simon, I just finished my first play through of the new album. I have it on Vinyl at home, but listed to it on Spotify at work. I loved it. Amazing composition as always.

A few questions:

  • What do you think makes you so different than all of the other psytrance influenced artists?

  • What do you think of being called psybient? Do you think you and Raja could write a purely ambient album? I think I might explode if you did.

  • What is more fun, playing with the live band or playing a solo set?

Thanks for the answers, and thanks for the music. My favorite still is "...and the Day Turned to Night." Powerful.

ShpongleMusic22 karma

Hopefully what separates any artist from their peers is their unique heart and soul... One's passion and creativity can't be suppressed in their work. Psybient... sounds awful. I hate genres/tags but realise journalists and marketing people need them to try and describe music in such a limited medium as language...

stubsy12 karma

What does a good idea taste like?

ShpongleMusic42 karma

deliciously sweet, but not sickly... slightly tangy with surprise and a full-bodied satisfaction. William James describes somebody on laughing gas or laudanum or something who discovers the secret of the Universe... He fully understood the divine plan, why we are here and the answer to everything.... luckily he had a pen close by and managed to scribble down his thoughts before they were lost forever..... When he finally sobered up, he rushed to see what pearls of wisdom he had captured..... on a piece of paper, he had written "A smell of petroleum prevails throughout."

cchckey2711 karma

What Shpongle album do you and Raja Ram sit back and listen to the most?

ShpongleMusic16 karma

I will usually listen to whatever i've just completed a lot, until mastering... by the time it is released i have stopped listening. Occasionally i'll hear something in someone's car, for example, years later and for the first time i'll be able to hear it without all the mistakes and errors in judgement that i was so concerned about at the time.... If i was going to put on a shpongle album right now, it would be the new one...

maddolax11 karma

What's some of your favorite music you're listening to right now?

ShpongleMusic31 karma

Trentemoller, Flanger, Placebo, massive attack... i'm into audiobooks right now.... David Sedaris, Alan Partridge....

kopiko11 karma

Hi, Thanks for doing this! What is your creative process?

To clarify: When making music, do you start with some kind of a seed, an idea, or even emotion? Or do you start de novo, trying anything and expanding it when you start to feel it? What layer do you prefer to start with (bassline? main theme?)

ShpongleMusic24 karma

Amost always i begin with a blank canvas. Once i've chosen a tempo and a key, i like to start with the drums, then bassline, then synths and vocals and other stuff... I'll usually work with whatever is easiest and to hand: if a synth isn't plugged in then i won't use it.... but if there is a crisp packet lying around and a microphone plugged in, i'll use that.... I'm fundamentally lazy.

singsaboutthat5 karma

I think you are being far too hard on yourself! I have found your tracks to be particularly varied. Do you make a special effort to avoid looping?

ShpongleMusic10 karma

No, i love looping!

holditsteady11 karma

Who are some of the newer electronic music artists that you enjoy?

E: favorite ways to process vocals?

ShpongleMusic28 karma

Depends what you mean by new..... Does Delia Derbyshire count?

Favourite was to process vocals.... mmm i spend not hours doing this, but possibly days! I love processing.... If i'm feeling exceptionally brave, i might dig out Kyma, otherwise it's usually plug-ins... UAD, Waves, AutoTune, SugarBytes, Reaktor.... for Filtering i'll use my hardware MS20 or Moog Voyager (or the UAD moog in software), for compression my hardware Distressor or LA-3A are unbeatable... For reverb, the Eventide H3000 or Lexicon PCM 91 hardware units, or Altiverb and UAD EMT plates in software... EQ my BAE audio 1028 or Thermionic Culture Rooster cover the hardware... Software would be UAD - Never or SSL or Sony Oxford. For mangling i usually use Reaktor.

paranoiacmethod11 karma

Hi Simon, I'm a huge fan (my username is part of a line from a Younger Brother song). Can't wait to hear the new album!

Where has been your favorite place to play in the US?

How did you and Raja Ram meet?

ShpongleMusic17 karma

Colorado.... and I answered the Raja Ram question earlier...

Jassper10 karma

Hi Simon,

Younger Brother has been one of my favorite groups to listen to over the last couple of years. I know the vocal tracks on the Last Days of Gravity were some of the most popular. Vaccine switched to a style that was much more focused on vocals, and a more mainstream sound. Has that effected the popularity of Younger Brother?

Did Ruu Campbell write a lot of the lyrics for the songs?

ShpongleMusic11 karma

Ruu wrote the lyrics yes. I don't know how you measure popularity... We have only ever done what inspires us at the time.... back then it was Indie Bands, now it is Electronic music again... who knows where we will end up. I have little time to work on YB, with my Shpongle duties... and Benji is now CEO of a multi-million dollar app company!

AmmeppemmA10 karma

Simon, you have influenced how my roommate and I live our life more than any other source. What sources influenced you early in life to become the producer you are today?

ShpongleMusic27 karma

Robert Anton Wilson. More than a particular person however, i would say it's the friends we hold dear, the natural world around us, the books we read, the music we listen to, the stories we share and the culture that we absorb that influence us.... Try to dive deep into the pool of creativity that mankind has sprung.... and revel in Nature and Nurture...

StamenOfTheShaman8 karma

First of all, thank you so much for the new album. It is absolutely incredible! It makes me very happy and I haven't been able to stop listening to it since we got the download early! It's really sucks that you didn't get to play at Wakarusa this year because of the storm!

My question is, on Divine Moments of Truth what did you use for that amazing springy/jiggly sound around the 2:10 mark?

ShpongleMusic13 karma

It was a drum loop through a buckety old phaser made by AMS. I turned off the LFO and tweaked it on the fly, to try and get it in tune and flow with the song...

cchckey278 karma

Have you ever seen someone frown at a Shpongle concert? From my experience at one I believe it is the happiest environment and people you can ever be around. Still the best night of my life.

ShpongleMusic25 karma

No, but i don't like it when people in the front row are just staring at me like dogs being shown a card trick!

astarkey127 karma

Hey Simon,

I was at your performance here in Atlanta a few Fridays ago and was blown away by the new material. I knew right when you started merging into what I later learned was How the Jellyfish Jumped Up the Mountain that I would never forget that show.

First, what did you think of that crowd and venue? I have to say that's the first time I've ever been to a concert at a freaking bowling alley/skating rink. By far the strangest atmosphere of any show - there were moon bounces across from the stage for god's sake! How did you get involved in performing there, and did you have any idea it would be as crazy as it was? How was the guy with the eyepatch who was hosting the event?

Unfortunately, a large percentage of the crowd was obviously not there to enjoy the music but to partake in illegal drugs. While there's nothing wrong with using illicit drugs in a safe manner, how do you as an artist whose music is widely known to be drug-influenced set a good example for your fans and the entire culture surrounding electronic music concert experiences?

One more question: would you ever consider touring with Random Rab again? The first time I saw either of you was in Louisville in May 2011, and you two complement each other so well. Were you able to share any interesting, inspiring, or just hilarious moments while on tour with him? He's an incredibly nice guy, so I imagine he was a pleasure to share a ticket with.

Thanks for taking the time to do this! We all really appreciate everything you do to entertain us!

PS: I was the guy dressed as Mr. Garrison at that Atlanta concert!

ShpongleMusic15 karma

I'd love to tour with Rab again.. he's fantastic :) As for drugs and setting a good example - don't follow me! We are all in charge of our own consciousness....

UK_Bunny_Squad7 karma

A while ago I read 'the Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern after seeing you recommend it, and massively enjoyed it. What did you like about that book, and what else would you recommend to the Shpongled reader?

ShpongleMusic13 karma

I liked the magic... the atmosphere of the book. Other recommendations: anything by Robert Anton Wilson, The Dice Man by Luke Reinhardt (and the sequels), The curious incident of the dog in the night... I'm just finishing "The Sense of an Ending" which is pretty good although i'm not at the end yet...

shmallerzzz7 karma

As someone who also recently turned their project into a live band I have a few questions to ask... What is your decision process for deciding what stems you separate for the backing tracks? What performance advantages come from a 20+ channel ableton mix? Also what's your workflow like for transcribing the sheet music for the string players? -Supersillyus

ShpongleMusic5 karma

Ahhh, Supersillyus! How are you doing? I like to split the stems into Kik, Bass, Hats, Drums Lo, Drums Hi, Perc Lo, Perc Hi, Synths Lead, Guitars, Vocals, Strings, Horns, FX, Pads, Synths other... i'll space it over 16 outputs into a mixer, and this allows me to mix on the fly - to mute stuff or start with different parts or whatever and to bring out certain parts. As for the score, i can't read music so Harry Escott our cello player will transcribe the string parts, and Pete Callard our guitarist will do the guitar parts. All the musicians do their own notation once we have discussed what they are going to play.

bigdaddypoppin6 karma

Simon, Where do you come up with your amazingly awesome percussion patterns? It's my favorite aspect of your music. Is this done via improv instrumentation in the studio? Or preconceived in your head?

ShpongleMusic5 karma

Made up as i go along....

Gdanvz6 karma

At the live Halloween show you did in NY I remember seeing you outside the venue recording on a video camera all the fans that were in line around the block. Were you gonna release any behind the scenes footage of that, or did it come out somewhere and I missed it? I'd love to reminisce!! ::::)

ShpongleMusic13 karma

My ex threw me in a swimming pool and i lost everything on that phone :(

ubermatik5 karma

Any future plans for Shpongle? What's next, album/sound wise? Any anniversary treats coming up?

ShpongleMusic25 karma

We are already talking about Shpongle 6!

BabyExploder4 karma

I saw your first live show in the U.S. at Bisco. Could you comment on the process of putting together a performance of that magnitude, both from the perspective of a performer and from the perspective of someone doing live sound reinforcement?

Thank you for the wonderful work that you do. You have improved my life immeasurably.

ShpongleMusic5 karma

I don't recommend it... It's a nightmare! But a lot of fun once you are on stage, if the sound is good. I've never done live sound reinforcement... i'm not sure what that is... putting up a PA? As a performer, i have to work out who is going to play what, transfer all the files from wherever i left the last mix in Logic Pro in my studio, to a slimmed down format that can be played from Ableton Live, send a click track, sometimes with cues, to everyone in the band, and have agreat monitor engineer and front of house engineer that you trust to make it sound good, both in your ears and out front.... It sounds easy, but somehow it ends up being very complicated.... then you have dancers and performers coming on and off stage, musicians playing solos, trying to find a place to jam.... Everybody is hearing different things in their in-ear monitors... you just have to trust that everybody is doing their jobs and that you are trying to do yours to the best of your ability.

beezey_ayahuasca4 karma

When does the Museums of Consciousness US tour start?

ShpongleMusic11 karma

Not yet.

iflirtongw4 karma

Hi Simon/Raja!! Which drug is your favorite to produce music on, and more specifically what is your process of "inspiration" for your music. Been a fan here in Southern California since 2000, keep on bending minds!

ShpongleMusic16 karma

Are you trying to get me arrested again?!

stepup2stepout3 karma

What inspired you to start creating music?

ShpongleMusic11 karma

The urge to create...

RootsmanSam2 karma

First & foremost thanks for the beautiful music! Ozora 2010 Shpongle performance during rain & thunder still one of the best concert experiences in my life!

Practical question: you were scheduled for a live band show in belgium in september but the promotor now says this is moved to a later date. Since the promotor has a bit sketchy reputation would be nice to have this confirmed!

Also, brain in a fishtank sounded real nice. I ordered the vinyl so now waiting till i can put it on the turntable

ShpongleMusic6 karma

There is no show in Belgium as it stands right now....