Mining Israelian Goa trance of its hottest intensities, Infected Mushroom remain one of the Middle East’s biggest international cult successes. Erez Aizen’s cheap background in obsessed bedroom computer tinkering had led him into and out of a number of crude dance efforts, and when a mutual friend suggested he should get together with Amit Duvdevani, a trash metal fan who had just returned from an aborted career path in India, the two found enough in common to surreptitiously explore the rising psychedelic trends pouring out the nation’s clubs.
The results — 1998’s The Gathering, which was heavily inspired by the surreal ambient dance of Simon Posford, X-Dream, and Transwave, and 2000’s Classical Mushroom, an aggressively melodic trance LP that broke the European, Japanese, and American markets — elevated Infected Mushroom to one of Israel’s key trance producing duo.
Erez and Duvdev have added famed Israeli guitarist Erez Netz and Brazilian percussionist Rogerio Jardim to select live shows. They’re also busy finishing material for their seventh album, Vicious Delicious, which contains a myriad of new musical explorations, from Flamenco guitar, to hip hop, to thrash-metal undertones. They have even been commissioned to remix recordings of rock legends, The Doors. But today they are especially proud to be recognized by their fans – Infected Mushroom was named #12 in DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJ list, a 14 place jump from their debut on the list last year.
The band’s energetic live show has triumphed at some of the world’s biggest and most important music festivals (OMIX Festival in Mexico, Miami’s Ultra Festival, Tribe in Sao Paulo, among countless others), and they continue to regularly sell-out top clubs such as the Brixton Academy in London, Toronto’s Koolhaus at the Government, and Avalon in New York and Los Angeles. Their success as an electronic music band on the global concert circuit has translated into record sales in excess of 150,000 albums over the course of six acclaimed independent albums. Not bad for two guys from Haifa who started producing music mostly to escape boredom.
“We met in 1996 through a DJ friend,” recalls Erez. “Duvdev was in Goa at the time, and I was working on another project with a German guy. We met and tried to do one track together, and we’ve continued on since then.”
A year later, Erez and Duvdev started buying equipment and began to take Infected Mushroom – a name they stole from a disbanded local punk band – seriously. Finding little influence in Israel’s music scene, they drew inspiration from bands like Metallica and The Prodigy. Early productions led to club dates and gigs at local parties. Before long, the twosome had developed quite a loyal following. While the headlines were filled with news about violence and bloodshed, Infected Mushroom’s music touched the hearts of the burgeoning Israeli trance scene, and clubbers began looking to the band’s music for a respite from the tumultuous political situation.
In 1998, BNE released Infected Mushroom’s debut album, The Gathering. Inspired by the surreal ambient styles of Simon Posford, X-Dream and Transwave, it took a few months for the forward-thinking album to catch on. But once it did, the buzz within the global psy-trance scene became deafening.
The group’s second album, Classical Mushroom, was released in 2000
Infected Mushroom’s third album, B.P. Empire, followed in 2001. The combination of their live show and diverse electronic palette eventually won them the support of critics and a new legion of hardcore fans in North and South America. In 2003, Infected Mushroom issued their sprawling double-disc album, Converting Vegetarians. Perhaps one of their most ambitious recordings to date, Converting Vegetarians was a sonic departure away from trance. Leading the listener through trance, freestyle and ambient sounds, the album paved the way for 2004’s I’m The Supervisor.
Always one step of their audience, Infected Mushroom are constantly pushing themselves. With fame and success in their homeland and in the global electronic music community, Infected Mushroom threw caution to the wind and relocated to Los Angeles in January 2005. The purpose was to take themselves out of their comfort zone in order to take their music to the next level.
While they see themselves more as an electronic band rather than a psy-trance outfit these days, their track record of producing everything from trance to downtempo makes them feel that they can realize all of their musical aspirations.