Track: Dancing with Kadafi
Artist: Infected Mushroom
Album: B.P. Empire (2001)
Genre: Psychedelic Trance
As some of you may already know, I am a strong advocate for electronic music. I believe that it is going to be a mainstay for the foreseeable future and that it is going to have an everlasting impact on music as an art form. Poorly exemplified by many artists in popular circulation, a combination of good equipment, talent, and active imagination can produce brilliant electronic music. Over a decade ago, back in the childhood years of trance, Infected Mushroom was continuing their trend of innovative trance with the track “Dancing with Kadafi”. Consistent throughout their career, Infected Mushroom has always perceived the electronic genre as a platform to support any sounds, melodies, and feelings that could possibly be imagined. By blending many styles into their music and interweaving them with sophisticated trance, IM is always pushing the boundaries of the blanket term ‘Psychedelic Trance’. “Dancing with Kadafi” is no exception, you will find out immediately after pressing play.
Presumably named after the since usurped Libyan dictator, Moammar Kadafi, “Dancing with Kadafi” immediately pushes the mold with an introduction by a couple of dreamy guitars, reinforced by a fairly standard drum beat and bass line. The trance doesn’t become apparent until several seconds in, fading in to join the guitars. An electric guitar riff brings us into what seems like a cave-like enclosure; Guitar and synth notes echoing off the walls, deep bass indicating drops below. The song’s progression continues from this enclosure into an outdoor environment with a piano and violin section that intensifies into a middle eastern style breakdown. With uncentered drum beats still supported by the trance lines, the synth pulls off an impressive flute solo in a middle eastern style. Afterwards, we are given a slight break as we traverse over a shaky bridge section to the next style. A disco/funk breakdown barges in without warning, using upper synth notes with a ‘bubble-gum’-like effect to lay down a jumping groove. Before overstaying its welcome, this section fades out, bringing in the pleasant, echoing acoustic guitar heard previously. Past its climax, the song seems to be winding down to its conclusion, however a fast-paced techno section breaks in, reminding me of 90s EDM. Once that section is over, we are reacquainted with the guitars and the song fades to conclusion.
This track showcases two very impressive aspects of Infected Mushroom: Their expert layering, and their use of multiple musical styles. In “Dancing with Kadafi”, there are several moments where up to 3 or 4 counter melodies play simultaneously. They build up in such a way that each melody is introduced to you before another is stacked on. This allows one to follow the progression, admiring the intricate interplay between the concurrent melodies. As you no doubt noticed, what you listened to was not just a trance song. Through the use of guitars, drums, piano, violin, and with the blending of so many styles, it is clear that IM is well versed in many musical genres. Throughout this song, psychedelic trance was blended with chamber music, middle eastern music, funk, and techno with tasteful transitions between them. Although I have immense respect for Infected Mushroom, I do not recommend “Dancing with Kadafi” to everyone. This song requires intense active listening and an appreciation for many music styles that may push away fans of other electronic artists. That being said, I think everyone should give it a try. “Dancing with Kadafi” is a brilliant song. For those interested in electronic music who also have a diverse taste of musical styles, this will surely become one of your favourites.
Phew, I kind of went overboard for that TotD, but I figure Infected Mushroom is worth it. 😛
Didn’t fancy what you heard? Keep checking back! I’m going to be covering a large variety of music during my time here on The Harmony, so I’m bound to feature something you’d like. If a song seems unfamiliar or unconventional to you, I suggest giving it a try anyways. You’d be surprised what you can learn to like if you have an open mind!