Infected Mushroom is an Israeli psytrance/electronica/psychedelic/indie duo formed in Haifa in 1996 by producers Erez Eisen and Amit Duvdevani. They are one of the best-selling groups in Israeli music history, in terms of both domestic and international sales.
They employ a variety of musical sources, including acoustic guitars and complex synthesized basses, and their compositions often contain changes of drum beat and tempo. Infected Mushroom's live shows feature vocals and analogue instruments in performances that are set against a multimedia backdrop.
Erez Eisen was born on 8 September 1980 in Qiryat Yam, Israel. He began classical training at a young age, learning to play the organ at age four and studied classical piano at the Haifa Conservatory from the age of eight. Eisen became involved with computerized music at age 11, beginning with Impulse Tracker and later moving to more advanced musical composition software.
Eisen had collaborated with DJ Jörg and other notable psytrance artists by the age of 18, and has released three albums and a multitude of tracks under different psytrance monikers, including Shidapu and Shiva Shidapu.
Amit Duvdevani was born on 7 November 1974 in Israel and experienced a similar musical background as Eisen. He started to play the piano at age seven and continued to do so for nine years, and then progressed to heavy metal music and punk rock. Duvdevani played keyboards and wrote most of the material for the Haifa punk rock band Enzyme--he attended his first trance party in 1991.
Duvdevani was conscripted into the Israel Defense Forces, where he was first nicknamed "Duvdev". After he finished his conscription in Israel, Duvdevani lived in India for a year, primarily in the city of Goa. Duvdevani later collaborated with a member of Shidapu on four tracks, but they were never released.
Eisen and Duvdevani first began to play together in 1996. A few of their early efforts were released under the name Shidapu & Duvdev. The duo then renamed themselves Infected Mushroom, and began work on their first album, 1999's The Gathering. This album featured a dark, rhythmic sonic atmosphere exemplified by its popular track, "Psycho". It was one of the first albums to bring Israeli psytrance to mainstream audiences, and contributed to the genre's worldwide popularity.
Their 2000 album, Classical Mushroom, contained "Bust A Move", one of their most lauded productions. The album is commonly referred to as one of the groups best efforts, in which they continued their sonic evolution, and it remains one of the best-known albums in the genre.
The duo's 2001 B.P. Empire is notable for the musical epic "Dancing With Kadafi", which segues numerous styles of music, most notably through middle-eastern style melodies and a classical break which showcases Erez and Amit's piano skills.
Converting Vegetarians (2003), was a two-disc set. The 'Trance Side' disc contained trance-like dancefloor material comparable to their earlier work, while the disc entitled 'The Other Side' contained genre-bending experimental music. 'The Other Side' included Duvdev's vocal debut on the title track, the downtempo "Elation Station", and the electro-pop tracks "Blink" and "Illuminaughty".
The 2004 release of IM The Supervisor, often incorrectly referred to as "I'm The Supervisor", continued to mix psytrance with other musical genres and became Infected Mushroom's best-selling album to date. It was psychedelic in a way that dance music rarely had been prior to its release, certain parts of IM The Supervisor, most notably the gamelan-like noises, cut-up samples, and the old-school sequencer throb of "Bombat," were lauded as innovative at the time.
Guitarists Thomas Cunningham and Erez Netz joined the group in 2004, the same year as the band relocated from their Haifa base to a studio in Los Angeles, California. Brazilian percussionist Rogério Jardim was recruited later on, in 2007.
Infected Mushroom rose to #9 in the influential DJmag Top 100 DJs poll and were the highest placed psytrance DJs in the category's 2007 debut appearance, a reflection of the role the group had played in the genre's increased worldwide popularity.
Vicious Delicious, considered by some as their most diverse musical effort up until that point, was released in 2007. The album includes "Becoming Insane"--a Spanish-guitar-led track containing Spanish lyrics--a collaboration with Gil, of Kinky, and the hip hop-influenced "Artillery". The overall album features more guest vocalists than previous albums, as well as live guitars and drums.
Legend of the Black Shawarma was released in 2009. It includes a remix of The Doors song "Riders on the Storm", and continues the stylistic variety and use of guest vocalists. The album title refers to an Australian who wanted to go to sea in a shark-proof cage and was told that he would seem like "black shawarma", a West Asian delicacy, to the sharks. The success of Legend of the Black Shawarma led to a three-year tour.
The band's 2012 album, Army of Mushrooms, was released on May 8, 2012 on the Dim Mak Records label. It features tracks influenced by the psychedelic trance, dubstep, house and drum and bass genres, such as the up-tempo, breakbeat track "The Rat". The album includes a cover of "The Pretender" by the Foo Fighters, the progressive heavy-hitter "Drum n' Bassa" and "Nation of Wusses"--released as a single on April 3, 2012--and "U R So Fucked", released as a single/video on February 14, 2012.
A large-scale North American tour was launched on May 12, 2012, called "The Unveiling", and featured revamped stage production and novel audio/visual live aspects. The new live production featured Erez and Duvdev within two specially designed hollow spheres placed onstage, among other high tech additions to the band's live set-up and multimedia backdrop.
January 2013 saw the duo embark on their FungusAmongUS tour across North America, with special guests The M Machine. The "FungusAmongUS" tour was designed by Vita Motus and V Squared Labs, the creators of Amon Tobin's ISAM production and Skrillex's live Cell production. At this time, Infected Mushroom was identified as a duo who use Steinberg's digital audio workstation, Steinberg Cubase, on custom-built PCs in their Los Angeles, U.S. studio.
The duo released a collaborative EP named Friends on Mushrooms Vol. 1 in January 2013, again under Dim Mak Records. The EP consists of tracks featuring Astrix and Hope 6 and, in July 2013, the duo released Friends on Mushrooms Vol. 2, also under Dim Mak Records, which consisted of collaborations with Pegboard Nerds, Savant and Kelsy Karter. In mid-2013, Infected Mushroom embarked on a tour in support of the Vol. 2 release that featured the duo "set against an incredible three dimensional landscape that brings INFECTED MUSHROOM's visual and sonic journey to life."
In August 2013, due to the leaked song "Aura", Infected Mushroom was revealed as a production team on Lady Gaga's third studio album Artpop.Friends on Mushrooms Vol. 3 was released on June 17, 2014 and includes a collaboration with Savant.
On April 1, 2014, Duvdevani said that Infected Mushroom will be releasing a new album at the end of the year. It will be a "chill out" album, following in the same vein as Converting Vegetarians.
On average, the band completes 120 live annual performances, including the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, US; the Virgin Festival in Baltimore, US; Mexico's OMIX; California, US' Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival; Brazil's Ipanema Beach; Melbourne, Australia's Metro Club; and the 2009, 2011 and 2014 Burningman Festivals in Black Rock City, Nevada, US. Infected Mushroom have been twice ranked amongst the world's "10 Best DJ's" by U.K.'s DJ Magazine.
With Miki Litvak (ex-Domestic), Oren Kislev and Roy Sasson: Shidapu,
With Talamasca: Magic Mushrooms,
With Shiva (DJ Jörg): Shiva Shidapu,
Eisen and Duvdev:
With Space Cat: Cat On Mushroom,
With PsySex: Sex On Mushroom,
With DJ Jörg: Jörg On Mushroom,
With Domestic: Domestic Mushroom,
With Deedrah: Infected Deedrah,
With Hallucinogen and Michele Adamson: Fly Agaric,
With Astrix: Infected Astrix