It’s hard to believe, but EDM wasn’t always the heavily commercialized glut we see raving in Mountain Dew commercials during the Super Bowl. Infected Mushroom, the psytrance DJ duo formed in the Haifa District of Israel, can remember when EDM was considered a fringe genre. But now, thanks to the rising popularity of the pair’s characteristic dance music, Infected Mushroom is enjoying larger crowds than ever, and the group’s momentum shows no sign of stopping.
Aside from the addition of occasional touring musicians, Infected Mushroom is made up of Amit “Duvdev” Duvdevani and Erez Eisen, who stretch the limits of their Moogs to create deftly psychedelic dance tracks that rattle the mind. By taking the drizzle-down electro house of Deadmau5 and the consciousness-expanding temple drone of Sphongle, IM consistently has challenged itself and transcended the pitfalls that many in the genre succumb to.
Seeing song titles like “Deeply Disturbed,” “Psycho,” and “Becoming Insane,” you start to notice a theme — but the lunacy is only temporary, Duvdev says via phone.
“We just think of getting psychotic on the dance floor and then moving on,” he says. “Insane for a moment — not for good.”
And what other emotional response would you have to nearly nine-minute songs like “Return of the Shadows” or “Heavyweight” from 2007’s (After a friend listened to “Heavyweight” while on mushrooms, he listened to the song every day for three months.)
Infected Mushroom now calls Los Angeles home, but Duvdev says he visits Israel about five times a year. He says he’s seen a lot of change in the two decades since first attending a trance party in 1991. He says everything that becomes mainstream has its negative and positive sides to it.
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“You get to have bigger shows. You get to do a lot of stuff you didn’t get to do before,” he says. “The negative is there’s a lot of people into the fashion and don’t really care about the music . . . EDM is 100 percent corporate. Just see Vegas. Any different day at any different hotel, you have one of the biggest DJs in the world in EDM, so it’s super-, super-corporate. But that’s only one side of EDM.”
Before the materialism materialized, Infected Mushroom wanted to reform the masses, releasing in 2003, a double album that explored more pop-centric genres, even challenging the duo’s own fans.
“It was basically converting people who do not like electronic music into electronic music [fans],” Duvdev says, himself not a stranger to eating meat. “Not a lot of people got it then, and some vegetarians got offended, but there’s nothing to do with vegetarians in that title.”
The band is excited to announce a sequel to , which will expand on the expansiveness of the original.
“It’s going to come out in September,” Duvdev says. “The album is completely done.”
Being from Israel, Duvdev was conscripted into the military, spending a year with a fighting regiment and another two years on base. It was an experience that earned him his nickname, but he says it wasn’t a big deal.
“It’s like, here in America, everybody goes to college. In Israel, everybody goes to the army,” he says. “It was the prime time of my life, 18 to 21. [After] three years, you come out to the world.”
Not surprisingly, Duvdev isn’t a fan of the political situation in the Levant, despite love for his home country and the region.
“It’s all bullshit, you know? The Middle East is a hard place to be. It’s difficult for both sides for years. I don’t see it going anywhere — I just see it becoming worse,” Duvdev says. “But about politics, that’s a thing I ran away from many, many years ago when I became a musician. I had so many fans from Arabic countries, like Iran, that come to watch Infected Mushroom because they can never watch us over there. So I’m not about politics.”
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Infected Mushroom is scheduled to perform Saturday, May 16, at Rawhide in Scottsdale.
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