"Hopefully people like it without drugs because then I’m really doing my job.” - Amit Duvdevani, on Infected Mushroom's trance.
“For the first time me and Erez listened to other people. We never had before." - Amit Duvdevani, on collaborating with Paul Oakenfold.
“After three years of the army you want to try to break yourself." - Amit Duvdevani, on why Israelis like to party.
Dec 9, 2009. By Jordana Borensztajn.
Over the last decade Infected Mushroom has gradually moved its distinct blend of psy-trance from forests and jungles in India and Israel, to festivals and dancefloors across the globe.
Arguably one of the world’s biggest trance acts, the duo recently teamed up with global electro giant Paul Oakenfold, and as you can imagine, their latest delivery is dynamite.
Holding true to their psychedelic roots, the band has picked up some serious house and techno influences and Legend of the Black Schwarma is possibly their most wholesome album yet.
On the phone from his home in LA, one half of the act Amit Duvdevani says working with Oakenfold has been an experience to remember. “I met Paul two years ago in Los Angeles. He came to see us and he was blown away,” he explains. “And he’s an electronic giant. He knows so much stuff that I need to learn, and it was a pleasure working with him. We’re good friends today… He’s one of the guys pushing for us now.
“For the first time me and Erez listened to other people. We never had before. This was something that was new for us and it went pretty well. We were so closed in our environment, but it’s good to bring another opinion into your music. Today we’re really open to other peoples’ comments and hopefully it will make us even better.”
He says each time they head back into the studio, their goal is to have no limitations or restrictions. “We when we got to work on every album, the main thing we say is ‘let’s bring something new to it.’ ‘Let’s change it, and evolve it, because as musicians, me and Erez tend to get bored really fast with stuff so first of all its more to satisfy me and my partners and not to bore us, and then to bring something different to the trance scene. The main thing is that we have no boundaries.
“How do we do it so well? I don’t know – by practicing, working on it, devoting everything towards it, and just trying to improve.”
A large part of the psychedelic trance movement across the world is is fuelled by Israelis, and the culture for trance events is fostered in countries like India, Thailand and Israel. Duvdevani says the pressure and constraints of growing up and going to the army often pushes Israeli to seek situations which represent the opposite of all of the constraints they’re forced to grow up with.
“After three years of the army you want to try to break yourself – but Israelis like to party all the time anyway. It’s a small unique place in the world that has so many troubles inside one country, that you want to do something to forget about the situation, and that’s the reality of it.”
As most massive global dance movements, drugs are often part of the course for trance-lovers. Duvdevani says this element of Infected Mushroom’s gigs has been on a slow and steady decline over the years.
“I’m not for drugs and I’m not against drugs. I cannot even say my opinion because I used to take drugs for so many years, but I’m not an advocate of it. I’m not saying you need to hear my music and take drugs – you can do whatever you like. Hopefully people like it without drugs because then I’m really doing my job,” he says.
“In the beginning it was really hard because every trance phenomenon that started in a country was considered rave and drug music, so the police really fought it. But then it became mainstream a little bit.
“We had hits on the radio and stuff, and psychadelic trance is now a mainstream phenomenon in Israel. That’s why Israel has so many kids who want to be DJs. They start at a really young age listening to this kind of music.”
Aussie will be able to indulge in Infected’s new tracks and their golden oldies when the duo flies down to play at Summadayze. Duvdevani says Australia is one of his favourite places in the world.
“I’m very proud of the Legend of the Black Schwarma – I’ve achieved what I wanted to achieve,” he says.
“I love coming to Australia and I go once or twice a year. Aussie crowds are rocking. They’re heavy drinkers like the Europeans and I always have a good time.”