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Shpongle@ The Electric Factory with Phutureprimitive and Schlang.

April 9, 2015

IMG_1502Text by Jennifer Granato. Images by Josh Campbell.

The crowd at the Electric Factory on Saturday April 4th talked about the DJ Shpongle, Simon Posford, like an illusive, revered presence before he even walked on stage.

“I told everyone I was going to church this weekend because I’m seeing Simon,” a woman in the crowd said, her face painted like the ‘Shpongle Mask,’ a mascot with wavy, tentacle-like extremities and three sets of eye balls.

“I drove seven hours to see Simon,” the man next to her said in response.

After being hyped up by opener Schlang and even more hyped up by the second opening act, Phutureprimitive, everyone was restless.

“SHPONGLE, SHPONGLE, SHPONGLE” the packed Electric Factory chanted and then burst into a roar when Posford finally stepped out on stage. He’s tall with a goatee and he wore a feathered hat and a smile on his face as he greeted the crowd.

“This is the last night of the tour,” he said from behind a giant DJ booth, otherwise knows as the Shpongletron 3.1, which in fact was so much more than a simple DJ booth that even referring to it as that just feels wrong. “Thank you all so much for coming out to watch our weary asses. Let’s get Shpongled!”

He played for more than two hours to a more than willing crowd, mixing new and old tracks live on stage. Putting Shpongle in a musical category is difficult – it’s very psychedelic, not quite trance, definitely electronic. It’s loaded with samples (most of which he records himself with various musicians) and crosses over a huge range of world music genres, from Latin American to Indian.

The Shpongletron 3.1, the massive white structure that housed Posford and his equipment, came to life through out the set as complex visuals that synched with the music were projected onto it.

“I can’t think of a better place to end the tour than Philadelphia,” Posford said before ending the set with crowd favorite “Around the World in a Tea Daze.” “You’ve been so good to us. We really love you guys. You are me and I am you. Philadelphia, you touch the bottom of my heart.”


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