By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
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By Jacob Katel
Infected Mushroom has been a huge name in dance music since before EDM was a genre term, let alone en vogue.
After more than a decade-and-a-half on the scene, the Israel-bred, Los Angeles-based electronic outfit has traded in giant analog studios for laptops on the road. But the Mushroom crew has also signed to hip L.A. label Dim Mak and launched its most ambitiously produced road trip to date, the Fungusamongus tour.
Most impressive, though, this foursome has remained relevant in one of music's most fickle genres for nearly 16 years. And that begs the question of how.
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"I think two facts," founding member Duvdev (born Amit Duvdevani) says. "One fact is that we keep on changing, not sticking to one sound, being the same and repeating all over again. And the second is liking the dance floor. We see what works and adapt ourselves to the new generation.
"For me," Duvdev adds, "I like to throw genres out of the window. Infected Mushroom has done so many." And he thinks that if he and fellow founder Erez Eisen have gained anything by being around this long, "it is the ability to do whatever [they] like."
Just take their latest record, Army of Mushrooms, released on Steve Aoki's Dim Mak Records last spring. It is the duo's eighth studio album, a gnarly, funky electronic adventure that even has a Foo Fighters cover.
"I really love the track," Duvdev admits, referring to Dave Grohl and company's version of "The Pretender," which receives a heavy dose of psychedelic and otherworldly atmospheric treatment from Infected Mushroom.
"At that time, we were working on a drum 'n' bass track which was 174 bpm. Then I heard the track on the radio going to the studio, and I said, 'Hey, this could be really cool for mixing what we're working on.' "
In the end, the guys melded the Foo Fighters' hit into their original D&B-inspired production. That's the kind of cross-genre, playful experimentation that keeps an artist fresh in an ever-changing environment. It's the kind of thing that works for Infected Mushroom.
"It's really hard to bring this to the EDM world," he muses. "I'm happy people like it."
Next on Duvdev and Eisen's project list: Friends on Mushrooms, a forthcoming three-part EP series, the first of which was just released January 22. Duvdev promises lots of collaborative material with homies such as Steve Aoki, Zedd, Porter Robinson, Seven Lions, Savant, and others.
"I love collaboration, even in the studio or not in the studio. I like the vibes of creating something together," Duvdev says. "Everybody brings his style to the table, and that's great. That's creating something completely different."
But even with dedication, experimentation, collaboration, and everything in between, the most important elements of a lasting musical career are the fans. Duvdev and Eisen know it, and they're out to show their appreciation by bringing the best damn show to town.
The Infected Mushroom dudes are pulling out all the stops for this year's Fungusamongus tour. They even have a brand-spanking-new stage design with two huge spheres and an immersive screen, custom-built by V Squared Labs, the firm behind Amon Tobin's incredible ISAM 2.0 production.
"The tour is insane," Duvdev enthuses. "People are diggin' it, we're diggin' it, and it's fun to do. It's beautiful to watch, and I think people will love it the first time they see it."
This will be the first time Florida has experienced the new stage setup, though it's hardly Infected Mushroom's inaugural trip to the sunny southern tip of America. "You know, I love Florida and Miami," Duvdev says. "It's always been good to Infected Mushroom. And when I'm there, people rock it."