Shpongle

It seems everyone already knows this phenomenon, but I didn’t. So there. I can be late to jump on some bandwagon too.

Shpongle make psychedelic trance, which combines elements of world music, trance and ambient. Some little birdie tells me that Shpongle were the founders of the psybient genre.

But the coolest thing is that they replace many of the synths with real instrucments when on tour! Here’s their London show. Observe real singers, flutes, a cello and a violin, massive use of drums, several guitars, three hangs, a bass and of course a bunch of synths, as well as dancers on stilts and in costumes:

Thanks El V. for this tip!

Dool

In Dool’s songs, many layered guitars and repetitions often create a semi-psychedelic, trance-like feeling of mental travel and dreaming. It’s a bit 70s, but it’s also a bit timeless and hard to really pin down. The debut album is called “Now here, there then”, and this is a good example for what I mean:

The entire album is playable for free on YouTube, but please also buy it if you like it. There are physical and digital versions.

Noêta

“Haunting” and “mesmerizing” are some of the adjectives people throw around for this minimalist band. A great fit for this blog. Make up your own mind:

And if you prefer something a bit less electronic, try In Drowning by the same artist.

Mantar

You wouldn’t believe that this Turko-German duo is a duo. No bass, just one guitar, one set of drums and an excellent, pained voice. It’s a sort of death-n-roll meets black metal punk with some doom sprinkled on top. From Hamburg, Germany. Listen to and buy their albums on Bandcamp:

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Contact

Contact make a dreamlike, floating sort of electronic music with 70s progressive rock and soul elements. They mix synths and real instruments like drums or electric guitars. There is a bit of 80s horror/sci-fi movie soundtrack atmosphere as well.

ناس الغيوان

A few decades ago this author visited Morocco and came back with two tapes of a band that should become one of his favored ever since: Nass El Ghiwane (linking the french page – it contains the most info).

Established in 1970 and playing in ever changing formations they still seem to be going strong.