It has been a while since trance music took over Tel Aviv's clubs, invaded mainstream radio stations, was played at bar mitzvot and featured on MTV. Still, the first image that comes to mind when you ask an Israeli about trance is Infected Mushroom.
Amit Duvdevani and Erez Eizen, whose band is called Infected Mushroom, are at the forefront of this revolution that has turned trance music from a somewhat problematic, marginal genre into Israel's most successful export, almost as hot as super model Bar Refaeli.
Eizen (26) and Duvdevani (32) moved to the US when they were at their peak: Crazed fans, sold-out concerts, six CDs that sold over 400,000 copies, and one of the best recording studios in the country. They were the hottest name in the trance scene, so hot even your grandmother has heard about them.
Israeli artists like Skazi and Yahel were received in Mexico and Brazil with enthusiasm. American audiences on the other hand are a bit more conservative; so Eizen and Duvdevani decided to educate them. They perform across the US to small audiences of 300-500 people in Nebraska and Wyoming and large crowds in big metropolitans where shows are sold-out months in advance.
Next week they will accomplish something most bands only fantasize about: They will perform at Coachella, one of the world's largest rock festivals, along with mega stars such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine and Bjork.
We caught them in San Francisco moments before they went on stage. The hall was filled with 10,000 locals who danced frantically. At the entrance they were stopped by a couple of Israelis who drove all the way from Santa Clara. The two begged to be let in. Duvdevani agreed and the group slid in.
When they went on stage, the volume was lowered and the crowd clapped politely. Tommy, the guitarist, placed his foot on the monitor and started playing quiet Spanish melody. For a moment everybody thought it was going to be a huge flop but then it started; thousands lifted their arms into the air dissected by laser beams. The beat was mesmerizing. Shock waves from the audience threatened to throw the go-go dancers off the stage.
Duvdevani sweating bullets waved his arms like Zubin Mehta and riled up the crowd with his thick Israeli accent. At the other side of the mixer, Erez was busy turning buttons, seemingly oblivious to the excitement.
Life for Infected Mushroom, like their music, moves at a pace of 145 BPMs with many peeks and very little rest. This weekend they performed in Istanbul and in Ankara. Only a few days ago they returned from a 6-show tour in Australia and next week they will be in Mexico.
In 2006 they had a total of 120 shows worldwide. Few artists in the world – not to mention Israeli ones – can boast such a track record.
Reproduced with permission: Ynet