Can a band be a musical legend if most people have never heard of it?
In this day and age, when the pop music pie is sliced up and partitioned into an endless list of genres, sub-genres and sub-sub-genres?
Take, for example, the Israeli band Infected Mushroom, which some say practically invented the electronic music genre psychedelic trance, which evolved from Goa trance and which includes the sub-genre known as “full on.”
But of course, psytrance is not as big with the younger electronic music fans as, say, dubstep, for example.
“They were pioneers, they are definitely legends, and at their shows, they pull in the old-school electronic crowd — people who might be indifferent to dubstep — as well as younger people,” said John Hicks, 26, who produces electronic music shows with his Portland company Carbon Vapor Productions and is helping promote the State Theatre show. “They have an amazing visual set-up, and whether they have a live band or just do the DJ thing, they put on an amazing show.”
Infected Mushroom — the performing name for Israel natives Amit Duvdevani and Erez Eisen — will bring its visually stimulating and legendary (in some circles) show to Portland’s State Theatre Thursday.
The band formed in Israel in 1997, and has been based in Los Angeles for the past seven or eight years. Since being based in the U.S., it has had three albums land in the top 15 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic albums chart.
The band’s 2010 single “Killing Time” featured Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, and made it to No. 21 on Billboard’s dance singles list.
Speaking from his home in Los Angeles, Duvdevani said being in the U.S. has made it easier for him and Eisen to collaborate with others in the music business and to tour. But he added that being from Israel gives them a slightly different perspective on music — especially music used for dancing and partying.
“When you come from a country that is constantly under such pressure as ours, it makes you want to party, it makes you appreciate that you can party,” said Duvdevani, 38.
Duvdevani came from a family that ran a steel business, and he jokes that one of his early favorite musical styles was heavy metal. He was also into punk and classical music, which helps explain why Infected Mushroom’s original music is pretty diverse.
For some shows, the band plays dance music with electric guitars and instruments; for others, it does the DJ thing and uses electronic equipment.
For its current American tour — “FungusAmongUS” — Infected Mushroom will be mostly DJ’ing its dance music. A focal point of the tour is a giant visual display that Duvdevani says will fill up any stage, no matter how big the venue.
“There will be two floating spheres taking up 100 percent of the stage, and inside the spheres will a 3D presentation. It’s like watching a live 3D movie set to music,” said Duvdevani. “The visuals are all tied into the sounds. Even fans who have seen us before have not seen this before.”
Lauren Wayne, general manager of the State Theatre, decided to book the band after seeing it consistently ranked by electronic music and DJ publications as one of the top acts in the genre.
After all, there aren’t a lot of psytrance bands who play Portland. Not to mention the dearth of Israeli bands coming through here.
“They were among the first bands to use the term ‘psytrance,’ they write a lot of their own stuff, and they just seemed like a band that would draw a lot of interest here,” said Wayne.
Hicks, who works with electronic music performers, says it was seeing an Infected Mushroom show — in New York City in 2009 — that made him an electronic music fan in the first place and put him on his current career path.
“I’ve been going to live music shows since my parents let me out of the house,” he said. “They were the first electronic music show I ever saw, and it just changed me.”
Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: