State Alchemy presents: Pantomiman Live Set

Pantomiman is George Agaronov (or Gosha for short), a Russian psytrance producer with some extra flavour on top – he is a professional comic actor who comes from a family of circus comedy performers! Early in his childhood years Gosha began playing musical instruments, performing on stage and later composing his parts for a circus band. When Gosha was a teenager he discovered electronic music and a bit later towards the late nineties Gosha discovered something that felt very natural to him – psychedelic trance. Since then Gosha has been developing and working on his own sound, partly with an expert guidance from Alex Parasense. The past few years Pantomiman has spent DJ’ing and playing live around Russia entertaining crowds with his very special and very funny musical shows. Needless to say Pantomiman’s music is a psychedelic circus act in itself. Sometimes more aggressive and twisted, sometimes more nostalgic and funky music by Pantomiman never fails to surprise and excite. Pantomiman’s groovy bass lines and comical themes make people dance and laugh at the same time, while of course his skilful sound synthesis guarantees that a trip will be adventurous, joyful and amusing.

Pantomiman’s tracks have been taken for releases by such quality labels as Bom shanka music, Doof Records, Sundance, Up Records, Space Baby rec, Macky Mad House Records and Blitz Studios. At present he is working with the Looney moon records!

Shpongle – The Garden Of Unearthly Delights Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Ok it’s time for a post… Dave & co have shared some lovely pics over the last few days, but I want to share some thoughts…
Well… What can I say?
I’m absolutely overwhelmed by all the love and support from you guys and everyone at the show 
Words fail me… It was an emotional rollercoaster, I’ve worked on this show every single day since November last year, whilst suffering from depression and being forced out of my house by a massive noisy bloody car and truck park being built right next door to my house… Like living next to a construction site… 120 car transporter lorries a day trundling up the lane outside my house, that used to be super quiet – it’s only me that lives up the lane… my haven & solace…. And sadly it has ruined my quiet hermit-like existence in the forest, so I’ve had to try and sell my house and find a new place to move to whilst planning this GARGANTUAN show! It’s been stressful to say the least….
I always find rehearsals incredibly gruelling… With over 20 musicians this time, all with their own questions and demands, it’s incredibly over-stimulating compared to my regular life of living alone with my dog, and walking in the woods. But being a perfectionist, I HAD to get it right… Or at least be happy enough with myself that I know I’ve done my best.
So I assembled the best crew I could find, from the mind-blowing talented musicians, with whom you are familiar…. to Nova Han’s production and performers, Andrew Cass, Johnathan Singer & Android Jones that I have met on my travels through time and space … There are too many to mention & tag now -I’d be here forever! But I love you all dearly… you know who you are. 
I posted earlier about this being like a graduation from ShpongleLand university…. From days working at the Virgin Studios like Olympic & Townhouse, to my psy-trance career with Hallucinogen at Butterfly Studios….to the endless soul-crushing tours of the USA… all the while spotting musicians and thinking “I must bear them in mind for the future!” The band that you heard at Red Rocks were the culmination of this cherry-picking.
I piled more and more requests on my poor sound crew and musicians… Pushing them to the limits of technology and skills and they all took it with such grace, and accomplishment…I am so humbled, grateful and in awe of every single one of them. 😍😍😍
We only had a few days actual rehearsal together with the full band, and then suddenly Friday was upon us, with 70 (yep, SEVENTY!!) musicians and performers on stage, with countless behind the scenes crew. So it’s no wonder Friday was difficult…. We experienced feedback on stage, which meant that FOH couldn’t get the vocals loud enough, and the acoustic bass was feeding back so much it was almost unplayable. Then Ben started Electroplasm halfway through Aquatic Garden by mistake, so suddenly we had a 7/8 click track in our ears at the wrong tempo… Luckily Chris spotted it and shouted at everyone “Everybody stop playing at once!! Simon make the call!! What do we do?” So we cut it off, and went straight into Electroplasm…. I was disappointed because I really like the second half of Aquatic and we now wouldn’t be able to play it without it being weird…. The mixes in our ears were now a mess, because everyone was panicking and we were nervous enough as it was, without the technical difficulties. Harry’s Cello suddenly stopped working and it took a moment to figure out why – it had ran out of batteries! The Kyma was just making a mad feedback/crashed sound and had to be restarted before we could affect Raj’s voice. 
The hang drum mics were fucked and I didn’t hear a note he played the whole night.
For fuck’s sake I just wanted to play my instruments and have fun!!! 

The rigging got stuck and some of the performers couldn’t do their thing. The spaceman floated up, got caught in a tree and burst 😢
So THAT is why I say “Friday was rough” However due to the skills of Ian Hunter and others, I’m pretty sure it still sounded great out front….and after some hard words with the crew, everyone pulled it together, and Saturday…. 😱😱😱 Well I’m STILL blown away. Right from the first note I knew we were going to nail it… You can usually tell within the first minute how the show will go…. It sounded so good in my ears, the musicians were on fire, and the performers could finally do their thing. The hang drum mics were flown in from LA and at last I could hear Dan. 
The gnomes had learned a new way to say “Hooray!” – everything we had dreamed and planned so carefully and worked on so hard was happening!!!! I could physically feel the sheer love and support from the crowd… And it made me cry a couple of times… I had to leave the stage at the end before I burst into tears 🤪😂 (there must have been a lot of dust in the air, because I definitely wasn’t the only one!)
I know loads of you felt it too…. It was incredibly emotional…. Blissful, powerful and sad all at once… But keeping the psychedelia High 🤩 
Everyone who was there KNEW we were part of something really special in the making…
I’m garbling my words and rambling because I am now an empty shell… Totally exhausted and spent. But MY GOD-DESS was it worth it!! THESE are the moments we live for, where we strive for nothing less than perfection, and the sum becomes greater than all the parts. I even remembered to enjoy myself on-stage! 
What an incredible, fabulous ground-breaking show on so many levels. I’m humbled, honoured, and beyond grateful to have been a part of it…. Thank you Thank you THANK YOU to all the crew and musicians… Every one of you is outstanding in your field ♥️♥️♥️ My mind is still in pieces, and my emotions are all over the shop. To sell 10,000 tickets in 8 minutes, and 20,000 in 2 hours…not for a festival, but for people to come and see little old me and my band of merry pranksters… we hadn’t even announced the incredible support acts that we had planned 😧😱 Well I still don’t really believe it. I expect to wake up at any moment with a call from Simon H saying, “Si, please can you make a post on Facebook – we’ve hardly sold any tickets??!!”
But most of all thank YOU for supporting us all these years… From playing Idaho on a Wednesday night to 25 people, through the various Shpongletron incarnations, it has grown and grown to the Behemoth that was absolute Pinnacle of Red Rocks on the Saturday night…. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting loads of you, and many I now consider my friends. 
What a crazy ride…. You are me and I am you. 👩‍❤️‍👩
So…. what next? Well probably a three day post-show depression obviously 😂😂
Actually I have some very exciting ideas brewing… I don’t think you’ll be disappointed 😉 we still have many tricks up our sleeve 😉
And one of these projects I can’t WAIT to get stuck into. Watch this space….
I’ll be posting another photo album tomorrow with more behind the scenes stuff…but then I think I’ll switch off my phone and my social media for a while.
Oh and PLEASE never ask me again, “Hey Simon, when are you bringing the live band back to the US?” 😢😂!!!

WONDERboom – In Place Of Something (Official Video)

22 years on and WONDERboom are still rocking South Africa! It’s no small feat to be hailed as one of South Africa’s longest-lived and most legendary rock bands, and still going strong. 

I was at their first gig, at Wing’s Beat Bar, near Wits University. What a ride!

Although rock is the fundamental sound of the band, WONDERboom have delved into different genres, ranging from funk through to punk and even afro-dance. 

None can deny that WONDERboom’s biggest strength is their live performance. From festivals to nightclubs, the band just kicks ass – consistently!

On November 29 2018, WONDERboom had the privilege of being the sole opening band for American Rock legends, Guns N Roses, at FNB Stadium, during their “Not In This Lifetime” tour. An experience they will always remember and cherish.

WONDERboom have released 9 albums, headlined many major South African festivals and have been nominated for 5 ‘Best Rock Album’ awards in the South African Music Awards. They also won the South African leg of the 2004 Global Battle of the Bands & came SECOND WORLDWIDE at the finals in the London Astoria!

There can be few South African music fans that aren’t familiar with their hits, like Never Ever, Jafta Rebel, Something Wrong, Africa, Shadows, Charlie, It’s Great to be Alive, Best Side, On The Radio, Karaoke Bar, Ooh La La, Southern Light and Praying Mantis.

Cito, Martin Schofield and Wade Williams, the founding members of WONDERboom, have been writing songs and performing together for over 23 years and show no signs of stopping the rocking rollercoaster!

It’s been 7 years and one hell of a rollercoaster ride since the release of their last album, The Automatic Shuffle. 

In 2013 they lost their very dear friend and drummer, Garth McLeod, to a freak motorcycle accident. 

Then, in a sort of reinvention, they’ve had to get the WONDERmachine up and going again.

Enter Jonathan Bell on drums, and so the process of a new Rock & Roll relationship began…

It’s been a cathartic and introspective journey since, but no one, who has seen them live recently, can deny the sheer magical force that WONDERboom is.

Rising Sun, their new album, captures this story in a dynamic way.
The title track suggests what they, as a band, feel – a new dawn. A revival of what was once regarded as an electric, live and very stimulating music experience, is here!

In early December 2017, the band traveled to Chengdu, China to represent South Africa at the Silk Road Indie Music Festival in a music performance competition and WON GOLD!!! They competed against 14 other countries (including UK, China, Japan and Germany) and clenched top prize. WONDERboom are due to return to China for a national festival tour over the next year.

After its official album launch and successful promotional tour around SA and China at the end of 2017, Rising Sun has been keeping WONDERboom very busy during 2018. 

Singles such as Great Escape, Ooh La La, Southern Light and Praying Mantis have already been embraced with loving arms by fans and the South African music industry alike.