Quality: 4 out of 5
Shpongle continued to inhabit their distinctive little musical niche on this 2001 album. Fortunately, they did not attempt to recreate the blueprint of their debut as many electronic acts tend to do. I don't think this is quite as good as the debut, but it is still quite impressive and manages a different feel.
While the first album evoked wild psychedelic trips through multi-dimensional space, this one sounds a little more like the hip tribal ceremony down by the beach. The tracks are somewhat shorter, focusing on a distinct vibe rather than the shifting canvases of the first album. Additionally, there is far more organic sounds here. Simon Posford breaks out his Spanish flavored guitar straight away on "Dorset Perception," and it turns out that his fine playing fits perfectly in Shpongle's music.
Shpongle does a great job matching atmosphere to song titles. "A New Way To Say "Hooray"" takes on a humorous bent as we listen to the almost plodding march-like rhythm. Raja Ram gets plenty of space for his strange exhorations and spacey flute too. Meanwhile, "My Head Feels Like A Frisbee" is set to a rhythm that seems to be sonically spinning, before it collides with a little space age mambo. The most 'epic' track here would be "Around the World in a Tea Daze." It shows some signs of Berlin school pulsing, but ends up throwing a wall of worldbeat sounds and vocals. Honestly, it probably comes close to the line of being a bit cheesy, which was never an issue on the first album. If you're ok with a couple symphonic synths and an occasional club beat, you'll be fine. Besides the song eventually glides into Raja Ram nice introspective "Flute Fruit," which closes the album.
I would definitely suggest picking up Shpongle's debut first, but if you find that the atmosphere is your thing, then Tales Of The Inexpressible will add some fuel to your musical fire.
Shpongle - 2001 - Tales Of The Inexpressible