© Copyright Behind The Sky Music
ABOUT THIS ALBUM:
Behind The Sky is proud to present our 14th release, a bubbling and organically unfolding record of modular synth compositions from the prolific Polypores. Continuing our mission to pay homage to the history of modular synthesis while still exploring future sounds, Shpongos evolves from organic systems with a west coast sensibility for experimental yet accessible and delicious electronic sounds.
Fungi is everywhere. Hidden just beneath the surface. Vast networks of interconnected mycelium thrive, pulsing like Nature’s own internet. Nourishing and creating soil. Breaking down dead matter so that it can be recycled and used again. Facilitating the transport of vital nutrients and communication of chemical messages between plants and trees. Digesting harmful chemicals that pollute our planet. They can survive in the most extreme conditions, and even live in space. They can create medicine, provide food, and induce visions that some believe may be the key to ultimately understanding human consciousness. Every ecosystem on Earth is reliant on fungi for its survival and wellbeing. We have only just begun to understand it. Everything is connected.
With Shpongos, Stephen James Buckley (aka Polypores) pays tribute to this, using an interconnected ecosystem of his own – namely the modular synthesizer. An ecosystem in which voltage sources and events influence each other, transforming the compositions. The organic interconnectedness of the mycelial wires creates natural, woody tones, freed from the rigidity of structure and rhythm. Melodies evolve upward from the verdant undergrowth evoking the deep, ancient wonder of the fungal kingdom. Textures ferment like beds of soil, teeming with invisible life, things unknown and uncomprehended. These are lullabies from a mycorrhizal network of patch cables and voltages. Music for electric fungus.
Polypores (aka Stephen James Buckley) paints music with a modular synthesizer, drawing influence from ambient, new age, and experimental electronics. It soars, bubbles, crackles, and soothes, in ever-shifting, immersive cosmic landscapes. Dream environments and sonic sculptures.
He has had sold-out releases on Front & Follow, Castles In Space, Polytechnic Youth, Miracle Pond Records, Woodford Halse, Golden Ratio Frequencies, Frequency Domain, and Concréte Tapes, as well as under various pseudonyms via Spun Out Of Control and Reverb Worship. In a review of his 2019 album ‘Flora’, Electronic Sound magazine wrote “his music seems to seep up from the soil, from in amongst the nooks and crannies, before grasping towards wide and starry skies. From this claustrophobic murk, Buckley is always able to summon sections of soaring sonic flabbergast”.
Notable live performances in 2019 (before Covid put an end to that sort of thing) included the Delaware Road event (a festival on a military base in rural Somerset), on the roof of Stretford Mall car park, and at festivals such as Manchester’s Subliminal Impulse and the prestigious Future Yard in Liverpool. He also frequently performs at the Concréte Tapes events in Preston, including the inaugural Deep Listening Club.
1. Everything Connected As One
2. Soil Computer
3. Fairy Rings
5. Exploratory Networks
7. Slow Fruiting
8. Of The Sweet Rot
Written and performed by Stephen James Buckley on Modular Synthesizer – August 2020.
Artwork by Christophe Gilland
Mastered by Shawn Hatfield
Layout by David Last
Dedicated to Violet. Thanks to Linda and Steve, who nurtured my interest in fungus from an early age, to Evan for putting out this record, and to Christophe for the artwork. Inspired by the work of Paul Stamets, Merlin Sheldrake, and Terrence McKenna.