Tribal bass has long held a special place in the hearts of festival fanatics across the world, along with an unexplainably enigmatic effect on the body. Whether it’s watching dusty partygoers goers peacocking in the crowd, contorting their bodies into bird-like forms as if they’re courting one another in some ritualistic mating call, most have seen and felt just what tribal can do to one’s body. Utah’s Moon Lotus and California’s Nyrus are also well attuned to the wonderfully baffling ways that ancient, indigenous frequencies can take ahold, which is likely why they often opt for creating tribal bass within their respective, early catalogs.
As two fresh faced newcomers to the scene, each has come across our radar in some way or another. Between Moon Lotus’ embrazzening embrace of the Divine Feminine on “Visions, Still,” and Nyrus stopping in for CE‘s inaugural artist guest mix to his CE exclusive release of “Boreal,” their musical projects line up so perfectly that it’s almost cosmological. Perhaps this is why the two Western US electronic artists decided to pull together, trading musical stems digitally between Salt Lake City (Spencer Shannon of Moon Lotus) and Santa Barbara (where Nyrus is based). The result is a tribal-infused collaboration entitled “Mycomystic,” which we’re delighted to be premiering today, August 16.
Nyrus (aka Colin Rogers) explains further on how the two came to align so well, stating,
“We’ve actually never met in person, but Moon Lotus and I became friends online during the pandemic and had some quality discussions about life, music, and the mind in the process. As the pandemic brought our collective focus inward, connecting this way was a silver lining and we wanted to express that feeling musically: Mind and body, mysticism and sensuality.”
As the album artwork might suggest, “Mycomysticism” refers to the practice of using certain mushroom species or their extracts as a means of inducing mystical experiences.
This ancient energy is exactly what the producer duo pull from in the three-and-a-half minute track, calling the healing power of the mushroom. “The track was born of the idea that connective spiritual power can appear in many forms and across great distances, like a mycelial network,” Nyrus said of the track’s deeper meaning.
From the pair’s use of soothing wordly tones and hypnotic textures, to the song’s ukulele stringed harmonies and bamboo flute melodies—all riding high atop a “booming” bass line—one cannot help but feel a connection to the mystical. Moon Lotus and Nyrus’ holistically-inspired instrumental choices are not just strongly intentioned, combining to create a spiritually-enlightened new-age aesthetic. Moreover, they are technically driven by a honed understanding of psychedelic breakdowns and synth-fueled propulsions.
Of course, “Mycomystic” wouldn’t be a tribal endeavor without being beautifully underpinned by sound sampling taken from the natural world— the “coo” of an owl, the call from some other bird of tropic, even the poetic musings of Alan Watts. “Mind and body, mysticism and sensuality,” repeats the Eastern philosophical guru like a broken record, as the musical duo go “all in” for breakbeat tempos, mystifying fx, and wild vocal chops.
The record even itself down the rabbit hole over thinking about the medicinal uses of the mushroom, which are only now being given serious scientific consideration despite thousands of years of ancient wisdom. Maybe there was some double-meaning here all along, which Nyrus and Moon Lotus meant to evoke within the minds of their audience. In any case, it’s extremely telling about how ancient tribal sounds can be encoded in the human body, passed down throughout thousands of years, and re-emerge in contemporary electronic music… all in response to the mushroom.
Moon Lotus x Nyrus – Mycomystic [Conscious Electronic Premiere]
Paired with the release, Moon Lotus and Nyrus have enlisted Alliance of Gaia, a fire dance and aerial performance collective based in Southern California, for a short teaser video. Nyrus further expounded on how Alliance of Gaia came into the project, stating, “[they] heard an unreleased version of the track and knew right away that they would do something special with it. In turn, we were inspired by their performance, and the creative cycle just grew exponentially from there. Connecting with each other and fostering each other’s creativity is a huge part of what we all are about, and we want that idea to be a clear focal point.”
Be sure to check out their fire fan choreographed dance filmed in the docks of Newport Beach below. Stream “Mycomystic” now, available only on SoundCloud and Spotify.
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