After months in the making, the first Radical Mycology Mixtape was released earlier this week. With artists from around the world, this unique album was created to showcase the many ways fungi inspire the audio arts – with the result being a wide-ranging, yet well-balanced blend of styles arising from the only requirement for submission: that the tracks “should relate to (radical) mycology in content or spirit.”
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the mix is the spread of genres. There are singer-songwriter, “I love mushrooms” type songs from Josh Vogeler, Michael Ching, and Skep. Lef. The classical cello from Patrick Lavoie, SP-404 sampled beat from MTLR, and ambient world sounds of Sporecaster bring in an instrumental perspective. And there are several non-music-based tracks, including excerpts from Zoe Gordon’s “The Curse of the Wild Morels” – a sound effect laced poem-story about alien Morel mushrooms that haunt dreams – and Ernst Karl’s “Mycological,” a 30-minute collection of mycology-based field recordings.
Reflecting on the influences of psychoactive fungi, Kamehameha’s “Head Up the Sky” is a psychedelic rock roller coaster through the effects of psilocybin. In “I Bruise Blue,” OMNIII raps about similar experiences over slappy bass loops, just as Gourmet draws out in their lo-fi track “Mushrooms” and Sam Sycamore relays via shoegaze in “Gold Pavilion.”
Many of the tracks directly align with the mycopsychology that Radical Mycology has highlighted for years. In “Firemushroom,” AGF sings about the importance of fungi in the environment over sounds sampled directly from mushrooms. Radical Fun Time’s “Radical Mycology Time” is a crust punk celebration of mushroom hunting and being in the woods. “Very Same Moon” by Connor Albers discusses the intelligence of mycelium in relation to being connected to land. River Dweller’s “Holy Karyogamy” is a multi-layered reflection on impending ecological disasters. And the multiple snippets from Emji Spero’s “almost any shit will do” compare fungal forms and growth patterns to the organization of radical social movements.
And then there are the songs that are in a class of their own: Glitter Wizard’s glam/stoner rock tale of corpses communicating via mycelium, cyberboy666 & user43368831’s retelling of a Derek Mahon poem (over mushroom-sampled sounds), Mamoun Nukumanu’s blissed out rap “Helix Trees,” and Baba and the Yagas’ ballad “Cordyceps” each offer a unique reflection on the influences and importance of fungi in our lives.
In short, the mixtape came out super rad and we couldn’t be happier. To stream the album or to pickup a copy of the limited edition cassette tape, check out the Radical Mycology Bandcamp page.
Peter McCoy of the Radical Mycology project was recently interviewed on The Visionary Activist Show with Caroline Casey. Topics ranged from psychedelics, to panspermia, to remediation, to symbiosis. Check out the interview here.