Monday, 9 February 2015

Oliver: The Infinity Project - Virtual Reality is Here (28 November 1991)

Virtual reality is here, they said and as the film, The Lawnmower Man, showed the following year, it looked shit.

Several degrees better though was this splendid piece of techno from The Infinity Project, which was the b-side to their first 12" release, Hyperactive.  The Infinity Project was the brain child of Raja Ram who together with several collaborators including The Man With No Name and Graham Wood pioneered a form of dance music known as psytrance which had its roots in the Goan dance scene as thousands of old and new hippies who had gone to Goa attempted to attain enlightenment to frenetically blissed out music.  The Infinity Project released consistently through the 90s before Ram formed Shpongle and continued to release ambient music under this name up to the present day.

All of which is even more impressive when you consider that at the time Peel was playing The Infinity Project's first release, he had cause to remember playing Ram as part of his first musical incarnation, Quintessence, some 20 years earlier.  Ram was the flautist with this band, who specialised in spiritual/religious rock music but did it with a delightfully light touch in songs such as Notting Hill Gate, so as to ward off any of the naffness that the words "Christian rock music" can conjure up.  Quintessence often spoke in interviews about their music attempting to bring themselves and the audience closer to "infinity".  Perhaps the leap Raja Ram made when he swapped flute for mixing desk wasn't so large after all?

This video doesn't show them at their best, but I've included it as a potential link between Quintessence and The Infinity Project comes out of the mouth of the bassist, but sadly doesn't feature the London Weekend Television ident which is on the other video of this but which won't play on this site 😞.

I don't remember hearing this on the soundtrack to the Richard Curtis film, but I wish it was.

Videos courtesy of avsi gavilov (Infinity Project), colinharpervideo and Inner Life (Quintessence)

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