In episode #132 of The XS Noize Podcast, Mark Millar meets Colin Angus for his first AI interview about his new band “Moship.” The Shamens originator discusses his new project via AIngus, Moships AI aide.
Moship is an electronic music duo consisting of Colin Angus and Digital Habitat. The duo released their first track, ‘A2E ft Michael Horowitz’, on the 80th anniversary of Bicycle Day (the original Lab Leak), when acid godfather Dr Albert Hofmann wobbled home on two wheels, experiencing the full spectrum of psychedelic effects from the nascent LSD-25 he had recently synthesized and imbibed.
Listen to episode #132 of The XS Noize Podcast with Colin Angus – BELOW:
Colin Angus and Digital Habitat are cohorts with unique backgrounds and influences, creating a sound blend of psychedelia, house, ambient, and dub elements. Digital Habitat released various nuggets experimenting with the above musical vibes from London and a northern coastal outpost.
Colin is a Scots musician, lyrical cultivator, entheogen advocate & (m)adventurer. Colin was in The Shamen, who made psychedelic music from the mid-80s to the end of the 20th century & had a chart hit with Terence McKenna. Colin and Digital Habitat linked up at a performance by Violetta @St Pancras Old Church, then began musing together remotely before initiating Moship during the dark daze of the plandemonic/ crockdown era.
Michael Horowitz is an American writer, editor and psychedelic historian. He co-founded the world’s first psychoactive drug library, co-edited collections of Aldous Huxley (Moksha), Timothy Leary (Chaos & Cyber Culture) and women’s drug literature (Sisters of the Extreme), and was Leary’s archivist and bibliographer. The lyrics to A2E are an extended mix of a talk he gave at the World Psychedelic Forum in Basel in 2006, honouring LSD discoverer Albert Hofmann.
Read the transcript of episode #132 of The XS Noize Podcast with Colin Angus – BELOW:
Hi Colin, welcome to The XS Noize Podcast.
Hi Mark, and thanks for having me on The XS Noize Podcast.
Going back to the start. Can you remember the first band or artist that made you pay attention to electronic music?
The first taste of electronica that was certainly Popcorn by Hot Butter, an early 70s disco instrumental with propulsive rhythm and futuristic synthetic lead line. It was quite a sensation at the time. There was an acidic cover version in 88 which was fabulous to hear again in the context of the rave new world, a top time-travellin’ composition.
Moship released A2E ft Michael Horowitz on the 80th anniversary of “Bicycle Day.” Bicycle Day commemorates the first-ever intentional LSD trip by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann. Was the track written especially for the anniversary?
A2E was made to be a kind of spoken word “antidote” to the other Moship material, which features sung vocals from myself and Jhelisa, Michael’s oratory contrasting very much with that. Although the last track to be recorded, A2E turned out to be the first release as the imminent 80th Bicycle Day anniversary was simply too opportune to miss.
The lyrics to A2E are an extended mix of a talk Michael gave at the World Psychedelic Forum 2006 honouring Albert Hofmann. Do you plan to use recordings of Michael on future Moship tracks?
Well, perhaps if Mike should give another memorable address at a similarly momentous lysergic event, say LSD-25 in the year 2025, a hypothetical world conference to be held in the future first country to re-legalise the antidote?
When was your first psychedelic experience, and what can you remember about it?
Being but six years old in 67 was a magical way to experience psychedelia in pop culture at that time, from the pop-psych sounds of the era to the groovy visual imagery that then abounded in films and television. The shrooms didn’t feature til secondary school, growing on the academy playing field to be gathered and consumed at mid-afternoon break. I remember thinking, “Now, this is an education”.
Do you still take psychedelics, and if so, how often?
Suffice to say one is occasionally aware of the growing popularity of DMT vape pens.
When did you meet Digital Habitat?
Moship came about after Digital Habitat invited yours truly to provide voice and guitar embellishments for an instrumental track he was producing which turned out so psych and spacey that we resolved to continue making music together as Moship.
When did you decide to form Moship with Digital Habitat, and when did you begin writing music together?
At a performance by Violetta in the old St Pancras church in 2018
Moship has also released the A2E (ambience) and A2E (Rhythms) EPs featuring Michael Horowitz. Did you both work on the music together in a studio, or did you record remotely?
Digital Habitat, Michael and myself have all enjoyed being able to interact remotely via today’s interconnective technology; the easy facilitation is inspiring and highly conducive to co-creativity.
Moship blends psychedelia, house, ambient, and dub elements. What form do you most enjoy writing?
In my case am more concerned with the songwriting aspects of Moship productions, while Digital Habitat provides the stylistic flavours for the different mixes of each track.
What are your go-to instruments for writing music?
These days whenever inspiration strikes which is usually in the form of a melody or lyric, I unfailingly reach for the nearest guitar. In the past have written on keyboard as well, but rarely for these new Moship tracks.
Are there any plans for more Moship releases or an album, perhaps?
There is a collection of Moship trax in the can, or rather on file, to constitute an album and further releases.
Also, could there be plans for live shows?
Live shows? Lord Knows.
It’s great that you are back and to hear your voice and guitar sound on new music. It’s been a long time since your last project Pablo Sandoz. How does it feel to be back?
Certainly have enjoyed making the new music and am delighted that some people out there are liking it.
How have you been spending your time while you have been away from music?
Leading a peaceful, civilised and leisurely existence.
How excited are you with AI, and what possibilities do you think it can have for the future of music?
AI shows immense and disruptive promise, but the idea that it will eventually attain sentient intelligence like a human seems specious, being based on the assumption that the brain is merely a bio-computer which it is not. Not aware of any stupendous musical AI accomplishments as yet, but some of the visual artworks are quite extraordinary (flubbery fingers notwithstanding).
The Shamen achieved huge success in the early 90s. The band went from being an underground band to mainstream international success with “Ebeneezer Goode” and the 1992 Boss Drum album. How did that feel for you?
Certainly, the pressures of success were easier to deal with than the travails of failure. The poptastic Shamen era was hugely enjoyable, especially all the bad boy controversy. Indeed it could only have been better if Will Sin had been around to share his deserved place amid it all. Thirty-two year anniversary as this is written, by the way.
Can you remember the first time you heard one of your songs on the radio?
Think that might have been Happy Days from the first Shamen EP on Pete Flanagan’s Zippo subsidiary One Big Guitar, played on the John Peel show.
Ebeneezer Goode was The Shamen’s biggest and most controversial hit – It still gets talked about and played today. Do you ever look back and snigger about how you got away with it?
Ebeneezer was something of a monsterpiece, undoubtedly. Looking back at just how vibed on the frenzy of the pop-culture zeitgeist we were doing now raises a chuckle indeed.
The last studio album from The Shamen was ‘UV’ in 1998. Why did you decide to call time on the band after that?
By the time of UV, the 90s were drawing to a close, and the band had been in existence for more than a decade; we had spread the message and had the hits, so it seemed like a timely point to dematerialise. Glad we did, too; life on the road is strictly for the young and resilient, if truth be told.
What is your favourite ‘Deep Cut’ from one of your albums?
The most profound Shamen cut is surely ReEvolution with Terence McKenna, the very bard of hyperspace himself, tracking psychedelic consciousness from the dawn of thought to the end of time.
Suppose people want to understand your music. What are the five songs they should listen to?
The aforementioned ReEvolution, Ebeneezer Goode, Phorever People by the Shamen, GeneSwarm by Pablo Sandoz featuring Indidginus and A2E by Moship.
Do you keep in touch with Mr C?
Not directly from but occasionally hear of via third party. Hear tell the former shamanic sage recently urging others to wear the face-nappy and take the arm-spear. Not such goode advice, methinks.
I have seen online that Moship has created a huge buzz amongst fans of The Shamen. They are asking about reissues and unreleased material, seeing the light of day. Could this happen? Is there anything in the vaults?
Alas, the vaults are void as those beneath the Bank of England. Maybe there are some live recordings, but all O.L.I. studio Trax have now been released.
Could there be a day when The Shamen release new music again?
Only if we can gain access to some form of rejuvenation technology.
What are your highlights from your time in The Shamen?
Highlights include Glastonbury 92, being number one on Top of the Pops, performing Re Evolution live onstage with McKenna in San Francisco and introducing acid house to the Soviet Union.
If you could go back and relive one musical moment from your career, what would it be?
Receiving my prestigious Novello award, only this time I would actually attend the ceremony.
For us music fans, music is the soundtrack to our memories. What song or album, when you listen to it, brings back the best memories for you?
In my case, Real Life by Corporation of One, time travelling transport back to the heady cave of rave via Simple Minds and Queen, skilfully mashed by Freddy Bastone.
Which song or album is your guilty pleasure?
As a pop picker having many guilty pleasures, its difficult to narrow down to one choice, but SOS by Abba is a genius example.
So Colin, is there anything you would like to mention before we wrap up? Is anything else coming up?
That’s about it from me. Thanx, Mark, other than to say hi to all listeners out there who enjoy the sounds of the olde group or the new combo and do watch out for the next Moship release, which will feature Jhelisa. Cheers everyone.