Colin Gilbert Angus was born on 24th of August of 1961 in Aberdeen (A coastal city in the Scottish Highlands). He is a visionary multi instrumentalist musician, eloquent and quiet speaker who admits to be irritable, methodical, reflective and a fond reader of Barrow & Typer, Castañeda, Twain, McKenna, Blake and Leary, he is also a known admirer of Pablo Amaringo’s shamanic art. Groundbreaking-innovative sound & music technology has been one of his passions.
Colin Angus started his musical career (circa 1983) in his local town with a band called "Candy Cubes"; mainly formed by local friends (and Alisons) (18), their sound had a distinctive futuristic -psychedelic pop groove(0). By misfortune, he gained notoriety due to the seizing of illegal substances which where found in his trousers at his local Dry Cleaning shop (1). A reformed band emerged soon after by the name of "Alone Again or" and by this time they started playing their own material; the new band was formed by Colin Angus, brothers Derek (Aberdeen, 27th of February,1964) and Keith McKenzie (Aberdeen, 30th of August, 1961) circa1984.
"Alone Again or" (Named after a song by the American band Love) recorded their first singles with the label Polydor. These ones included "The Beat" and "Dream Come True", again inspired by the psychedelic sound but this time a definitive indie-pop-rock influence became evident. Derek McKenzie was still the major influence; aesthetically and musically, Angus was not the main vocalist yet and his voice was limited to small parts (mainly chorus arrangements). There is no actual re-edition of such material(Angus does not consider this material significant) but there are still some copies still available on 7" and 12" vinyl's. Shortly after this, Peter Stephenson became the fourth member to join the band. In retrospection "Alone Again or" is the genesis and transition into his latter most acclaimed project "The Shamen".
The band reformed as the “Shamen" within some months (reflecting Angus’s empathy toward the mystic world of shamanism). By this time they published some tracks including: "They Might Be Right... But They're Certainly Wrong"; a 7" vinyl with the brand new "Stay In Bed" and through the fanzine “Skipping Kitten”; "Young Till Yesterday". Some of these singles were broadcasted by John Peel (British DJ and Radio Broadcaster). In June of 1987 the Shamen publishes their first album: "Drop". "Strange Day Dreams" is a memorable track which lyrics recount the story of folk sea-tale creatures projecting power over mankind fatal end; drug like analogies were easily read. More controversial tracks followed such as “Happy Days” exploring the Maldives conflict and more sexually charged lyrics are found in “Something about you”.
“Happy Days” was originally meant to be used in an advertising campaign for McEwans’s lager, the song contains a strong political undertone, their liberal ideas meant to challenge Thatcher’s government policies at the time. A loss of million pounds was known to be lost for McEwans, as they found the band's ideals too controversial (4).
2.The Shamen Era (Some extract taken from Eg. Mention sources)
By mid 1987, Angus was discovering the sounds of early house music and increasing his knowledge of the latest studio gadgetry. By September 1987, the Shamen were applying these techniques to their own music, mixing rock guitars, techno and hip-hop rhythms and sampled radio voices to create the prototype rock-dance sound which was to prove so influential to groups like Jesus Jones and EMF. However, the newfound sound proved too radical for co-founder and vocalist Derek McKenzie, who then left the band in late 1987 to study at university. The end materialized by June of 1988 with "Jesus loves Amerika" (A protest song against religious extremist groups). “Cristopher Mayhem Says” was also turning point for this to happen, the song is based on the television trial where Labour MP, C. Mayhem is observed under the influenced of mescaline. The message is powerfully found in the lyrics.
The Shamen were suddenly one crucial player short. Will Sinnott (23 December 1960–23 May 1991), aka Will Sin, joined the group in October 1987, on bass, freeing up Colin Angus to handle vocal and guitar chores.
During this period, Angus and Sinnot are completely immersed in the London acid house scene, the acid movement becomes a substantial part of their lives and the club sound is a source of inspiration. Angus meets important figures like Chris Westbrook (DJ Bam Bam) and Matt Catt during these days. At the end of 1988, they remixed "Transcendental" with Bam Bam.
"Knature of a Girl" was the first record by the Shamen to feature Sinnott, but it wasn't until June's "Jesus Loves Amerika" (a protest song against religious extremism) single that the techno influence began to show. Keith McKenzie and Peter Stephenson were less impressed by these new developments and left the group the following summer, after the January 1989 release of the In Gorbachev We Trust album."Strange Days Dream" was also released (Italian compilation) closing and leaving behind the earlier Shamen.
Angus and Sinnott relocated to London, allowing them to start afresh, and plunge headfirst into the emerging rave scene. 1989 was to be a busy year. They set out on their legendary Synergy tour, a nightclub experience combined with live music from. The tour was to last nearly two years. They also released the Phorward mini album, produced by ex-Fiction Factory singer/songwriter Kevin Patterson. Synergy kicked off at The Town & Country Club in London (5).
Their third album, En-Tact, was released in 1990, with the hit singles "Move Any Mountain (Progen '91)", "Hyperreal" and "Make It Mine". Also notable was the appearance of rapper and DJ Mr. C (Richard West), as well as incorporation of a female vocalist (Plavka). The transformation into a successful rave act was complete. Mr. Mr. Man and Lex are also helping the band.
A controversial situation arose when Angus was confronted about the “Progen” sample believed to hail Hitler the Nazi Leader, paradoxically the sample is the recording of an Islamic declaration of war as Angus explained (6).
Their single “Omega Amigo” reached a good position in the charts and the video shooting location was Clapham Common.
William Orbit’s mix for “Hyperreal” reached the Top 40 and it also set the standards for their future releases. Angus and Sinnot confidence reached high and they embarked on solo projects; Angus released “Neon Eon” (reminiscent of “Oxygen Restriction” ) on a German compilation. Sinnot recorded for OLI under “Elsi Currie” the maxi single vinyl; “U Make Me Feel” produced with Caspar Point. Angus and Sinnot asked West to join the band after spotting his potential as a rapper and DJ. Angus has confirmed that West did not replaced Sinnot after his death, following speculative stories relating to West joining The Shamen.
Synergy proved to be a successful path for The Shamen, introducing them to a bigger audience, Angus spoke of feeling in complete control, he also talked about the exhilarating feeling of finding himself in total empathy with the collective mindset, all this was captured in “Move Any Mountain”.
In May 1991, The Shamen headed to Tenerife to film a video for "Move Any Mountain." On 23 May, Will Sinnott drowned while swimming off the coast of La Gomera. Angus later said: "When it first happened, I was still reeling from the shock of Will's completely unexpected and tragic death, and I couldn't think about The Shamen at all, I couldn't see how anything could continue. But as I came to terms with it and thought about the situation I realised that what The Shamen's about was positivity and that positivity is like the spirit of the music and positivity acknowledges the need for change. So for those reasons I elected to carry on and also I knew that the name Shamen really meant a lot to Will and that was one of the main attractions for joining the band for him."
With Mr C now a full member of The Shamen and Jhelisa Anderson on guest vocals, Boss Drum followed in 1992. Boss Drum featured a spoken-word collaboration, "Re:Evolution" with Terence McKenna (American psychedelic author and close friend), and The Shamen's biggest and most controversial hit: "Ebeneezer Goode". "Ebeneezer Goode" was accused of promoting drug use owing to the refrain "Ezer Goode, Ezer Goode". This echoed similar references in previous songs such as "Synergy"'s "M D M A-zing... we are together in ecstasy". The song stayed at the top of the UK charts for 4 weeks.
Subsequent singles such as "Boss Drum" and "Phorever People" were chart hits, and they were voted "Best New Act" by Radio 1 listeners at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party in 1992, but some long term fans believed they paled in comparison to earlier single. As Terence McKenna observed, "Nothing ruins you for the underground like success. So when Boss Drum went double platinum, they were obviously 'establishment'... I've talked to Colin about this, and he agrees. It would have been wonderful to hit it big at 23. At 35 it becomes a pain in the ass, and you just have to manage the money and the image." McKenna joined The Shamen live at San Francisco, Angus recalls it as a pinnacle moment for The Shamen. They also toured the US with guest vocalist Cheryl Melder and they shared stage with Moby, however a clash of personalities between Moby and West(Mr C) was evident.
The Shamen's new mainstream popularity enabled them to release an unusually large number of remix singles, EPs, and LPs during the Boss Drum era, including the "Face EP", the "S.O.S. EP", and the On Air and Different Drum albums. Angus was also awarded the 'Ivor Novello' prize for composer of the year.
Once back in the UK, The Shamen worked on the BBC series "The Ozone", there is no known publishing of the material.
Axis Mutatis was released in 1995, with new vocalist Victoria Wilson James. Early special editions of this album featured a bonus disk, Arbor Bona Arbor Mala, an ambient album. The band presence extended to the emerging website technology, offering "Destination Eschaton" as a free download before it was released, Angus was a believer in the positive possibilities the internet could offered to independent musicians. The track 'S2 Translation' was generated from the DNA sequence and the amino acid characteristics of the S2 protein using software developed by Angus and he also said: "S2 is the receptor protein for 5-hydroxy tryptamine (Serotonin) and presumably for other tryptamines as well. It is thus one of the most important molecules in the mediation of both ordinary and non-ordinary (or Shamanic) states of consciousness, which is why the molecule was chosen for this piece." Several more tracks did not appear in the album, locked somewhere in OLI catalogue.
Their penultimate studio album, the instrumental Hempton Manor, followed an acrimonious split with their label One Little Indian. It is alleged to have been recorded in seven days to conclude the recording contract with One Little Indian, and the first letter of each track spell out "Fuck Birket", referring to label founder Derek Birket. The Shamen ended their OLI contract by releasing a couple of Remix Albums and a Singles Collection.
"Indica" was the official song for England in the Euro Cup of 1996. Hempton Manor was broadcasted live from "The End" on Nemeton, placing The Shamen as a multi -media pioneering act. Nemeton was created as an informative site reflecting The Shamen's essence. Angus also decides to disappear from the public life, leaving the promotional backlog to rest of the band, subsequently West voiced his frustration over this decision.
.... UNDER CONSTRUCTION ....
PICTURES HEADING WILL BE UPDATED SOON.