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Dungen - Ta Det Lugnt CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.86 | 52 ratings

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4 stars Hendrix vibe meets Kingston Wall with surprises everywhere.

Sometimes the fans know which album is THE album to get. I'm not even talking about their "best" album necessarily, but the one that is really "special" for reasons not entirely evident. The one the fans find the most intimate, the most personal connection with the artist. The album that 30 years on is the one a fan reaches for to feel the true essence of the artist. With the Beatles it is White Album. With Neil Young it is On the Beach or Tonights the Night. With Chili Peppers it is Blood Sugar. And I predict with Dungen it will be this album.

Here's an album for we Gen-xers and younger types who got ripped off by missing the best years, the party that was the 60s and 70s. Yeah I was there as a kid but that doesn't count. With Dungen we get a new album chalk full of the spirit of the Hendrix Experience/Airplane psych-rock stuff but with other folk and jazz influences as well. I'm not saying Gustav Ejstes is Jimi Hendrix reborn, only that some of the songs have the influence of them. Actually Dungen to my ears has the spirit of a more modern band as well: Kingston Wall. Both share a marvelous sense of freedom and playfulness and have a leader whose ideas can't be easily quantified. On "ta det lugnt" you have the feeling that anything can happen and there is an almost spiritual feel that permeates the better tracks.

Beyond the retro-fuzz wailing guitar solos you will be surprised when songs change 180 degrees right before your eyes. Guitar rock songs will become pop songs. Piano interludes will come from nowhere. Dreamy saxophone solos will appear sparingly. Violins and flutes will dance around you from time to time. The album is nicely paced so that the deeper in you get the more abstract and beautiful things become. There are moments of complete chaos and other moments where little is happening. There are moments that border on avant-garde experimentation. But no matter what is happening, wonderful melodies and good grooves are never far off. And the sound will knock your socks off. Good sound yes, but also a definite 70s feel to the production. My only complaint is that sometimes the tinniness of the drum cymbals is too loud in the mix which can irritate a bit.

The digipack version I have features a second bonus disc with 5 more excellent tracks. They could have fit those tracks on the main disc so I'm not sure why they felt it necessary to waste the resources necessary to press another disc and extra packaging. But they did so enjoy we shall!

I don't know how "prog" this album is to the experts but it is on this website and in my view is close to a masterpiece. It's a little rough around the edges but that's part of what makes it special. Passion trumps clinical perfection sometimes. Let your hair down and let Dungen get you baked with their badass "vintage modern" sound.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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