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TA DET LUGNT

Dungen

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Heptade
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Dungen has acquired a bizarre credibility with North American hipster indie rockers who aren't even aware that prog exists and turn their noses up at it if they are. Nonetheless, make no mistake, this album is a massive slab of proggy psych rock that will satisfy even the most jaded listener. It's hard to come up with reference points for this music, Gustav Ejstes' vision is so original. The production is deliberately vintage and hazy, as are the sounds. The songs range from the druggily pastoral and tranquil to raging feedback- driven freak-outs worthy of the Airplane at their wiggiest. Ejstes is very fortunate to have the services of former Landberk/Paatos guitarist Reine Fiske, who is one of the great heroes of modern rock guitar. He coaxes unearthly sounds out of his pedals and amp and also knows how to construct an emotionally satisfying solo, skills which carry over into the band's live sets, which I can attest to, having seen them live. Odd vintage keyboard sounds and even some creepy strings enter the mix as well. The all-Swedish vocals only add to the unearthly exoticism of the record. An album this strong from start to finish doesn't really have any highlights- it's all one great trip! When looking over the field of modern prog and psych, there is no doubt this is one of the masterpieces of the new millennium.

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Send comments to Heptade (BETA) | Report this review (#114971)
Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Not being sure why this group is in our PA, Dungen's debut album is by far the group's best record and even in that light, they are not really all that essential to progheads. With the only real link of this alternative rock group being Reine Fiske (ex-Landberk and future Paatos) and a few longer tracks in the second part of the album, Dungen's rock is nothing worth writing home about.

A bunch of short and unmemorable tracks which are derivative of 60's psych rock (with a Lenny Kratvitz-style of production) clog the first part of the album, and one must wait until halfway of the fifth and title track to get a sudden/brutal change and jump a more pleasant realm where instrumental interplay take over from pop songs. All of a sudden, the mood shifts to a jazz-rock with a sax giving the tone, but the chord progression was so absolutely absent, that it might as well have been another track. But from that track onwards, the album reveals a much more adventurous facet (all things being relative, they never get close to uncharted territories) with a good instrumental track next, than an inspired Bortglomd track: it is the album's centerpiece with its Fiske's heavy psyched-out searing guitar soaring like a phoenix, but burning down all too suddenly. The album slides smoothly to its last quarter on rather smoothly, but ends with another highlight (and another Fiske heroic solo), the good Sluta.

Although the album ends in a much better fashion that it started, this writer found that this is a typically over-rated album, where the derivative side of the music does have a tendency to blind a bit the listener's lucid views. Hardly essential and prog-related at best, IMHO

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#117188)
Posted Tuesday, April 03, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.5 stars. I listened to this last year quite a bit and found it to be rather refreshing on several fronts. There is a 60's psychedelic feel to their music. At times you might describe it as psychedelic pop (a lot of the first half of the record),and at times psychedelic prog.The drums are often mixed out front too much, sometimes being a distraction and noisy.The vocals are in Swedish and have a unique, high pitched tone to them. Of interest to prog fans is the involvement of Reine Fiske the former guitarist for LANDBERK and PAATOS. And for me he is the star of this show, although make no mistake this is multi- instrumentalist and vocalist Gustav Ejstes' baby. He also wrote the lyrics and music, and mixed and produced this record.

The record starts off with the catchy "Panda" that gives us a good example of their sound right away. I like the outbursts of guitar on this one as well as on the next one "Gjort Bort Sig" where Reine is all over it with his great guitar playing. "Festival" is another highlight for me especially the extended instrumental interlude of keys and guitar. "Du e For Fin For Mig" opens with violin as strumming guitar comes in. When the vocals come in it brings THE BEATLES to mind. The chorus on this one is one of the highlights on this album. The song stops and begins again totally different with some amazing guitar melodies. Nice. "Ta Det Lugnt" opens with a light,uptempo sound with a good keyboard melody. Vocals come in and some scorching guitar. Again this song stops as well and returns with a totally different melody including sax and piano.The next song "Det Du Tanker Idag Ar Du I Morgan" is an instrumental featuring piano, flute and drums. The flute reminds me of the sixties.

"Lejonet & Kulan" is another instrumental that sounds great ! It's experimental sounding with flute and organ. The organ is amazing. "Bortglomd" is a bombastic song with crazy drums and smoking guitar solos, especially around 4 minutes. The next song with the incredibly long title that is less than a minute long has some mellotron on it. "Lipsill" has lots of percussion and fiddle. "Om Du Vore En Vakthund" is an instrumental that has a jazz feel to it with bass and light drums.There is also an atmospheric and dark feel to this one. I know that sounds contadictory, (jazzy yet dark) but if you listen to it you'll know what I mean. "Tack Ska Ni Ha" opens with an ominous piano melody and what sounds like eerie synths. It all changes as vocals,guitar and drums come in. The final tune "Sluta Folja Efter" is the one where Reine's guitar playing reminds me of LANDBERK the most. Some feedback and mellotron on this one as well. Great song !

Overall I highly recommend this record. It's new sounding yet drawing from the past.There is also the spirit of LANDBERK in this one if you listen close enough. I still like the debut and also "Tio Bitar" a lot more than this one. This is too poppy early on although it certainly makes up for that as it plays out.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#117283)
Posted Tuesday, April 03, 2007 | Review Permalink
The Wizard
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Dungen are not just another retro psychedelic band that indie hipsters will instantly flock to because of their praise on Pitchfork Media. There's so much more to them than that. They're excellent musicians, songwriters, and they have an superb vision of psychedelia that they live up to.

Gustav Ejstes is responsible for most of the instrumental work in the album. While he does receive help from other musicians, he must receive credit for his enormous amount of musical talent. Powerful dream attacks, scorching guitar solos , melodious basslines, flowing flute lines, and vintage organ sounds are all provided by him. Not only does he provide much instrumental muscle but all of the songs were written and arranged by him.

While instrumental talent borders on virtuosity the band never gets lost in pointless noodling. A strong melodic flow in maintained throughout the whole album and songwriting always come first. There is absolutely nothing at all self indulgent about this. They can jam and keep it interesting, and when they do it's pure manna.

While the entire album is in the Swedish language for some strange reason I find the songs still have some form of emotional impact on me. At times I want to sing along in joy to the chorus of 'Festival' or 'Panda' even though I have no idea what they're singing. The lyrics have a certain flow regardless of the fact that they're incomprehensible to me. To me this is a testament to the songwriting skills of the band.

Influences I can hear in this album are mainly bands like Jefferson Airplane with their psychedelic freak outs, incendiary Hendrix styled soloing, and jazzy breaks featuring woodwind that bring up Jethro Tull's finest work. Veering more on the side of psychedelic folk than space rock, Dungen still manage to ensure that they make their songs rock, which is nice to hear.

Basically this album is a modern classic that while retro sounding still tread new ground in the field of psychedelia. I highly recommend it to all prog fans, there's something here for everyone.

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Send comments to The Wizard (BETA) | Report this review (#118091)
Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I find this album fascinating as it incorporates both uplifting and heart-wrenching moods within it that work together so well.

Gustav's voice stands out for me a lot with his piercingly beautiful swedish lyrics following incredible psychadelic guitar riffs, pummeling drum beats, charming keyboard bits and juicy feedback interspersed throughout.

The whole thing just sounds incredibly good and COOL!

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Send comments to queenobliv (BETA) | Report this review (#124367)
Posted Saturday, June 02, 2007 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
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.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#127058)
Posted Thursday, June 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
FruMp
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Fairly poppy and cheesy but still worth while.

Dungen are an interesting band reaching popularity with the indie scenesters due to their hopelessly upbeat approach to retro music regardless of the fact that they are fairly progressive and Swedish which usually wouldn't gel well with that narrow minded bunch. This music is fairly hit and miss for me, it is quite cheesy and has a lot of poppy tunes in it and the vocals are quite annoying at times not to mention the overly retro production. Sure there is retro production with a lot of analog warmth and the whole 70's vibe to it but then there is 1965 retro production with crust and fuzz permeating every corner of the sound and distorting the drum kit.

The above qualms aside there are some great tunes on the album 'Gjort Bort Sig' has a great chorus and general feel to it and the 3 minute solo and jam in 'Du E För Fin För Mig' is quite awesome and in general most of the songs are solid. I'd recommend this to anyone into poppy proto-prog type stuff.

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Send comments to FruMp (BETA) | Report this review (#145908)
Posted Friday, October 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Swedish psychedelic rockers, Dungen, really go back to the 1960s' roots of psychedelia with this music--especially the more aggressive BEATLES/ANIMALS-type of music. As always, guitarist REINE FISKE is brilliant throughout: aggressive more than usual (Go Jimi, Jr.!) yet subtle and beautiful when that, too, is called for. One thing I really love about Dungen albums is that they sing in their own native Swedish. I wish more prog groups would do this.

Not my favorite Dungen album, but then, there are so many great ones. Still, this is a good one. Very good.

Album highlights: "Det Du T'nker Idag 'r Du I Morgon" (3:58) (9/10); the HENDRIX-like "Bortgl'md" (4:27) (9/10); the BEATLES-like melodic "Lipsill" (2:45) (8/10); the trippy, keyboard laden "Om Du Vore Vakthund" (3:02) (9/10); more HENDRIX in "Sluta F'lja Efter" (4:52) (8/10), and; the LIGHTHOUSE "One Fine Morning"-like, "Sjutton" (2:50) (9/10).

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Send comments to BrufordFreak (BETA) | Report this review (#837583)
Posted Saturday, October 13, 2012 | Review Permalink

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