Wednesday, October 27

Record Review: Dungen [Skit I Allt, Mexican Summer]

by Sebastian Ruan

Dungen’s sixth LP, Skit I Allt, opens with what I consider elevator music, but with a fast-paced jazz drummer rockin’ away. “Vara Snabb”’s reverb-heavy piano chords and racing bass line give the orchestra’s flute enough time to lay down some very relaxing and familiar-sounding riffs. Sweden has been unleashing so many indie/electronic acts this decade that its hard to keep them all under observation, but Dungen has certainly stepped into the limelight with their latest effort in the psych-rock genre.

What’s most enjoyable about this album are its incredible compositions, adding whatever interesting sounds to startle the listener. Hands down to multi-instrumentalist Gustav Ejstes for providing those sparks of bliss (whether they be the random 2-second drum solos, or the psyched-out synth/guitar/bass harmonies, or even whatever effect they got going to kick off “Brallor.”) Although those moments of genius lay strewn throughout the album, it’s those ‘fected-out jams on “Hogdalstoppen” and “Blandband” (what a track title!) that really get me going.

Listening to those song-long jams reminds me of the late afternoon jam sessions I used to have with my colleagues where we’d incorporate whatever was at-hand to the tune until we’ve literally exhausted our adventurousness, then we’d have a few more beers and do it all again. Skit I Allt, although not as critically successful as the ever-replayable Ta Det Lugnt, has you wanting to pull out your guitar and pedals and just soloing over whatever you have laid down. If that doesn’t make an album good, I don’t know what does.

But as I said previously, the record feels like a ride on an elevator, albeit one that actually has you clapping to jams like “Min Enda Van” and the News Talk Show-ready title track. Ejstes’ voice is a warming guide through Skit I Allt and he leaves you at the end of the short passage with “Marken Lag Stilla,” a delicate and sincere psychedelic closer. This album may not be it’s grandeur predecessor, but it’s a quaint and enjoyable record with some wonderful tunes and some top-notch fluttery interludes that you may soon want to come back to soak it all in.

1 comment:

  1. Nice work. I've been meaning to check Dungen out, I'll start here.