Dungen

Dungen

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Listeners who fell in love with Swedish multi-instrumentalist Gustav Ejstes' (Dungen) 2004 psych-rock masterpiece, Ta Det Lugnt, may find themselves in over their heads with this expanded reissue of the group's 2001 debut. The three compartmentalized tracks take 40 minutes to unfold, descending in and out of a meandering traffic jam of ambient noise, tropical percussion, blinding sitars, soft flutes and acoustic guitars, lush vocals, and the occasional animal sound. Where Ta Det Lugnt hit the garage and turned the amps up to 11, this collection resides firmly in England's trippy and pastoral Canterbury Scene -- if Caravan had truly been as progressive as they thought they were, this collection of summertime anarchy would have been the launching pad for a million woodwind and Paiste gong-obsessed imitators. As directionless and "here are all the instruments in the room" as it is, one can't help but be impressed with the moments that work. Opener "Stadsvandringar" introduces some intricate, blissed-out fuzz guitar and the lucid vocals of Gila Storm, parts of "Midsommmarbongen" sound like "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast"-era Pink Floyd superimposed over an Animal Collective number, and "Lilla Vännen" -- the album's most consistent and spooky track -- goes from the Moody Blues to Os Mutantes in just under three and a half minutes, before descending into oblivion. Though these nuggets are indeed found within, this trip is best taken with a friend, as it's the lulls that allow the paranoia to set in -- and there are many lulls.

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