En Är För Mycket och Tusen Aldrig Nog


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En Är För Mycket och Tusen Aldrig Nog Review

by Fred Thomas

The psychedelic sounds of Swedish collective Dungen have taken many forms since the band really got rolling in the early 2000s, but on eighth studio album En Är För Mycket och Tusen Aldrig Nog, they expand their reach to include the unexpected and the unlikely. The blissed-out fuzz rock, tight vocal harmonies, and detours into gentle folk that appeared on earlier Dungen albums all show up on En Är För Mycket, but along with revisiting these familiar modes, Dungen bandleader Gustav Ejstes worked with producer Mattias Glavå to fit new ideas into the songwriting, and to push these experimental moves to the forefront. The most immediate of the new sounds Dungen get into is undoubtedly the drum'n'bass rhythms and jungle breaks that serve as bedrock for the bounding "Var Har Du Varit?" Live drums, percussion, piano, and searing guitar leads join with the chopped-up drum samples and a melodic bass progression that sounds directly inspired by the U.K. rave scene of the mid-'90s. "Nattens Sista Strimma Ljus" leans into another sector of British psychedelia of the '90s, with huge, blown-out drum sounds and distortion-doused vocal harmonies and guitar tones that sound borrowed directly from the Stone Roses. "Klockan Slår Den Är Mycket Nu" includes woofing synthesizers, menacing slowed-down voices, and even a little turntablist record-scratching, but the editing is so casual and unassuming that the song ends up feeling like a low-key piano ballad. The performances throughout En Är För Mycket are light and controlled, and this makes even the most head-scratching newly introduced elements feel more subtle. The entirely acoustic guitar arrangements and rhythm box drum machine of "Skövde" are less noticeable than the song's uplifting energy. Similarly, where "Möbler" could come off as a confusing mishmash of bossa nova and techno styles, its joyful melody is delivered with the playfulness of mid-'90s Beck and the floating aplomb of Soft Machine. Throughout the album, Dungen try new things without getting caught up in the excitement of changing their sound, successfully evolving rather than merely throwing random ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks.

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