Dungen / Woods

Myths 003

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Every year the Marfa Myths festival, a celebration of music, movies, and the arts held in the desert landscape of West Texas, gives two performers the chance to collaborate in a setting removed from the distractions of a usual studio, giving the artists a chance to commune with nature and each other. In 2017, the festival offered that chance to Woods and Dungen. The Swedish psychedelic dreamers sent multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Gustav Ejstes and guitarist Reine Fiske, while the Cali folk weirdoes sent vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Earl and bassist Jarvis Taveniere. The results were issued just ahead of the 2018 festival by Mexican Summer as Myths 003. The record is a collection of trippy, free jazz instrumentals that sound like the guys were really letting the atmosphere flow through them as they drifted ("Marfa Sunset") through space, worked up a Germanic head of steam ("Saint George"), laid down a cosmic cowboy ballad ("Just for the Taste"), and let the laid-back ("Morning Myth") and desert-baked ("Loop") vibes kick in. These tracks sound like the work of four expert jammers who know how to keep things interesting even when they are at their most formless and flowing. The rest of the record is more song-oriented: "Turn Around" is a lovely Woods-style ballad with splashes of Dungen guitar freakout and mellotron warmth on top, "Jag Ville Va Kvar" is a slow rolling sung sung by Ejstes with a groove that's pure Woods; both songs take the best aspects of each band and put them together to come up with something really nice. It's a bummer that none of the songs scale the epic heights of the best Dungen tracks, but that's not really what the project was about. For a couple days working things out on the spot, Myths 003 came together almost perfectly and is a worthy addition to each band's impressive catalog.

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