In what feels like a very short decade, Sweden’s Dungen has mutated at a furious pace. Main man/ producer/ arranger/ singer/ golden child Gustav Ejstes’s lone constant has been change. Take the leap from Dungen’s self-titled 2001 debut, featuring long psilocybic exploratory tracks of aural tomfoolery, to next year’s Stadsvandringar, which found Ejstes coming to grips with the language of rock. It all converged with the zeitgeist that is Dungen’s third album, Ta Det Lugnt, an album that ignited the blogosphere so that it glowed like the aurora borealis.
Not content to revel in such accolades, Tio Bitar flashed the band’s pop smarts as well as their incandescent freakouts while 4 put the band’s cohesiveness on display, at once gorgeous and biting. The last album Skit I Allt (2010) about which title Gustav says; “For me, it means ‘Don’t give a shit, forget about it, just go ahead and do it,” laughs Ejstes. “Skit I Allt is about a certain feeling: you’re with your friends and mates, all hanging out till 6 in the morning. You’re the last one left at the party and you call this person that you want to be with. They’re asleep, but they still say, ‘Ah, fuck it, come over.’ It’s that feeling.” Just don’t think that with Skit I Allt the band is reducible to any one feeling. Or musical genre.
At ease with effervescent pop, third-eye popping psychedelia, heavy rock, spider-web folk and breezy jazz, Dungen’s dynamism astounds throughout. Rather than remain only Ejstes’ studio vision, Dungen is a muscular full band now. Guitarist Reine Fiske, bassist Mattias Gustavsson, and drummer Johan Holmegard are fully integrated into Ejstes’ vision of Dungen: “Whether you perceive Dungen as a band or as me and my songs and my productions, the band is something totally free. They take the songs somewhere else.
Skit I Allt follows world tours and enthusiastic responses from the press and public, and answers the praise with yet another set of cohesive, adventurous songs that can’t sit still, yet possess the vision and focus to distance itself from distraction and obvious influences.