Infinite Rewards of Dungen

It began to feel like Gustav Ejstes was just going through the motions. The same way those Caravan and Family (and eventually the Groundhogs) albums get progressively more predictable (i.e. worse) as they '70s went dimmer. It's probably because I just wasn't listening soft enough, I wanted skree and fuzz, endless solos and Polaroid resin. Skit I Allt has everything, including the progression, on one platter, and I'm disappointed in myself to cast it off at first listen, as just another Dungen album. With Reine Fiske weaving a heavy load of masterful guitar work, the more Ejstes furthers his compositions towards jazz fusion, the more implicitly psych his songs become.

"Ballor" is a particularly potent nugget. Fresh as morning dew from a fjord, the addition of Anna Jarvinen gives it a Curved Air mystique, a driving piece worthy of "Back Street Luv." There are elements of Soft Machine and Bitche's Brew all over the place. And it's "Soda" that proves they don't have to be "heavy" to be "heavy," as the vibes are sonic "heavy," vintage smoke and wine "heavy." As piano has gained a prominence, the virtuoso riffing comes on all fronts. Ejstes is still repping hip-hop and Aphex Twin, but I hear none of that. This is reel to reel free jam. That's especially true of "Hogdallstoppen," a rightly organic epic face-melter -- which edits in and out of mushroom clouds, flying laughs, and seismic choogle. This is the fantasy marriage of George Martin and Randy Holden.

No comments: