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Often classified as psychedelic rock, Dungen (which is Swedish for ‘The Groove’) is heavily influenced by progrock and Scandinavian folk music. The core of the band is singer/composer Gustav Ejstes (born 1979 in Lanna, Västergötland), who writes all music and plays the majority of instruments on the band's records. Live however Dungen is expanded to a four-piece with Reine Fiske (who also plays in Landberk, Morte Macabre, Paatos, The Guild) on guitar, bassist Mattias Gustavsson (Life On Earth!), and drummer Fredrik Björling (The Guild).

Although influenced by psychedelic rock artists like Jimi Hendrix (his mother gave Gustav ‘are you experienced’ when he was eight) Gustav started out writing songs on hiphop beats. It wasn’t until they started jamming that the basic idea for Dungen took hold. These sessions resulted in 2001 in their self-titled debut album. To add to the retro feel of the music the album (and the second one) was originally released on vinyl only on Swedish record label Subliminal Sounds. In 2002 Dungen briefly signed to Dolores Recordings (a subset of Virgin Records) on which they released ‘Stadsvandringar’ and three singles, including one for ‘Djungelboken 2’ (the Swedish version of the Disney animation ‘The Jungle Book 2’).

Gustav soon returned to his friend's independent record label Subliminal Sounds, stating that a major label did not feel right because Dungen is not a pop act. ‘Ta Det Lugnt’ marked this return to great critical acclaim also internationally. This resulted in the band headlining two US tours and landing distribution deals in the US and UK. Dungen also performed their song "Panda" on the popular NBC television talk show Late Night With Conan O'Brien. 2005 also saw the cd-reissue of the two debut albums. In 2006, Dungen played at the Australian Bonnaroo music festival and has also toured with Wolfmother. In 2007 they released their fourth studio album, ‘Tio Bitar’. Their fifth album (oddly enough entitled ‘4’) followed at the end of 2008. In 2010 the band turns into a more folkprog path with 'Skit I Allt' (Fuck it all).

On the web:

- Dungen's official website: http://www.dungen-music.com/

What do we think:

DB: Behind Rotterdam Central Station is a tiny secondhand recordstore. The store is cramped to the ceiling with cd's and lp's and the owner (Hans) doesn't categorize. But for me he took a dive into his archive to find something orginal. He came up with Dungen stating that their concert 'kicked ass'. After hearing 'Ta det lugnt' i can imagine they do. Positioning themselves somewhere between Steve Wilson's solo projects (from Porcupine Tree) and Polish prog (hence the link to SBB) they create a Swedish psychedelic folk prog rock genre. And they get better 'cause '4' is again a step forward to more intellegent stuff. And to top it off they sing in their own language. More off these kind of groups please.

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts

SBB (Poland)


- Dungen (2001)

- Stadsvandringar (City Walks) (2002)

♪♪♪ - Ta Det Lugnt (Take it Easy) (2004)

- Tio Bitar (Ten Pieces) (2007)

♪♪♪ - 4 (2008)

♪♪♪- Skit I Allt (2010)

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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