Dungen Live cover

Dungen Live

Released

With the exception of “Ain’t So Hard to Do,” a cover of a long-lost song from a then-recent reissue of a 1969 acetate recording by New Zealand rocker Doug Jerebine, none of the songs from this assemblage of two 2015 sets by the Swedish psych greats Dungen is given a title beyond album side/track number. That should give you a hint as to the level of abstraction and malleability their music’s treated with here. Don’t hinge your listening on any direct references or even a distinct resemblance to the songs they recorded for contemporaneous releases like studio release Allas sak and their long-brewing alternate score to The Adventures of Prince Achmed (released in 2016 as Häxan). Instead, Live is more of a highlight reel of digressions shaped into an itinerary that shows off the now-veteran act’s free-flowing improvisational interplay. There are solo highlights — the tremulous, euphoric joy-as-freakout guitar voyages of Reine Fiske (“A4”), Jonas Kulihammar playing sax like a more carefree version of Steve Mackay on Fun House (“A3”), and Gustav Ejstes lending droning, nuanced atmosphere through his flutes and keyboards (including a particularly Floyd-oid organ-laced meditative spacewalk that some wonderful sequencing smartass designated as, yes, “B3”). But the real immersion comes in hearing how a band that originated as Ejstes’s auteur project can elaborate upon his ideas to create an even more adventurous group-effort statement.

Nate Patrin

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