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Dungen: Skit I Allt

A-

Dungen

Album: Skit I Allt
Label: Mexican Summer

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If Gustav Ejstes has shown any particular inclination during his 10-plus years fronting the Swedish prog-pop act Dungen, it’s toward music with a cinematic sweep, even if he has to get that sweep by borrowing from psychedelia, Eurovision kitsch, Celtic folk, post-punk, Krautrock, jazz fusion, or any other style that renders his songs unclassifiable. Dungen’s latest album, Skit I Allt—loosely translated as “fuck all this”—is the band’s most focused, largely forgoing Ejstes’ wilder stylistic excursions in favor of insistent, precisely modulated “head music.” Obvious touchstones include early-’70s Pink Floyd and latter-day Flaming Lips, though with Dungen’s love of flute, strings, and sunshine-pop harmonies, Skit I Allt sometimes resembles a Windham Hill version of a Cardigans album, or vice-versa. The record has a powerful structure, too, building in intensity over its first half, then peaking with the explosively catchy title track before tailing off purposefully and settling into melancholy. It’s as though Ejstes sets a single trajectory that takes him as close he can get to escaping Earth’s orbit, then ruefully reflects on what he’s about to tumble back to.