Like 10,000 Maniacs and Devils Wielding Scimitars (the focus of a previous Sonic Sound Snack), I’m sure the name “Dungen” has given most of the world the wrong impression of what the band’s music is about. In Swedish (Sweden is where they’re from), the word means “The Grove” and is pronounced “Doon-yen”. To anyone who doesn’t know Swedish, though, it may bring to mind a heavy metal or death metal band.
Regardless, Dungen have been making progressive rock spiced with folk, jazz, hard rock, psychedelia and more for a good 10 years now. Gustav Ejstes (the bored looking guy on the right in the above photo) is the “mastermind” of the band and writes the majority of the music and plays the majority of the instruments on their albums. Live, though, it’s a 4 piece band (the other 3 guys have contributed to the most recent couple of albums, too.)
It’s music that’s adventurous, yet extremely melodic. Just when you think you’re listening to a wild space rock jam, it might go into a bossa nova or suddenly shift into atmospheric jazz (as in the title track to “Ta Det Lugnt”). And it’s all done so fluidly.
The below videos couldn’t be more different, the first a sunny little film making life as a Swedish hippie look pretty idyllic. The second is more of a night video. It has a bit of cliched “rock star” strutting and posing, but I still like the video – some good psychedelic images.