Är För Mycket och Tusen Aldrig Nog

Nov 07, 2022
Web Exclusive

By Michael James Hall

Purveyors of uniquely Swedish psychedelia and perennial prog darlings Dungen have returned with their first studio album proper since 2015’s Allas Sak. A delicious detour into re-scoring with Haxan, designed to complement the 1926 fairy tale film The Adventures of Prince Achmed, kept fans’ attention drawn to Gustav Ejstes’ Stockholm sweethearts in the interim. This new album, in title at least, perhaps takes its cue from the Middle Eastern collection of folk tales, One Thousand and One Nights, which inspired the aforementioned film.

Är F​ö​r Mycket och Tusen Aldrig Nog loosely translates to One is Too Much, A Thousand is Never Enough, this is a quiet revelation of a record. It’s not as heavy or explosive as one might expect, nor does it deal in traditional freak-out rock tropes. We open with the swaying strum of “Skövde,” where a delectable vocal melody shifts across a strict drum machine beat and splashes of guitar ebb and flow. There’s a flute solo, and, somehow, that’s absolutely fine.

The magic continues across finely woven space jams such as the shuddering “Nattens Sista Strimma Ljus” which manages to sound something like a Chemical Brothers remix of a Grateful Dead classic. Influences from The Association and The Byrds are clear on “Om Det Finns Något Som Du Vill Fråga Mig,” while “Höstens Färger” takes a piano dirge and develops it into a rich, harmonious treasure.

It’s Dungen’s ability to take the unconventional, even atonal elements of their songs and make them euphonious that’s the constant delight here—it’s almost alchemical. “Var Har Du Varit?” takes a pounding drum ‘n’ bass rhythm, welding it to screeching guitar and half-whispered vocal to create something that feels entirely other, and simultaneously entirely satisfying.

It’s not to say that these are “pop” songs in any traditional sense though, and the brief, spoken word sampling music box baroque of the title track will attest to that. Closer “Om Natten” ornaments a metronome tick with a lush, searching vocal and barely-there piano to ethereal effect.

With a kaleidoscopic sonic palette and an ear for the truly unconventional, Dungen have made an absorbing, endlessly interesting record; one that challenges even as it envelops the listener. It’s an experimental exploration bordering on the divine. (www.dungen-music.com)

Author rating: 8/10

Rate this album

No ratings have been recorded yet.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *