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(Subliminal Sounds)

Flat out, Dungen dropped a psych-rock masterpiece on the world last year with their third album Ta De Lugnt. While the group had been honing their sound since about the turn of the century, it was that release (along with some global press) that really made them a household name among rock fans and indie kids alike. Instead of simply re-releasing their debut album in original form, the group has done something rather interesting with this CD, and although it doesn't work all the time, gives one a good idea of the seedlings of ideas that later became their later fully-formed excellence.

As mentioned above, Dungen isn't really a typical re-release in that it not only takes the tracks original to the debut, but also brings in different tracks recorded at the same time. Tracks were then mixed together into three sprawling pieces that average out to over fifteen minutes apiece and give the album a nice running length of exactly forty five minutes. "Runt Och Tillbaka" opens the release with the familiar vocals and multiple layers of melodies in the form of guitar and keyboard while tambourines and percussion bangs away before exploding into a spacey chorus.

From there out, the group doesn't always move the direction that one would expect from them given their newer work. Even though there are rough tracklistings given, it's hard to really tell where one piece ends and another begins given the mixing. The first section of tracks includes everything from tripped-out swirling keyboards and nature field recordings to drifting flute ambience to hammering overdriven drums and synth squelches.

In places, the music resembles what you expect from the group, but rarely do tracks take on any sort of neat structure. Instead, pieces noodle around through long sections of semi-jammy sounding psych rock while ocassionally a song structure seems to pop out and grab your ears. As mentioned above, it's nice to hear how the group got their start (which includes a pretty wide variety of production levels), but at the same time it's nothing like their newer material. On the good side, the group rips out some delightful tracks that manage to float well above similar creations by other groups, and unfortunately at other times the album is kind of an unfocused mess. If you found yourself infatuated with Ta De Lugnt, you might want to hunt this down, otherwise it might be best to wait until they release their next disc.

Rating: 6.25