IN THE ZONEDungen
When it comes to influential acts of the new psychedelic movement, Dungen is a name that is respected and renowned. They have managed to bring music sung in Swedish to international fame and inspired a future generation of psych bands since the start of the new millennium. The band has always acted without pressure from the outside world, almost making their music untouchable. Josefin Öhrn and Fredrik Joelson remember with joy when The Liberation and Dungen were on the same line-up at this year’s Liverpool Psych Fest, honoured to be billed alongside these psych icons.
Many people, including Joelson and Öhrn, see Dungen almost as mythological creatures living in their own world, left alone to do everything on their own terms. This idea of the four members being mysterious must come from the integrity they emit and the respect they are given. Those qualities, in turn, come from the way Dungen’s music is conceived – band leader Gustav Ejstes writes the group’s material and has a special relationship with the process.
For me its creation has always been very intimate and private. You have a vision for what you create on your own and you don’t want anyone to take it away from you. It’s a bit pathetic, but it’s a course of action based on that I was often alone when I was a child. I’ve always been something of a loner, but during the past few years I’ve started working together with the people close to me. I am a member of Amason as well, which is a collaboration of five individuals [The other members are Amanda Bergman, Petter and Pontus Winnberg and Nils Törnqvist.] and completely different. You learn how to throw something in that gets eaten up, and out comes something more beautiful than what you had imagined on your own.” Ejstes is truly viewed as a hero within the music community. Meeting him and realising he is a very kind man with a fantastic passion for music and artistic expression makes it obvious why. He tells me what he gets from exchanges with fans or someone who has been inspired by something Dungen or Amason has done.
“When someone you have no relationship with comes forward and says that your music means something to them, that channel is God, it’s incredible,” he says, hesitating before saying the word “God”, but saying it anyway, because it is the only one that can describe that spiritual feeling. People who spread the loving, spiritual feeling that music can bring the world are the salt of the earth. Spirituality flows freely through psychedelic music and that is the simple beaut of it.
Playlist by Dungen: