Hippie, not dippy

Ta Det Lugnt (translated means “take it easy”) is a psychedelic album that can be enjoyed, if you can imagine, without the aid of psychotropic drugs. And such feats are easier said than done, as any sobered-up Deadhead can attest. That Lugnt is finally available domestically (expanded with a bonus disc of five previously unreleased songs) is reason enough to put down the bong and listen up, because this shit is genuine and exciting.

The ambitious psych-rock is masterminded by Gustav Ejstes, a twentysomething musical savant who plays most of the instruments on this and all other Dungen (rhymes with “onion”) releases (a couple of albums and a handful of singles). But don’t wince at the Swedish lyrics — hell, what’s in a word? — because far more can be found in the epic instrumentation.

Its doses of psych are denser and more complex than the flowery, hippy-dippy twaddle from late-’60s Haight-Ashbury scene, but not as clunky or fuzz-laden as the countless private press LPs (Mystic Siva, etc.) lauded by record snobs. Who bothers to use a flute anymore? Ejstes does, and it’s his attention to such details that makes this album indispensable. Takin’ it easy has never been so rewarding.


Appears Sunday, Oct. 9, at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700. With Mia Doi Todd.

Ben Blackwell writes about music for Metro Times . Send comments to [email protected].

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