Tag Archives: Johan Holmegard

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Dungen – The Bowery Ballroom – June 17, 2016

June 20th, 2016

Dungen - The Bowery Ballroom - June 17, 2016

Photos courtesy of Julia Berke | juliaberkephoto.com

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Psychedelic Rockers Dungen Headline The Bowery Ballroom Tomorrow

June 16th, 2016

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gustav Ejstes (vocals, guitar and piano) grew up in western Sweden with an affinity for hip-hop and sampling and a taste for ’60s pop and psychedelic rock. He formed Dungen in 1999, and although they perform their “gloriously expansive and tripped-out psychedelic jams” as a full band—rounded out by Reine Fiske (guitar and voclas), Johan Holmegard (drums), Mattias Gustavsson (bass and vocals)—Ejstes often plays most of the instruments on their recorded work. They gained attention across the world with their third release, 2004’s Ta Det Lungt (stream it below), prompting Pitchfork to rave, “Dungen exhibit all the signs of legitimate, hard-won staying power…. Ta Det Lugnt feels less like a new release than some ancient tome, a fully formed masterpiece dropped unexpectedly on corduroy laps from some blue-brown sky. It’s so aesthetically tight that even carbon dating insists that it could not be post-millennial.” Dungen (above, doing “Frank’s Kaktus” live in studio for KEXP FM) put out their seventh full-length, Allas Sak (stream it below) last fall. “Don’t let this album pass you by,” implored Drowned in Sound. “The instrumental and compositional mastery on show is staggering. Whether it will make a dent in the consciousness of those who don’t spend their time watching at the edges of the prog-rock firmament is another question entirely.” Dungen have inspired the likes of White Denim and Tame Impala, and the latter’s frontman, Kevin Parker, paid his respects to the psychedelic Swedish four-piece from the Celebrate Brooklyn stage on Tuesday night, calling them one of his all-time favorite bands. Find out why when they play The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night.

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Dungen Bring Swedish Psychedelic Rock to Boot & Saddle

October 19th, 2015

Dungen – Boot & Saddle – October 16, 2015

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It’s an interesting thought experiment to consider whether Dungen would be as popular as Australian contemporaries Tame Impala if they sang in English. Both bands play a similar brand of classic rock–inspired psychedelia, but the difference is that Dungen sing in Swedish. That’s not insignificant. While Dungen sold out Boot & Saddle, in Philadelphia, last Friday night, there were only small pockets of cheers for familiar melodies. Otherwise, it was a different form of appreciation, something more internal and directed toward the music rather than the lyrics. As such, it was refreshing—different in a good way.

Confusingly though, all members of Dungen seem to speak English very well. At one point, frontman Gustav Ejstes mentioned that Philadelphia was the home of the “scratch” and asked if the audience knew the scratch. Someone in the crowd sarcastically responded, “Yeah, we’re American.” But the band’s sincerity was endearing. Before “Festival,” one of a few songs played from Dungen’s classic album, Ta Det Lugnt, Ejsetes dedicated it to “Melissa, who drove 10 hours for the show.” And for the last number, “Du e för Fin för Mig,” drummer Johan Holmegard led people to clap along, encouraging them by saying, “Feel the vibe” before the tune digressed into a wall-of-sound jam. That was the sweet spot for Dungen: beginning quiet and building to a climactic finish.

“Thank you for listening to Swedish music,” said Ejstes after “Du e för Fin för Mig.” For an American audience, not knowing Dungen’s lyrics is part of the band’s unique appeal. They play within a cross-cultural genre while preserving their own culture. This is either disorienting if you cling to the necessity of understanding the words in songs or refreshing if you free yourself from that constraint and absorb yourself in the music. Choosing the latter, it was a wholly satisfying experience. —Jared Levy | @Playtonic

 

 

 

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Get an Amazing Start to Your Weekend Tonight at Mercury Lounge

January 25th, 2013

Just a few years ago, Reine Fiske and Christoffer Gunrup wanted to make music without any preconceived notion of what it should sound like. So they banded together with Alexis Benson, Moussa Fadera, Johan Holmegard and Fredrik Swahn to form the psychedelic boundary-pushing group the Amazing. Their first album, a self-titled affair, came out in 2009, and its laid-back retro feel brought comparisons to ’70s Laurel Canyon. The Amazing (above, playing “Flashlight” for WFUV FM) followed that with an EP, Wait for a Light to Come, and then their second LP, Gentle Stream (stream it below), was released last fall in the U.S. on Partisan Records. And now you can get an amazing start to your weekend when they play Mercury Lounge tonight, presented by Aquarium Drunkard.

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The Amazing Are Amazing

November 5th, 2012

Just a few years ago, Reine Fiske and Christoffer Gunrup wanted to make music without any preconceived notion of what it should sound like. So they banded together with Alexis Benson, Moussa Fadera, Johan Holmegard and Fredrik Swahn to form the psychedelic boundary-pushing group the Amazing. Their first album, a self-titled affair, came out in 2009, and its laid-back retro feel brought comparisons to ’70s Laurel Canyon. The Amazing (above, playing “Gone”) followed that with an EP, Wait for a Light to Come, and their second LP, Gentle Stream (stream it below), was recently released in the U.S. on Partisan Records. Find out just how amazing this band is tonight at Mercury Lounge.