Every other year, prog-folk-psych creature Dungen, led by multi-instrumentalist (and hiphop DJ!) Gustav Ejstes, emerges out of the proverbial deep forest of Sweden to feed its hungry fans a set of new head-spinning delights. With Dungen’s latest album, “4″, out September 30 on New York-based Kemado Records, Ejstes steers his band of musicians in a distinctly jazzier direction.
Tommy Dietrick, ex-guitarist of Brian Jonestown Massacre and current member of Sky Parade, recently took the time to discuss his inspiration behind founding that sweetheart-of-the-rodeo desert festival: Clean Air Clear Stars. The festival features a stunning line up of mostly Los Angeles based, psychedelic-inspired musicians. Last year’s line up included such mind-expanding favorites as Entrance, Spindrift, Gram Rabbit and beyond, while this year showcases third eye Titans Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Black Angels and Dead Meadow. Be forewarned: this is not another vapid hipster street fair: the entire event is designed to raise consciousness of global warming, with proceeds going to Global Inheritence, a creative activist company.
For those who haven’t attended the event, the three day festival takes place in the truly stunning terrain of Joshua Tree National Monument– a sweeping wilderness Gram Parsons and Keith Richards would go to to get high, pray to strange rock formations, and watch UFO’s sail by in the ethereally bright desert sky. Two decades earlier, the landscape’s tumblin’ tumbleweeds also served as a backdrop to the likes of Roy Rogers’ sharp-shootouts and other classic Western dramas. In a third wave of interpretation, Dietrick appropriately situated this one of a kind gathering in a place a little bit country, a little rock n’ roll–making Clean Air Clear Stars the scene to a next generation of creative expression.
Hailing from Gothenberg, Sweden, Graveyard plays psychedelic rock n’roll recalling Pentagram updated with the blues fueled sounds of Heavy Cream. Maybe I am really just partial to this band because a)They’re Swedish, b)I think every dude in the band pretty much has a ’stache, and c)Poncho-wearin’. I know everyone says they are conjoined twinsies to Sweden’s other Pentagram-inspired doom metal favorite, Witchcraft, but I actually think they stand on their own. Graveyard has a slightly jazzier feel, with more open areas and free-spirited, freaked-out drumming and bluesy, improvisational sections with 70’s styled guitar effects.
Their opening track off their self-titled debut, “Evil Ways.” Opening with an anticipatory, ominous percussive lick, the song quickly kicks into high gear with, as the song title suggests, an evil-inspired riff. The whole album was recorded in analog by Don Ahlsterberg (Soundtrack of our Lives, The International Noise Conspiracy, Division of Laura Lee)lending them that classic Swedish-garage grit that still manages to maintain a certain pop sensibility.
Night Horse features two members from Ancestors- within this group, however, their heavy, heavy, heavy riffed-out doom metal soundscape is absorbed into more straight ahead classic rock that you don’t need to be completely stoned to enjoy. You can’t mess with their galloping twin guitar attack and that slight southern blues-rock twinge to the Allman Brothers or Lynyrd Skynyrd.