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Dungen 

Tito Bitar (Kemado)

Dungen often sounds like the mighty Pretty Things. Reminiscent of Parachute, the PT's masterpiece from 1970, Tito Bitar unfolds less like a collection of 10 discrete tracks and more a 40-minute psychscape that wanders from harmony-rich power pop ("Familj") to snarling acid-rock epics ("Mon Amour"). Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Gustav Ejstes even tosses some world folk and intricately layered prog jams into the salad.

Despite the varied palette, Dungen's fourth disc since 2001 is seamlessly constructed. Before transforming himself into a hip rocker, Ejstes was a DJ, and that makes total sense after listening to this record. It's as if Ejstes culled a dizzying number of classic samples from the late '60s and early '70s, arranging them into a dense pattern of sound (just like the Beatles' Love). It's cool that mods can sound like a DJ Shadow disc, but sometimes Dungen's jams are way too compressed, sounding as if they were tailor-made for the speakers on my iMac. That's great for the Cardigans, but not for a rock band pretending to be the Pretty Things.

Speaking of CD Review

More by Justin F. Farrar

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