Tio Bitar (Kemado)

May 23, 2007 at 4:00 am
Creatively speaking, Sweden's Gustav Ejstes, the man behind Dungen, refuses to remain earthbound. On Tio Bitar, he takes listeners on a trip to the Fab Nebula, where almost everything within earshot sounds literally out of this world. Ejstes's ingredients will be familiar to fans of psychedelia, prog and musical weirdness in general; they include power-pop harmonies, frequent tonal shifts and soloing that ranges from sweet and gentle to frenetic and unhinged. But the way he employs these elements brims with vitality. "Intro," dominated by Reine Fiske's fuzz-tone guitar freakout, transitions into "Familj," a tuneful air with a melody as bright as a solar flare. Later, on "Så Blev Det Bestämt," Ejstes blends pop, classical, jazz and Eastern European folk music as if doing so were the most natural thing imaginable. The lyrics are in Swedish, so non-Scandinavians won't have clue one about what Ejstes is singing. In this context, though, the mystery of his meanings only enhances the other oddities on display. For the length of this disc, space is hardly the final frontier.