Dungen’s Popcorn in 16/4 (Arthur, 2005)

Come On In My Kitchen

Dungen’s Popcorn in 16/4

Originally published in Arthur No. 18 (Sept. 2005)

Dungen is a prodigiously talented twentysomething Swede called Gustav Ejstes, whose sunnily melodic psychedelic delight rock, much heralded in the music press when his album Ta Det Lungt was available only as an expensive import (see Arthur No. 14, Jan 05), is finally getting a proper American release late this summer via the kind hand of Kemado, who’ve changed nothing—every lyric is still Swedish, every tune is still universal—and added something (a disc full of bonus tracks). Here’s Gustav’s recipe for popcorn—something familiar, something added…

Gustav Ejstes of Dungen: I used to be called the king of pop. Not to be confused with Mr. Jackson’s title in the ’80s music press. This refers to the art of making good-tasting popcorn. It is probably the ultimate snack, but could also be the most delicious substitute for a well-made meal. 

The thing is, my skills as a Swedish chef are a bit limited. I have never been interested in learning and that has led to experiments with the  interesting vegetable corn. Did the Indians discover it first? Is it healthy or not? 

I think it is. I have survived for days by only eating popcorn. And now you all say: making popcorn is the easiest thing to do. Well, if you choose to use microwaved popcorn maybe, but if your only tools are a pot, oven, oil and salt, it suddenly gets a little bit more complicated. The secrets behind my well-tasting popcorns are olive oil and herbal salt.

Everyone knows the basic recipe for making it, but here are a few tricks that you can pick up that will help you avoiding some of the classic mistakes: for instance, half of them stays un-popped, or all of it gets burned.

Fill the bottom of the pot with popcorn and drench them in virgin olive oil and add some herbal salt. Herbal salt is made from pure certified organic ingredients. I use the Herbamare brand, which is based on Swiss naturopath Alfred Vogel’s formula: it’s made up of sea salt, celery stalk, celery leaves, leeks, watercress, garden cress, onions, chives, parsley, lovage, garlic, basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme and kelp. 

Electric stove: Start out at high heat. When they start to pop, lower the heat to medium. Wait until there is four seconds between the pops, take off the lid and add some more herbal salt, put on the lid and your favorite record and shake the pot in 16/4 beat and then take it off the stove and call your friends. It’s time to eat.

Gas stove: Start out with full temperature, but since gas gets hot quicker, make sure you turn off the heat as fast as you hear the corns begin their dance inside of the pot. When using a gas oven it is even more important that you shake the pot in 16/4 beat to your favorite record, otherwise the popcorns gets as burned as Swedes on an Asian holiday.

August 14th – Woods, Ducktails and Dungen at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NY

Oh my. Brooklyn’s night sky will be shimmering tomorrow from the combined fuzzy yellow and peach-colored summer vibes being sent out by Woods, Ducktails and Dungen playing at The Bell House in Gowanus. You’d better cancel this weekend’s beach vacation/camping trip/outdoor frolicking and high-tail it over there before you miss it!

Friday, August 14th – 8PM
The Bell House
149 7th Street / Brooklyn, NY 11215
$15 (Bring an Animal Collective ticket stub and get in for $10!)

May 28: Dublab Presents All-Night Ambient Music Happening in Big Sur (CA)

Dublab has done it again! California’s favorite non-profit radio collective has been bringing choice, culturally responsible programming to the Los Angeleno airwaves for around ten years now, but its mission to foster “the growth of positive music, arts, and culture” takes place both on the air and off. Among the many live events on the Dublab calendar this Spring, the TONALISM mini-fest in Big Sur on May 28th is bound to knock your socks off– or at least lull you into a smiley, sound-drunk dream-state.

A description of TONALISM from the Dublab family:

Inspired by La Monte Young’s “Dream House” as well as the work of musicians and composers such as Terry Riley, Yoko Ono and John Cage, Tonalism combines harmonious textures with visual elements to create an atmosphere where the audience is encouraged to bring pillows, cushions and sleeping bags to lay down, listen and watch for an extended period of time. DJs, live musicians and VJs play and perform throughout the night; starting at sunset and ending at sunrise. Complimentary tea and water are provided to all who attend.


Live Performances by:
Windy and Carl (Kranky)
Pharaohs (members of Languis and Big Swell)
Matt Baldwin / Inner Beauty
White Rainbow (Kranky)
Nudge (Kranky)

DJ Sets by:
Obrian System (very special guest)
frosty (dublab)
Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel, Postal Service, dublab)
Part TIme Punks DJ Michael Stock
Andy Cabic (Vetiver)
Katie Byron (dublab)
Nanny Cantaloupe (dublab)
Turquoise Wisdom (dublab, Small Town Talk)
matthewdavid (dublab, Leaving Tapes)

Visuals by:
Matt Amato (The Masses)


Performances Curated by Carlos Niño for dublab:
Mia Doi Todd
Carlos Niño & Jesse Peterson
The Nick Rosen/Brian Green Duo
The dublab Drone-Dreamers
DJ Cool Chris of Groove Merchant
Life On Earth! (of Dungen)
and Special Guests

Set Design by:
Katie Byron

Thursday, May 28, 4:20 pm – 5:00 am
Henry Miller Library
Highway One, Big Sur, CA 93920
$20, all ages (does not including venue fees)
Complimentary tea will be served throughout the night.
Bring pillows, blankets, beanbags, sleeping bags, cushions, lay down and listen.
There will be a fire pit and heat lamps but make sure to bring warm clothes because it gets cold at night.

Buy tickets

La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s “Dream House”, Mela Foundation, Tribeca, NYC. Find out more about La Monte Young and the Mela Foundation here.