Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kyle Bobby Dunn - "Ways of Meaning" (2011) [Desire Path Recordings]

So it's pretty obvious that I like pretty, shimmering music. Harmonious, ephemeral whispers of sound that dance about your ears and envelop your psyche. Yes, these beautiful sounds normally take up most of my listening time, punctuated of course by what you see me review here. Maybe I use these artists, like The Dead Texan, Stars of the Lid, William Basinski, and now young composer Kyle Bobby Dunn as a means of cleansing my eardrums (and perhaps calming my ever-cranky soul).

Dunn's most recent release, the short (in comparison to his other releases) Ways of Meaning is a look into his fragile temperament. Comprised of delicate guitars and organ, Ways of Meaning builds in "intensity" much like the few fluffy clouds on an otherwise clear day; not foreboding, but more of a comfort or an expectation. Like the clouds, perhaps you might "see" shapes or animals within the dreamlike sounds or feel the complacency of laying in the grass, looking up at the sky; such complacency you'll find whilst listening to Basinski's "The Disintegration Loops," Stars of the Lid's "The Tired Sounds..." or even Arvo Part's "Alina." Through distinct, chiming minimalism, Dunn has created something beautiful that will probably act as a soundtrack to afternoon naps or those times where I just sit and watch my fan go round and round.

Of course, this album, while retaining the comfort of a million pillows, Dunn's sense of humor shines in some of the song titles. The first time I read the titles "Dropping Sandwiches (in Chester Lake)" and "Movement for the Completely Fucked" I couldn't help but crack a grin. Don't lie, you did, too.

Kyle Bobby Dunn's Ways of Meaning is unarguably a beautiful album that is deserving of praise, but I can't help but notice how unoriginal it is. Yeah, drone is a genre with little wiggle room, but in the end I still find myself listening to this like I would a Stars of the Lid or a Dead Texans album. Of course, I do love both of those projects and welcome anything else that might expand on or at least mimic that sort of sound. So, yeah, I do like this album. It's sincere, even without being the most original release I've heard, but that's okay. Good job, Kyle.


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