Kyle Bobby Dunn

Ways of Meaning

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On his early 2011 album, Kyle Bobby Dunn continues exploring his favored areas of drone-centered composition and performance -- though not without humor, as song titles like "Dropping Sandwiches (In Chester Lake)" and "Movement for the Completely Fucked" show. The former song starts the album with the kind of classically post-ambient Brian Eno/Aphex Twin/Stars of the Lid atmosphere that begs to be heard while stretched out and perfectly still, the slowest of melodies and the softest of tones but still using hooks as such to create its impact. From there Ways of Meaning moves forward in generally similar vein, with one of its key elements -- much like that of the noted forebears -- being the inclusion of bass-heavy rumble as much as gossamer glaze in the sonics, though the latter often prevails. But that hint of edge, of literal weight, adds to the collage of tones on a piece like "Canyon Meadows" or acts as an undertow on the flow of "New Pures," helping to transform that feeling of contemplation while not actually crushing it in any sense. As for "Movement for the Completely Fucked" itself, it's as gently enveloping as one could want, 15 minutes of a similarly understated hook-as-such impact as the opening piece and beautifully done every step of the way, building to a exultant conclusion.

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