A Young Person's Guide To

Kyle Bobby Dunn

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A Young Person's Guide To Review

by Ned Raggett

There's both overt and quiet humor in the title of Kyle Bobby Dunn's 2010 two-CD collection on Low Point -- not only does Dunn have enough material to present in such a collection, Dunn himself isn't even a quarter-century old yet. The 12-song compilation can be generally described as electronic/ambient music, but what becomes clearer as A Young Person's Guide To continues is the variety Dunn brings within that general rubric, from the gentle stretch and drones on lengthy opener "Butel" to the slow feedback cascade on "A Small Show of Hands" to the empty, serene "The Second Ponderosa," its title almost suggesting a new -- and lost -- west to replace the "old" one. The sense of calm humor noted in the overall title appears elsewhere in the collection -- "Empty Gazing" could just as easily be a critique of the kind of blissed-out reaction such music can cause as it is a celebration of it. But the real winner on a serious front might be the piano-led "Sets of Four," thanks to its subtitle: "Its Meaning Is Deeper Than Its Title Implies." Other fine songs like the lighter-in-feel "Promenade" and the concluding "The Nightjar" make A Young Person's Guide To both satisfying in itself and promising for whatever might happen next with Dunn's work.

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