Dean Hurley

Anthology Resource, Vol. 2: Philosophy of Beyond

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AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson

For over a decade, Dean Hurley was the manager and operator of David Lynch's Asymmetrical Studio, where he collaborated with the director on dozens of projects, from film and television work to albums by Lynch, Zola Jesus, Chrysta Bell, and others. Anthology Resource, Vol. 1, a digital-only 2017 release, contained some of Hurley's sound design work for the much-anticipated third season of Twin Peaks, and was appropriately haunting and ethereal, spiked with the occasional frightful shock. The second Anthology Resource release consists of Hurley's work for Eddie Alcazar's 2018 feature film Perfect, as well as a residency for an event titled Masters of Modern Sound held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. As an album, Anthology Resource, Vol. 2 sounds more developed than its predecessor -- it has more of a cohesive flow, rather than just seeming like a reel of spooky background vignettes. Without knowing the original context of these pieces, they seem to carve out their own narrative, possibly related to alien encounters or astral traveling. "Low Harmonic Fanfare/Growth" is slow and queasy, and feels like being transported through a dark, blurry tunnel to an uncertain destination. "Far Boundaries" begins with a faintly trudging beat which develops into a simple, stirring melody, anticipating some sort of enlightening experience. The album's second half isn't as tense or eerie as the first, and often exists in the nether region between sadness and comfort. This is especially evident during the longer pieces, such as "In Knowing," which floats soundly and vaguely grasps at some distant, forgotten feeling, and the gorgeous eight-minute drone "Birth," which concludes the album with a sort of peaceful resolution. While Anthology Resource, Vol. 1 was a collection of incidental sounds mainly of interest to Twin Peaks obsessives, Vol 2: Philosophy of Beyond is a much more engaging listen, and a better display of Hurley's talents as a composer.

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