Kyle Bobby Dunn

Ways of Meaning

For floating. For skating. For slow-motion pillow fighting. For rainy days. For sunny mornings. For taking your bicycle for a ride. For walking the dog. For swimming in the lake. For the hot nights. For stargazing. For campfires. For hiking. For reading your favorite book. For ice cream sundaes. For Moscow Mules and wheat beers and red wines. For a walk through the forest. For a picnic. For long drives. For afternoon naps. For dreaming. Ways of Meaning, the latest effort from Brooklyn composer Kyle Bobby Dunn, is for about as many occasions that I would consider to be both thoroughly comfortable and enjoyable, while certainly not too physically exhausting. Whatever you're doing, if you're listening to Ways of Meaning, you'll want to be doing it forever.

This album is a lazy drift with blurry beginnings and endings and an endless loopable quality. Reviews are saying that guitar and organ drones make up the core of Ways of Meaning, and it's probably completely true. Even so, these instruments are removed so far from their true forms that, once again, the illusion of a symphony orchestra in a cavernous concert hall is vividly painted. Especially during the shorter works like opener "Dropping Sandwiches in Chester Lake," or "Statuit," Dunn's compositional method helps complete the picture—These pieces are pre-determined, rehearsed and then executed with calculated crescendos and brilliantly conceived chords into actual performances, allowing for the music to reach cinematic heights while maintaining compact, manageable shapes you can really get a grip on, fold up and put in your pocket.

This may be Kyle Bobby Dunn's finest achievement yet. He's drifting away from harsher textures of some of his previous work and finding a nice home in these super-smooth tones that cuddle right up against one another. Even when the harmonies start to scrape, as in "Canyon Meadows," the result of these notes softly beating into one another is a place that is unbelievably pleasant, plush and cozy. The track's hypnotic, shape-shifting loop of overlapping voices, super-gradual crescendo and orgiastic climax(es) mark it as Dunn's single best piece of music to date... I'll be blunt. It's going to be tough to find a more beautiful drone record in 2011. But I still think he's on the up-and-up. How Dunn plans to top this remains a mystery. One I can't wait to try and solve.


Desire Path Recordings

June 28th, 2011