Thursday, October 14, 2010

Canadian reminiscences

Back in the spring I reviewed a two-CD set by Brooklyn dronemeister Kyle Bobby Dunn purporting to be an introduction to his music, but if someone really wanted to approach Dunn's music from out of the blue, his more recent limited edition Rural Route No. 2 might be a better place to start. Dunn is originally from Canada, and this release is from an unusual source, a print shop and publishing house in Toronto called Standard Form operating on behalf of the Canadian art community, part of whose output is a series of three-inch CD-Rs in an ongoing Rural Route series.

Dunn places the two tracks on Rural Route No. 2 in spectral sightings from his Albertan childhood, and both pieces avoid his occasional noisy tendencies in favor of a dreamlike serenity. The first track, Dissonant Distances, is a fairly consonant and serene set of circulating drones, with nearly melodic frequencies moving in short fragments in the foreground. A quiet section has a ghostly echo, voices from the ether, maybe even distant pop radio, but disappearing in a rumbling resonance. The second track, Senium III, is oddly more dissonant, a series of alternating chords with strange and otherworldly overtones. It continues with regular changes every five to ten seconds, not really fast enough to be rhythmic, but a slow lullaby whose regularity is a sonic representation of the final period in our all-too-short lifespan. Both pieces have a soft focus, with wistful variations in brightness, memories that remain just out of reach.

Rural Route No. 2 is still available as a CD-R directly from Standard Form, or in digital formats from the usual suspects.

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