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Fringe benefits

The soft, experimental sounds of summer
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  July 8, 2008

The Fun Years

The Fun Years, “Auto Show Day of the Dead” (mp3)

Kyle Bobby Dunn, “Tout Voyeurs” (mp3)

Riccardo Dillon Wanke, “Jest” (mp3)

There’s all kinds of ways to chill out at the beach. Herewith, something different for the dog days.

The Fun Years | Baby, It's Cold Inside | Barge Recordings
On the follow-up to their oneiric, crackle-filled full-length debut, Life-Sized Psychoses, the Fun Years continue to distill and refine the formula that’s served them so well on their self-released CD-Rs. Turntablist Isaac Sparks slows his aged records to a snail’s pace, revealing hidden half-melodies within an atmospheric haze of static and vinyl surface noise, while baritone guitarist Ben Recht repeats undulating patterns that loop and gently decay. Although the Fun Years are as dreamlike as ever, Baby, It's Cold Inside is more subtly shaded and a hair’s breadth darker in mood, as haunting as it is soothing.

Kyle Bobby Dunn | Fragments & Compositions | Sedimental
Riccardo Dillon Wanke | Caves | Sedimental
Based in Greenfield, the venerable Sedimental label is best known for ferociously challenging free-improv and experimental sound recordings by the likes of Spanish sound artist Francisco Lopez and local saxophonist David Gross, and yet label founder Rob Forman also throws a few drifting, quasi-psychedelic curveballs into his catalogue in the form of releases by Stars of the Lid and the Empty House Collective.

On its latest pair of releases — by two young musicians with six names between them — Sedimental finds the middle ground and shines a spotlight on the softer side of sound art. Twenty-one-year-old Kyle Bobby Dunn uses deliberately rough recordings of piano and strings that he then processes and manipulates (often with the lightest of touches) as a basis for his melancholic take on minimalism. Italy’s Riccardo Dillon Wanke also works with acoustic instruments — guitar, saxophone — and field recordings to create his spare, evocative, distinctly folk-tinged drones. Pretty music for ugly times.

  Topics: Music Features , David Gross , Ben Recht
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 See all articles by: SUSANNA BOLLE

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