Drone of the sort Kyle Bobby Dunn specializes in does not aim to reward particularly close listening. Rather, it takes up residence in the environment in which it is played, becoming as natural and accepted as the colour of the paint on the walls, the smell of the air or the sound of human life outside your window. For two hours or so, Bring Me the Head Of... slowly changes and develops, swelling and lulling like wind or waves, just existing and somehow delivering a sense of untouchable calm. The tracks on both discs alternate between long-form pieces and shorter vignettes, each immediately establishing their atmosphere and moving subtly within that aura for its duration. Whether two minutes or 12, the conviction and dedication to tone means length—distance?—is of no great consequence.
Familiar drone descriptions like "warm" and "cold" don't feel right. "Deep," a word usually employed with the most positive of connotations, also doesn't quite ring true. In some ways, Bring Me the Head Of... goes beyond those emotive qualities, channeling not a particular feeling but perhaps the absence of any driving emotion. The sound of clean, pure tones prescribes no set reaction; it isn't reaching for any emotional or physical payoff. Instead, it opens up a reflective space, one where the listener may find themselves on show, find that their own thoughts are the ones being explored.
This is the true power of what Dunn has crafted and something he has been working towards for much of his career, beginning with Music for Medication. His aether drone allows for the full spectrum of reaction in the listener, where whatever they bring to the table becomes magnified in the expansive void he has created. Melancholy becomes heart-rending sadness, happiness blossoms into sheer joy. Loss, regret, love, contentment all expand to fill the time you spend with this sound. Boredom too; this is not the kind of record to reach out to grab your attention. Given time though, the initial reaction winds down to a healing calm and a sense of being cleansed. Get it all out.
Bring Me the Head Of... will not win Dunn an army of new fans, you are either on his wavelength or you're not. It is, however, among his finest work to date and shows an ever-growing refinement and understanding of his chosen medium. Though comparisons abound, very few can make art so minimal yet so subtly powerful. Dunn avoids the urban decay narrative of William Basinski and the yearning beauty of Stars Of The Lid, coming close to Eno at his most extended and patient.