Randall Dunn


Randall Dunn is known for his production skills, engineering expertise, and his knack for emphasizing the human components in music—the flaws, the idiosyncrasies, and the intangible aura that haunts a room when musicians are at work. He’s lent his arrangement ideas to artists like Sunn O))) and Earth and provided instrumentation on albums by Six Organs of Admittance, Anna von Hausswolf, Tim Hecker, and longtime colleague Stephen O’Malley. But after a turbulent year of change and loss, Dunn took a moment away from helping others realize their visions and channeled his energies into his first solo effort, Beloved. “It was an echo of what I was feeling for a few years in life… like stasis, like something needed to give,” Dunn says. “That feeling you get when you’re going through something and you feel more like you’re watching it rather than living it. I wanted the record to feel that way—anxiety, paranoia, different shades of love, different realizations of mortality, how it can make you feel the stages of your life more deeply.” Across seven tracks, Dunn explores the various textures and compositional possibilities offered by an array of early digital and analog synthesizers. The gentle encouragement of Eyvind Kang and Johann Johannsson, and the affirming creative contributions by past collaborators like Timm Mason, Frank Fisher (Algiers), and Zola Jesus were all crucial to the birth of Beloved, but the original seed for the project was planted by figureight label head Shahzad Ismaily who promised Dunn an outlet if he could see the endeavor through. The promise is fulfilled by the 2018 release of Beloved on vinyl and digital formats via figureight.

Dunn has conjured a cosmos of great and brooding beauty, a kind of off-world of the soul in which human emotion is processed on a grandiose scale, magmatic, majestic, noble but also extremely painful.
— The Wire