Dunn c. 2018
|Genres||Rock, jazz, heavy metal|
|Occupation(s)||Record producer, audio engineer, musician|
|Associated acts||Sunn O))), Marissa Nadler, Earth, Eyvind Kang, Stephen O'Malley, Wolves in the Throne Room, Six Organs of Admittance, Greg Anderson (guitarist), Oren Ambarchi|
Randall Dunn is an American record producer, audio engineer, and musician.
As a record producer, he has worked with musical acts such as Sunn O))), Six Organs of Admittance, Marissa Nadler, Wolves in the Throne Room, Boris, Anna Von Hausswolff, Akron/Family, Oren Ambarchi, Eyvind Kang, The Cave Singers, Earth, and Jesse Sykes, among others. Pitchfork has described him as "a go-to producer for metal but also for indie acts looking to add more edge and atmosphere."
Originally from Michigan, Dunn moved to Seattle in 1993 to explore his interest in film music. He attended the Art Institute of Seattle to study sound design for film, and formed connections with local musicians, including Skerik and Matt Chamberlain. In an interview, Dunn stated, "I'm sort of a frustrated filmmaker that turned into a record producer. The people I met when I moved here spun me in a way that sent me down this path of treating sound the way I would have treated film."
As a fan of the band Naked City, Dunn contacted keyboardist Wayne Horvitz in Seattle who introduced him to Eyvind Kang. Dunn received his first credit for a session with Eyvind Kang, resulting in the piece "5th NADE/Invisible Man" on the 7 NADEs album released in 1996. His involvement resulted in a long-term friendship with Kang, through whom he met a number of musicians, mostly in the jazz-rock genre. Dunn was later introduced to the engineer Mell Dettmer and together they founded Aleph Studios.
In 1998 he engineered the live portion of the album Bumpa by Critters Buggin, while he received a writing credit for his involvement with Mr. Birdy's Fryday by the Rockin' Teenage Combo. In 2001 he worked together with trumpet player Lesli Dalaba and guitarist Bill Horist, releasing the ambient album Zahir. He engineered Kang's 2002 album Live Low to the Earth, in the Iron Age.
In 2005, he was credited as an engineer on the Impaled album Death After Life released through Century Media. In the same year, Dunn met Dylan Carlson of the band Earth in Seattle and recorded their fourth album, Hex; or Printing in the Infernal Method at Aleph Studios.
After hearing his work with Asva, Stephen O'Malley contacted Dunn to produce the collaborative album between Sunn O))) and Boris, Altar. This began a long relationship with the band doing live sound and producing several of their albums including Monoliths & Dimensions and Kannon.
In 2014, Dunn worked with Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley on scoring the short film Kairos by the Belgian filmmaker Alexis Destoop. It was released as Shade Themes from Kairos on Drag City in 2014.
In 2018, Dunn produced Anna Von Hausswolff's fourth studio album, Dead Magic. The album was critically well received with reviews highlighting Dunn's attention to capturing her vocal performance. Later that year, Dunn produced Cloud Nothings' fifth studio album, Last Building Burning.
Master Musicians of Bukkake
In addition to his work as a producer and engineer, Dunn is a keyboardist and founding member of the experimental group, Master Musicians of Bukkake. Dunn described the project as "a way to escape how I make music in the studio when I’m doing records for people".
In 2004, alongside his bandmates, Dunn wrote, arranged and produced the first Master Musicians of Bukkake record, The Visible Sign of the Invisible Order. The album was released on Sun City Girls' label, Abduction Records and featured the musicians Eryn Young (vocals), James Davis, Don McGreevy, Alan Bishop, Charlie Gocher, and John Schuller.
When being offered to produce someone, Dunn prefers "people to send the roughest demos possible rather than more elaborate ones. And I try to see if it's music that I – or my aesthetics – can work with. Like, with their vision, and the end goal". He also pointed out that "people themselves are a really big thing for me. I just try to find people that you can spend ten days with in a small room, still enjoy each other's music and company, and be collaborative". As a musician, Dunn described himself "as an arranger in the studio. (...) You have to think several steps ahead as a musician – tuning, performance, rhythm – you have to think about all these layers of how sounds work".
On several occasions, Dunn has expressed a preference for the use of analog recording equipment: "I'm not a huge fan of the predictability of digitally processed music. But when you combine it with analog, you can get a cool medium. I rarely mix in the box, or use Pro Tools to do mixes. Everything is hands-on with faders. I'll start with tape—if it's a rock band, recording to 16-track two-inch tape. It's a beautiful sound you don't hear much of any more. I like the hybrid approach with the soul of tape and the precision of digital."
Dunn credits his open approach in the studio as being influenced by his studies of Buddhism and psychology.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2015)
Solo Studio Albums
- Beloved (Figureight, 2018)
- Lesli Dalaba/Bill Horist/Randall Dunn, Zahir (Endless Records, 2001)
- Oren Ambarchi/Stephen O'Malley/Randall Dunn, Shade Themes From Kairos (Drag City, 2014)
As Master Musicians of Bukkake
- The Visible Sign of the Invisible Order (Abduction, 2004)
- Totem One (Conspiracy Records, 2009)
- Totem Two (Important Records, 2010)
- Totem Three (Important Records, 2011)
- Far West (Important Records, 2013)
- Far West Quad Cult (Important Records, 2015)
- John Schuller, Lesser Angel of Failure (World Misery Recordings, 2002)
- Earth, Hex; Or Printing in the Infernal Method (Southern Lord, 2005)
- Kinski, Alpine Static (Sub Pop, 2005)
- Asva, Futurist's Against The Ocean (Web of Mimicry, 2005)
- Sunn O))) & Earth, Angel Coma (Southern Lord, 2006)
- Earth, Hibernaculum (Southern Lord, 2007)
- Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter, Like, Love, Lust & The Ocean Halls of the Soul (Fargo Records, 2007)
- Kinski, Down Below It's Chaos (Sub Pop, 2007)
- Wolves in the Throne Room, Two Hunters (Southern Lord, 2007)
- Lesbian, Power Hôr (Holy Mountain, 2007)
- Tartar Lamb, Sixty Metonymies (Ice Level Music, 2007)
- Asva, What You Don't Know Is Frontier (Southern Records, 2008)
- Kayo Dot, Blue Lambency Downward (Hydra Head Records, 2008)
- Earth, The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull (Southern Lord, 2008)
- Earth & Sir Richard Bishop, The Peacock Angels Lament/Narasimha (Southern Lord, 2008)
- Six Organs of Admittance, Luminous Night (Drag City, 2009)
- Sunn O))), Monoliths & Dimensions (Southern Lord, 2009)
- Wolves in the Throne Room, Black Cascade (Southern Lord, 2009)
- Black Mountain, Wilderness Heart (Jagjaguwar, 2010)
- Kayo Dot, Coyote (Hydra Head Records, 2010)
- The Cave Singers, No Witch (Jagjaguwar, 2011)
- Mamiffer, Mare Decendrii (SIGE, 2011)
- Wolves in the Throne Room, Celestial Lineage (Southern Lord, 2011)
- Stephen O'Malley & Steve Noble, St. Francis Duo (Bo'Weavil Recordings, 2012)
- Rose Windows, The Sun Dogs (Sub Pop, 2013)
- Kinski, Cosy Moments (Kill Rock Stars, 2013)
- Splashgirl, Field Day Rituals (Hubro, 2013)
- Akron/Family, Sub Verses (Dead Oceans, 2013)
- Kayo Dot, Hubardo (Ice Level Music, 2013)
- Marissa Nadler, July (Sacred Bones Records, 2014)
- Wolves in the Throne Room, Celestite (Artemisia Records, 2014)
- Oren Ambarchi, Quixotism (Editions Mego, 2014)
- Mamiffer, Statu Nascendi (SIGE, 2014)
- John Zorn & Eyvind Kang, Alastor: Book of Angels Volume 21 (Tzadik, 2014)
- Rose Windows, Rose Windows (Sub Pop, 2015)
- Splashgirl, Hibernation (Hubro, 2015)
- Sunn O))), Kannon (Southern Lord, 2015)
- Daughn Gibson, Carnation (Sub Pop, 2015)
- Steve Von Till, A Life Unto Itself (Neurot Recordings, 2015)
- Mamiffer, The World Unseen (SIGE, 2016)
- Lesbian, Hallucinogenesis (Translation Loss Records, 2016)
- Black Mountain, IV (Jagjaguwar, 2016)
- Headwaves, Self-Titled (Self-released, 2016)
- The Cave Singers, Banshee (Jagjaguwar, 2016)
- Ash Borer, The Irrepassable Gate (Profound Lore Records, 2016)
- Marissa Nadler, Strangers (Sacred Bones, 2016)
- Sort Sol, Stor Langsom Stjerne (Sony Music, 2017)
- Myrkur, Mareridt (Relapse Records, 2017)
- Childrenn, International Exit (Mighty Music, 2017)
- Anna von Hausswolff Dead Magic (City Slang, 2018)
- Cloud Nothings Last Burning Building (Carpark, 2018)
- Mandy Original Soundtrack (Lakeshore Records, 2018)
- "Randall Dunn – Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- "Oren Ambarchi / Stephen O'Malley / Randall Dunn: Shade Themes From Kairos Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
- Barr, Brian J. (July 17, 2007). "There's More to Randall Dunn's Resume Than Beards, Cloaks, and Fog Machines". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- Cody, Brent (May 19, 2014). "Interview". bombmagazine.org. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- Kostelnik, Alex (August 2016). "Randall Dunn: Supporting Superstitions". tapeop.com. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
- Moorman, Trent. "The Master Musicians of Bukkake Man Talks Gateways, Mating, Electromagnetics, and the Cistern in Istanbul Where Sound Restores". The Stranger. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
- Stannard, Joseph (March 11, 2014). "Interview: Randall Dunn on Producing Marissa Nadler, Eyvind Kang and Master Musicians Of Bukkake". redbullmusicacademy.com. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
- "Eyvind Kang – 7 NADEs". Discogs. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- "Critters Buggin – Bumpa". Discogs. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- "Rockin' Teenage Combo – Mr. Birdy's Fryday". Discogs. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- "Lesli Dalaba, Bill Horist, Randall Dunn – Zahir". Discogs. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- "Le blog du Webzine Musique(s): Dalaba, Horist, Dunn – Zahir". webzinemusique.blogspot.co.uk (in French). May 4, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- "Eyvind Kang – Live Low to the Earth, In The Iron Age". Discogs. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- "Impaled – Death After Life". Discogs. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- "Earth (2) – Hex; Or Printing in the Infernal Method". Discogs. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- "Randal Dunn by Brent Cody - BOMB Magazine". bombmagazine.org. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
- "Ideologic – Stephen O'Malley – News". www.ideologic.org. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- "Ambarchi* / O'Malley* / Dunn* – Shade Themes From Kairos". Discogs. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- "MYRKUR Enters The Studio With Randall Dunn To Record New Album".
- "Album Of The Week: Anna Von Hausswolff's 'Dead Magic'". Vinyl Me Please. March 5, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
- Prog, Natasha Scharf 2018-02-28T17:30:00 580Z. "Anna von Hausswolff - Dead Magic album review". Prog Magazine. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
- "Her er de nominerede til Steppeulven 2018". gaffa.dk (in Danish). Retrieved December 10, 2018.
- "Jóhann Jóhannsson's Mandy Soundtrack, His Final Work, to Be Released | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
- "Beloved, by Randall Dunn". Randall Dunn. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
- "Randall Dunn | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
- "Master Musicians of Bukkake – The Visible Sign of the Invisible Order". Discogs. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- "Steve Von Till Releasing A Life Unto Itself in May | Ghost Cult Magazine". Retrieved July 20, 2015.
- "Headwaves, by Headwaves". Headwaves. Retrieved April 4, 2018.