PERILS – PERILS (12″ vinyl LP / Digital)
Mutual admirers of each other’s work, Thomas Meluch (Benoît Pioulard) and Kyle Dunn (Kyle Bobby Dunn) endeavored to put together a collaborative recording that ruminates on painful realities, disappointments, and transitioning to new homes, in the hopes of finding a coping mechanism to bring them through to the other side.
PERILS began auspiciously in 2012 at transitional points in these artists’ lives. Kyle was living in a small town called Belleville, Ontario trying to complete Kyle Bobby Dunn and The Infinite Sadness (Students of Decay) and coming to grips with the fact that this great endeavor was at its end. Given the enormity of the record and the emotionally and physically exhausting process of recording the album, Kyle found himself drained with unforeseen questions and confusions. Working only at night, Kyle immersed himself into this newfound nocturnal work, finding a path in the midst of wondering. Thomas, meanwhile, was in a state of literal transition: uprooting from the UK and relocating to Seattle during the recording process of PERILS. In a state of flux, nearly drowning under the anxieties of living on uncertain ground, Thomas channeled these emotions into musical escapades. Thomas recorded in his spare moments, sending sonic puzzle pieces one by one to Kyle, who would in turn explore the musical sentiments Thomas had shared, adding his own billowing sounds to the seething mix.
The ten pieces created for this release are culled from a poutine- and whisky-fueled trudge through the dark corridors of an as-yet undiscovered or possibly imaginary mystic temple. Commencing with the shimmering guitar and tape loops of “Colours Hide My Face,” the album crawls out of the grooves with a slow-churning turmoil, coaxing the listener to embark along its path. The dirge-like guitar clang and vocals of “(Dead in the) Creekbed Blues” could be an 18th century blues standard emitted from a buried radio. On PERILS, Thomas Meluch and Kyle Bobby Dunn lock arms and together chart the upheaval in their lives to bridge the liminal gulf between the once-was and the soon-to-be.
Written & played by Kyle Bobby Dunn & Benoît Pioulard, 2012-2013
Recorded at L’auberge de Dunn (Canada) & La Berceuse (UK/USA)
Poem on “Colours Hide My Face” composed & recited by Karen
Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri at Black Knoll Studios
Cyanotype collages by Sean Curtis Patrick
Polaroids by Francesca Tallone, Belleville, 2013
Layout & lettering by Chris Koelle
The Straight - “When you hear the music-box intro to “Maps of Sinking” give way to a godly metallic, shimmering drone, you can practically see their mystic temple being built.”
Tiny Mix Tapes – “To the extent that such… um, “loud” words as EXCITING and EARTH-SHATTERING and GROIN-GRABBING can be applied to the pretty austere genres of ambient/drone/minimalist music in which these-here two fellers Kyle Bobby Dunn and Thomas Meluch (Benoît Pioulard) dabble, let the quietly-drooling fans of both artists go ahead and fire away”
Exclaim - “Fans of Benoit Pioulard’s softly sung lyrics will find a lot to love in PERILS”
Fluid Radio – “Their music is not only a thesis on change, but a coping mechanism for those changes. It also guards against a lifetime of disappointment and shattered dreams, not to mention the extremely painful stab-wounds of a bleeding soul currently suffering from a broken heart. Music can heal you.”
Textura – “To say that a collaboration between mutual admirers Thomas Meluch (Benoît Pioulard) and Kyle Bobby Dunn is a marriage made in heaven, as the saying goes, isn’t as much of an exaggeration as it might seem. Based on the evidence at hand, each contributes a dimension to the other’s music that makes the musical result feel satisfyingly complete, and the combination of Meluch’s vocal-based songcraft and Dunn’s artful soundscultping turns out to be a winning proposition for both artists. ”
Anhedonic Headphones – “Spread out over ten tracks, Perils alternates between pieces that are distinctly Dunn and distinctly Meluch—and then there are others that are something else entirely. Cascading guitar waves dominate the opening piece, “Colours Hide My Face,” as well as the coda to the album’s first side, the delicate “La Brume”—calling to mind Dunn’s trademark slow like molasses up a hill guitar textures. “Resin” is pleasantly reminiscent of Meluch’s psychedelic pop sensibilities”
Ondarock (in Italian) – “Tra queste dense contemplazioni, siano esse luminose (“Colours Hide My Face”, “La Brume”) o minacciose (“Leveled”, il drone oscuro di “Maps Of Sinking” introdotto da un’ambigua lullaby), spicca il ruvido e soverchiante crescendo di “All That’s Left”, messo in risalto dal sapiente mastering di Rafael Anton Irisarri, altra metà di Orcasassieme a Pioulard.”
Tapehead – “The textures on this record are much more brittle than Kyle’s usual work. The smooth edges have been sharped into something more metallic and dissonant. This creates a dark, vivid and occasionally uneasy listening experience (ex. “Maps of Sinking” and the last half of “All Thats Left”). “Resin” and “Dead in the Creaked Blues” are startlingly clear amidst the rest of the record. The acoustic guitar cuts through the haze, while Benoit’s voice doesn’t float, but instead buries itself into the mix.”
Seattle Weekly – “Playing off their shared malaise, Perils moves at a fittingly languid pace, drifting out of time and space in a gorgeous amniotic haze that serves as a near-constant sonic bedrock on the 10-track record.”
ATTN:Magazine – “The album comes wrapped in the muffle and crackle of the eroded archive. Sounds whirr precariously out of worn cassettes and waft out of old vinyl, resembling failing memories of a former time.”