Randall Dunn is a prolific American record producer, engineer, keyboardist, and founding member of the Master Musicians of Bukkake.
Though he was born in and grew up in Michigan, Dunn relocated to Seattle as a young man to do sound in films; he attended the Art Institute of Seattle in the early 1990s. There he encountered musicians from numerous genres — jazz, blues, and of course rock — and his attention shifted to working on numerous sessions in order to learn to work with gear. A fast learner, he began to record any musician whose music he liked for free.
Dunn was also audacious. He found out that Naked City keyboardist Wayne Horvitz lived in Seattle and called him on the phone offering him free studio time. Eventually, Horvitz declined the session but suggested Eyvind Kang instead. That recording session (as yet unreleased) was the beginning of a long and enduring friendship as well as a collaborative partnership. Dunn’s reputation spread by word of mouth from there.
Though he initially began working as an engineer, his work gradually shifted to production, though later he was just as likely to hold both titles. His open approach was deeply influenced by his studies of Buddhism and psychology. He is known to have asked artists for the roughest demos they could provide, and for taking a different tack with each artist in order to make recordings that were not bound — or dated — by certain production trends.
Dunn’s credits are numerous. He has worked with a wide variety of artists: Sunn 0))), Earth, Kang, John Shuller, Lesbian, Midday Veil, Boris, Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, Kayo Dot, Kinski, Marissa Nadler, Mammifer, and Wolves in the Throne Room, to name a few.
The Visible Sign of the Invisible Order In addition to his work behind the boards, Dunn is a keyboardist and founding member of the experimental collective Master Musicians of Bukkake, whose catalog included 2008’s The Visible Sign of the Invisible Order, 2009’s Totem One, 2011’s Elogia de la Sombra, and 2013’s Far West.
July In 2014, he helmed the sessions for Nadler’s album July, and collaborated as a musician with Stephen O’Malley and Oren Ambarchi on the album Shade Themes from Kairos, which was released in May. He also produced Wolves in the Throne Room’s Celestite — the double-length companion to 2011’s Celestial Lineage (which he’d also helmed) — which was slated for release in July 2014.