Artist of the Week: Loren Dent – Anthropology Vols. 2 & 3

It’s been five years since Texas-bred Loren Dent’s last album. In the interim he’s moved to Brooklyn, crafted a double album of gorgeous drone music, and still remains rather elusive.

Although Dent’s move to the East Coast was academically motivated, it probably doesn’t hurt that he’s currently out of the Stars of the Lid pigeonhole for which it was always easy for reviewers to place him into (a double album of drone music from Austin you say? Let’s consult the interwebs…). Instead, Dent’s music gets a new lease on life, which is rather convenient considering that Anthropology Vols 2 & 3 is arguably his best work and a borderline instant classic/essential genre listening.

The two hours-plus of music is a tall order for many listeners, but genre diehards should have no problem sitting through the cavernous drones; this is what we live for. Understandably, Dent is well studied in his craft, and Anthropology definitely owes much to its forefathers (we have to consider the title of the work here, don’t we?), but what may get overlooked is that fact that this is pretty much a perfect drone album. Dent may not get bonus points for being one of the first to do it, but anyone well-versed in the ambient drone universe knows that there is a very small number of artists who actually perform their craft to near-perfection, and Dent has moved into that arena here.

Anthropology is signature all-encompassing, dense atmospherics, and his audience will love the folds upon folds of aural fabric within which we can all get lost in for countless hours. In consideration to tone, the album peers down some darker alleys on occasion — perhaps a nod to the current European group who enjoys its drone a bit more raw and haunting. In this regard, Anthropology may actually find more appeal than many of its kin, as it takes us on a world-wide tour over its duration.

With a B.A. in actual Anthropology, Dent may have been destined to create this album. We are the fortunate beneficiaries of his years of hard work. Hopefully music will remain an important outlet for him in the near future and we may get a new album more than once every five years.

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