Amen Dunes, the solo project of Damon McMahon, began with recordings made in the fall of 2006 in upstate New York. Those tapes were initially put on the shelf as personal recordings he never intended for release, and the following summer, McMahon moved to China and all but stopped making music. He would live in Beijing for the next few years, writing and recording only occasionally. With the release of DIA on Locust Music in 2009, however, he decided to move back to the States and form a band around Amen Dunes.
After playing in New York and touring the US and Europe from 2009–2010, in the summer of 2010 McMahon released the Murder Dull Mind EP, a collection of the apartment recordings made while in Beijing, on Sacred Bones. This past January, he began recording for his second full length, Through Donkey Jaw, his first proper recordings in almost five years. Where Murder Dull Mind was sparse, mostly acoustic and almost all first-take improvisation, this new work contains many more fully-realized sounds and songs; it is very much the winter to Murder Dull Mind’s summer.
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