Posts Tagged ‘Improvisational’

Tashi Dorji – “Now (Pt. I)”

The breathless pace of Tashi Dorji is admirable, to say the least. Adding to his already packed 2020 release schedule the improviser announces a new LP for Drag City. This time the constant collaborator retires alone to the studio, which sounds tame but it’s a rarity for someone so often captured in the live setting. “Now (Pt. I)” is turbulent, fractured, tense, and at times frantic, but it reflects the times it was written in quite concisely. Dorji burrows into the fuming storm at the heart of the modern era, bringing the frustrations of the past few years boiling to the surface. With the focus squarely on his playing, this promises to be one of his most focused in a little while, and the stark spotlight peels back the pain of us all. The LP is out September 25th from Drag City.



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Chris Forsyth / Dave Harrington / Ryan Jewell / Spencer Zahn – “Nublu Jam”

As its the first Friday of the month, that means that artists are bringing out some great new offerings so that you, the listener, can help support music during a time of unstable touring incomes. First of a couple recommendations here today. If you’re missing out on the live experience, then Chris Forsyth has you covered. Back when the live room was still a good idea he got together a residency at NYC’s Nublu with a rotating cast of players each week. While stints with Garcia Peoples yielded great takes on Forsyth’s already stunning catalog, this set from the residency was the most exploratory. It puts players who have played together for years together with players just meeting that night, with Chris and longtime drummer Ryan Jewell joining up with Dave Harrington (Darkside) and Spencer Zahn. With no pre-conceived notions of where the night would take them, they present a set that’s untethered from any of their pasts yet clearly informed by the collective skill on the stage. Pick the LP up now, this is an essential one.



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Weeping Bong Band

A second slab tumbles out for the ever-elusive Weeping Bong Band. The NY/Mass collective culls together the talents of Beverley Ketch, PG Six, Anthony Pasquarosa, Clark Griffin and Wednesday Knudsen, who play in varying forms under the umbrella of WBB. For a night in New Salem, Mass all members were on hand at the 1794 Meeting House and the tape was running as they seeped a sonic spell out into the room. The set is hazy, doused in curls of smoke and painted in plant dyes and ash. The tone shifts between the densely wooded hills of the Northeast — haunted and hallowed, suffused with the secrets of generations of spirits bonded to the wood — and the dry desert nights nestled among the barren hills.

There’s a constant sense of moan that winds its way through II giving the set the set a sense of creeping menace and gaunt despair. The guitars cry, not in outright anguish, but in a more personal pain — a quiet devastation that’s born out of secrets too dark to share. Something about the set being recorded in New Salem, gives it a particularly harrowing shamanic vibe, ferreting out old wounds scarred deep from occult rituals buried deep in the wounds of the earth. Appropriately, when vocals do arise, they’re incantations, screeds to the vibrating ethers, rather than tuneful musings. With this second set the band has cemented their status as one of the best nocturne collectives currently goin’. This one’s an essential trip.

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