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Dosh — Milk Money (2013)

 Dosh — Milk Money (2013)

Dosh — Milk Money
Θ  Indie electronic producer and associate of Fog with a parade of releases for Anticon.
Θ   While he’s back to banging the drums with the Cloak Ox (duties he also fulfills in Andrew Bird’s band), Martin Dosh is as far out from behind the kit as he’s ever been on ”Milk Money,” his latest in a string of impressive solo albums built on ambient synthesizers, warm organs and jittery tape loops. Case in point: The album’s 25-minute epic closing track, “Legos (For Terry)” — which was written for his performance with Wilco drummer Glenn Kotchke at the Walker Art Center in February — doesn’t actually feature the use of drum sticks until 14 minutes in. And even then it’s just to tap a high-hat cymbal. The opening track, “We Are the Worst,” is only built around a simplistic electronic drum beat, with mad whirs of organ, guitar drone and ethereal vocals laid over it. And the disc’s most drum-oriented track, “20 Year,” is rhythmically diced-up and subtly wicked. 
Birth name: Martin Chavez Dosh
Born: September 6, 1972
Also known as: Martin Dosh
Member of: Lateduster
Location:  Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Genres: Electronic, ambient, instrumental hip hop
Occupations: Multi-instrumentalist, producer
Instruments: Drums, Rhodes piano, Xylophone, keyboard, sampler
Album release: October 22, 2013
Recording date: January, 2011 — March, 2013
Record Label: Graveface Records (GRAVE102)
Duration:     46:20

1    We Are the Worst (Martin Dosh / Aby Wolf)     4:21  
2    Death Set     4:05  
3    Kisses     3:08  
4    20 Year     3:12  
5    Unto Internity     3:28  
6    Golden Silver     3:44  
7    Legos (For Terry)     24:46
Θ  Erin Dosh  Design, Layout
Θ  Martin Dosh  Composer, Engineer, Primary Artist, Vocals
Θ  Ben Durrant  Engineer, Production Assistant
Θ  Tom Herbers  Assistant, Engineer
Θ  David Huckfelt  Vocals
Θ  Kmeron  Cover Photo
Θ  Mike Lewis  Production Assistant
Θ  Maggie Morrison  Vocals
Θ  Cameron Wittig  Back Cover Photo
Θ  Aby Wolf  Composer, Vocals
Θ  Ylvis  Photography
Θ  Jeremy Ylvisaker  Assistant
Album Moods: Nocturnal Reflective Atmospheric Complex Detached Dreamy Quirky Circular Ethereal Melancholy Pastoral Searching Self-Conscious Wintry Calm/Peaceful Gloomy Spacey Gentle Sophisticated Laid-Back/Mellow Cerebral
Themes: Late Night Reflection Sunday Afternoon
LP: Record Club members receive white vinyl with black and silver splatter. All RC copies hand-numbered. First retail/mail-order pressing is white vinyl (limited to 1350). Mail-order only variant is 180gram black vinyl (limited to 300 copies). All customers receive 11x17 promo poster. Will hit you by 10/22.
CD: The CD is packaged in an uncoated recycled digi sleeve. All customers receive 11x17 promo poster. Will hit you by 10/22.
Cassette: The cassette comes with a full color j-card. Limited 500 copies. All customers receive 11x17 promo poster. Will hit you by 10/22. © Martin Dosh plays Byrne’s “Playing the Building” installation www.letoilemagazine.com
Θ  With the flash and efficiency of digital song-making technologies, it can be easy to lose sight of the merits of that which is analog. Martin Dosh, then, has become something of an accidental preservationist, keeping instruments like Rhodes keyboards and an ancient Korg EX 800 sequencer alive by using them in his innovative solo works and collaborations with the likes of Andrew Bird and Bonnie “Prince” Billy.
Θ  Over the years, he’s graciously given over rich compositions like “First Impossible” (which became Andrew Bird’s “Not a Robot but a Ghost”) to collaboration, but with Milk Money, his latest solo release, Dosh decided to let his arrangements stand on their own. Blending elements of hip hop, jazz drumming, vocal samples and electronic production, he builds a variety of warm soundscapes. His mixes of piano, percussion, vocals and more are broad, room-filling compositions, created by running the elements of each track through guitar amplifiers simultaneously, creating a “re-amp” effect that allows each song to breathe. The result is a collection of open pieces, like the wonder-tinged “Kisses,” that invite the listener to step inside.
Θ  Looping pedals are integral to Dosh’s music, and he uses them here to great effect. Θ  With a stage set-up that looks like a fort erected by a kid with only musical instruments for building materials — boxed in on all sides by keyboards, drums and complicated boards of knobs begging to be jiggled — Dosh uses loops to construct his soundscapes solo. The resulting complexity and breadth of his songs is most evident on the record’s closing track, a nearly 25-minute number Dosh composed for a duo performance with Wilco’s Glenn Kotche at the request of the Walker Arts Center in Dosh’s hometown of Minneapolis. Beginning with a single pinging note on the Rhodes, it winds through many cycles, eventually blossoming into an ebullient flurry of sound.
Θ  Milk Money is the recording of a vital mind alive with the possibility of what it can create. It brims with a warmth that can’t be digitized. It’s the satisfying, immediate thwack of drumstick again drumhead, the visceral pleasure of a grown-up boy at play inside a musical fort.Martin Dosh — Milk Money (2013)
Review by Fred Thomas | Rating: ****
Θ  Sound alchemist Dosh‘s albums are generally seamless constructions of fluidly moving swatches of unexpectedly complementary sounds, with frenetic drumming stitched into the lining of beds of playful synths and surprisingly catchy melodies that teeter between quirky and sublime. Keen on collaboration, Dosh often brings other players and vocalists into his webs of sound, extracting the best of what they have to offer to dot his clever tracks with different perspectives. With Milk Money, Dosh’s process seems particularly in focus, and though he can typically get a little busy, there’s a new sense of calm at the core of these tunes. Opening with “We Are the Worst,” Milk Money seems built primarily on a foundation of colorful keyboard sounds, making room for passages of clattering drums and chopped up vocal samples. Throughout the album, the compositions have a driving sense of wonder, like the most optimistic Phillip Glass pieces; they’re even more in line with the child-like wonderment of Nobukazu Takemura. The chiming bell sounds and swooning electronic pads of “Kisses” are propelled by a sturdy beat, finding a territory of happy, hazy nostalgic memories not unlike the best work of contemporaries like Shigeto or Four Tet. The most curious piece on the album and one of its most successful, is the 25- minute album closer “Legos (For Terry).” This epic closing note was originally commissioned for a live performance with Wilco’s Glenn Kotche, and the recorded form wanders in slow motion from a spare electric piano form into a myriad of musical spaces and emotional landscapes. Low in the mix, sputtering multi-tracked drums meet up with more choral vocal fragments, eventually growing into a nightmarish ambient blur on par with Tim Hecker’s fluttering darkness before riding the waves of distortion into a patient repetition of marimba, processed vocals, and swirling electronics. By the end, the dizzying and beautiful piece expresses the fury and unpredictability of life while maintaining a zen-like calm at its core, finding clarity just as easily as it rises to chaos. (http://www.allmusic.com/)
Artist Biography by Marisa Brown
Θ  Martin Dosh was born to an ex-Catholic priest father and an almost-nun mother outside Los Angeles; he and his family moved back to his parents' native Minneapolis when he was just a toddler. By age three, Dosh had started piano lessons, which he continued until 11, then picking up the drums when he was 15. The next year he moved to Massachusetts to attend music school, tooling around on the East Coast until he eventually returned to his parents' home in 1997 when he was 25 (he had since picked up the keyboards again). Finding the music scene there thriving, he soon started playing drums in the Andrew Broder-led Fog, as well as in their instrumental offshoot, Lateduster. In 2003 Anticon released Dosh's self-titled debut, followed by Pure Trash, which featured vocal samples from his wife, two children, and his drum students, in 2004. The Lost Take, which had contributions from Andrew Bird, Jeremy Ylvisaker of Fog, and members of fellow Minneapolitans Happy Apple and Tapes 'n Tapes, came out in 2006. A year on the road with Bird proved to be just enough inspiration for Dosh to make another album. Entitled Wolves and Wishes, the debut full-length was released in May 2008, and followed by Tommy in April 2010. Dosh self-released his next album Silver Faces in 2011 in time for a tour with freak-tronica act Black Moth Super Rainbow, and while on that tour met Ryan Graveface, who released the next Dosh album Milk Money on his Graveface imprint in 2013.
From The Horse's Mouth |
From The Horse’s Mouth: Δ   Martin Dosh (Dosh) on Milk Money Δ  
Θ  With the flash and efficiency of digital song-making technologies, it can be easy to lose sight of the merits of that which is analog.  Martin Dosh has become something of an accidental preservationist, keeping instruments like Rhodes keyboards and an ancient Korg EX 800 sequencer alive by using them in his innovative solo works and collaborations with the likes of Andrew Bird and Bonnie “Prince” Billy.
Θ  Blending elements of hip hop, jazz, vocal samples and electronic production, he builds a variety of warm soundscapes on his latest release, Milk Money, which sees release on October 22 via Graveface Records & Curiosities.
Θ  Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Dosh to discuss his release.  This is what he told us about it.
Ξ   When did you begin writing the material for your most recent album? 
Δ   I think the first piece was constructed in late 2011, I spent a large chunk of 2012 on the road with Andrew Bird, so this record was a bit more of a slow build than my earlier efforts.
Ξ   What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing?  Why was it so troublesome?
Δ   Well, for me, recording and writing are the same thing.  All of the songs are built off of a simple idea, almost always improvised.  I record constantly, and then try to follow through and build off these relatively simple concepts, if I can listen back a few days later and deem the germ of the song worthy.
For me the hardest song to wrangle was probably “Legos”, which is the last song on the record.  It’s also the longest song I’ve ever released, I think it’s around 24 minutes.  I was asked to compose a song for me and Glenn Kotche to perform in early 2013, and the demo that I sent him in late 2012 was the basis for the version that’s on the record.  I actually wanted it to be a little longer on the record, maybe I’ll do an extended remix of it someday.
I think it was just hard to be patient in listening to it so many times in the editing and mixing stages, hard to make sure it built up in a satisfying way.  It’s dedicated to my dad, so I’m trying to convey what it feels like to be his kid in this song without words, if that makes any sense.
Ξ   Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
Δ   Since the conception of all the songs occurs through improvisation and not through sitting at a piano trying to come up with a chord progression or melody, this is kind of a moot point.  However, I would say the song “Death Set”evolved more than any of the others as I added more percussion to it.  I thought it was going to be more four-on the floor when I wrote the synth arpeggios, but then as I started stacking percussion on it, it developed a more West African kind of vibe, at least as far as the drums go.
I think that’s one of the most fun things about the way I do things, and most frustrating: not knowing where you’re gonna end up when you start.  It’s fun when it works.
Ξ   Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
Δ   I did.  Aby Wolf, Maggie Morrison and David Huckfelt came to my house for one day last summer, we set up four mics and we all improvised vocals over about 10 songs.  I think we did two passes.  Editing and re-sampling them took a lot of time, but it was a great “library” to work from.
Ξ   Who produced the record?  What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
Δ   I produced it myself, with some great help from my often-partners-in-crime, Mike Lewis, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Tom Herbers and Ben Durrant.
Mike had toured with me since 2006, and was an integral part of the Dosh sound to this point, playing sax, keys and bass on “The Lost Take”, “Wolves and Wishes”, and “Tommy”.  He joined Bon Iver in 2011 and Dosh reverted back to a solo endeavor.  However, he helped me mix the record, and had a lot of good suggestions, especially for the mixing of “Legos”.
Jeremy and Tom helped me to re-amp the record, sending out all the tracks simultaneously through a room full of guitar amps and re-recording them at the same time.  That genuinely changed the sonic impact of all the songs.
And Ben helped me mix it.  He has mixed every one of my records.
Ξ   Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?
Δ   The theme is solitude.  Originally I had wanted to do everything on the record by myself, which is a departure for someone who’s such a natural collaborator.  All my other records are stacked with guitars, violins, basses, saxes; things I can’t play played by friends who can do it better.  I figured this record would just sound different if I did it alone.  Of course, that changed when I added the vocals, but that was the initial impulse.
Ξ   Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
Δ   I’ve played most of them live at least once.  Playing “Legos” with Glenn at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis was probably the highlight so far.  I hope we get a chance to do it again!
Ξ   Written by timothy.anderl
Ξ   From The Horse's Mouth | 09/19/13 3:54 pm
Ξ   More on: Dosh, Graveface Records
Fortaken: http://ghettoblastermagazine.com/ / Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Dosh

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