Friday, July 6, 2012

Tashi Dorji - Guitar Improvisations (HWY002)

one toke and Tashi on repeat -the medicine for your soul. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

When Tomentosa speaks about music, it is usually wise to heed his advice.  Whether he is talking about Exo tapes, Cube, the Sea Donkeys, Tabernacle tapes etc..., Tomentosa's advice rarely goes awry.  A few months ago he recommended a tape from an incipient label, Headway Recordings, by Tashi Dorji.  The beautiful artwork, along with the recommendation, had me hooked.  Tashi Dorji is a Bhutanese guitarist, now residing in Asheville ,NC. And Guitar Improvisations, the first full-length cassette on Headway, exhibits Tashi's adept playing.  The tape is comprised of works that reflect on avant garde jazz, eastern ragas, and Fahey-style folk/Americana.  Tashi's first release is so good, that one can only hope for more.

One conspicuous quality of this tape is the intimate nature of the improvisations.  Tashi's playing feels proximate, almost like he's sitting adjacently.  It is apparent on the first track, as Tashi's frenetic, but controlled style makes the oppressive heat easier to tolerate. Periodically, warm passages with a beautiful melody appear.  The third track is one of many highlights here, as Tashi plays something that could have come from the catalog of Sir Richard Bishop.  The next track is more like a lo-fi raga - another notable track. Side B features three tracks.  Tashi's skilled use of space, and the tone of the strings is notable on the second track.  The last track is magnificent and sounds differently relative to the other tracks -  soft patterns, frenzied playing and lots of interesting elements to this track.

 If you like guitar, then I highly recommend purchasing this wonderful album full of spiritual and cerebral sounds.  Tomentosa has already restocked this multiple times.  $5 is the only thing separating you from the enlightening sounds of Tashi Dorji.  One can purchase this either directly from Headway or through Tomentosa.

peace to you, friends :)