Soundcheck: DOSH



What do you get when you give a skilled percussionist a keyboard, some live samples and no directions? Martin Dosh, whose childlike curiosity and work as Andrew Broder’s drummer result in some of the best eclectic electronic/instrumental music available. The only voices heard in Dosh’s tracks are samples, but the songs speak for themselves as they merge to form progressive story albums.

Martin Dosh started his musical career drumming, so it is not surprising that his tracks are percussion heavy. His solo career began in 1996 with a four-track, and as he describes, “Because I was into hip-hop and weird-sounding things, I was trying to make weird sounding music intentionally.” Seven years later, he released self-titled album Dosh. Soon after, audiences were graced with Pure Trash (Anticon, 2004), an especially good example of Dosh’s story telling through beats and samples.

“I Think I’m Getting Married,” is a sentimental track without traditional indicators of sentiment such as lyrics. Dosh wrote the track six weeks into a relationship, recorded it, gave it to his girlfriend on a mix tape and proposed a few months later. Pure Trash loosely documents this period in his life – getting married to Erin and becoming a father to stepson Tadgh and son Naoise. The same year he released the EP Naoise, named after his newborn.

“Building a Strange Child,” is another concept-track that sounds like building complex machinery. The machinery turns out to be distinctly human, as the following track “The Last Plan,” confirms through baby Naoise’s cries.

Sappy to the extent that the genre allows, Dosh’s latest album The Lost Take, released just a week ago, is a continuation of his life story. In “Ship Wreck,” for example, Dosh’s voice finally debuts as he reads a poem with his wife. And in many tracks, Andrew Bird’s violin makes an appearance. The Lost Take also features musicians from Dosh’s home state of Minnesota. Highlights of the album include “Um, Circles and Squares,” and “Mpls Rock and Roll”.

For those drawn to this romanticized view of Dosh, or those that enjoy hearing “weird” music layered with keyboards and organic sounds, you’re in luck. Dosh and an accompanying band will be performing at Colgate this Friday, October 27. The show will start at 8PM at the Barge. It’s free and everyone’s invited, so bring your families and friends; Dosh would obviously approve.