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Album Premiere: Midden by Tashi Dorji & John Dieterich

Tashi Dorji and John Dieterich - live - Photo Credit: Ben Peck
30 August 2019

Tashi Dorji and John Dieterich – live – Photo Credit: Ben Peck

Renowned musicians each in their own right, Tashi Dorji and John Dieterich (Deerhoof), combine their talents on a ear-bending, electric guitar-driven experimental album named Midden that consists of a lengthy, exploratory Side A and Side B.

Midden releases officially on September 3rd on 12” vinyl and CD and digitally via Moone Records and Gilgongo Records. The Big Takeover is excited to host the premiere of the LP in full several days ahead of its release.

While the hypothetical range of what the listener might expect from a record of free-improvised guitar-playing is understandably gigantic, it’s not very often that what is heard so easily navigates across such a vast terrain. In their most often observed environments (Dorji’s relentlessly frequent solo and collaborative releases; Dieterich in the untamed and uniquely enchanting Deerhoof), both artists regularly redefine both themselves and what “guitar-playing” may or may not be.

On Midden, there is communication and expression that transcends the notion that two people can simply cross paths and play guitar together. Plenty of people do this, but few intersect so naturally and comfortably in this abstract of a context.

While captured in the live setting, Midden is not the result of weeks of touring, fine tuning ideas and patterns. Instead, the LP is a document which chronicles the final of three chance meetings, in which two people engage in a natural dialog that at times is jagged and jarring, while at others is mesmerizing and beautiful. Unpredictable yet completely organic, such a language is a joy to hear.

John Dieterich’s explains his fascination with the guitar and playing with Tashi Doriji, revealing, “When I was a kid, I wanted to learn how to play my instrument. Now I just want to experience the guitar as something else: an inefficient tool, a hunk of wood to be wrestled with and marveled at. When I first heard Tashi, I instantly understood his language and knew we had to play together. It’s such a strange feeling. Tashi’s playing is so physical and is often quite violent sounding, but there are always these layers that he is exploring all at once: beautiful little melodies, convoluted rhythmic worlds and confusing juxtapositions. I have a hard time with most guitar music, but Tashi’s music just makes sense, and I’m grateful we get to play together.”

Tashi Dorji concurs about playing guitar with John Dieterich on this album, stating, “I have been a fan of John’s guitar playing for a while. Although everything I have heard was in the context of his band Deerhoof, I was really thrilled and nervous to play with him in a duo setting. He is a singular player and I think his playing is full of color and imaginations. The few dates we did together last year, I remember I just wanted to stop and hear him play because he was creating so much magic with his guitar. John is one of those guitar players I always looked up to with a lot of curiosity and excitement, and I feel fortunate that we got to create this record together!”

Pre-order Midden