Boomkat Product Review:
Rare studio recording of singular guitarist Tashi Dorji improvising in his maverick vernacular of American-Bhutanese blues - a must check if you like Keiji Haino, Derek Bailey, Cam Deas, Ben Chasny, Sir Richard Bishop.
Arriving after Dorji’s collaborations with everyone from Aaron Turner to Mette Rasmussen and C Spencer Yeh in recent years, the hugely versatile improviser is spotlighted solo with utterly captivating results in ‘Stateless’. Presented as an intensely emotive expression of the “confusion, rage, helplessness and resolve of an immigrant in America today” the recording witness Dorji take blues guitar back to its lyrically expressive roots as a voice of dispossessed people, reeling off a burning range of emotions from his flying fingertips that speak to his exceptional ability to conjure fleeting feelings, sustain or suspend disbelief, and remarkably change direction in the blink of an eye.
From the song titles to the unmistakably impassioned instrumental delivery, Dorji has a lot to say and does so in beguiling style ranging from flurries of quick witted barbs that sound like two guitarist duelling in the parts of ‘Refusal’, to a spellbinding quick/slow fusion of East and West sensibilities in ‘Statues Crumble, Heroes Fall’, and almost baroque, lilting figures that he puckers and twists out into stranger mutations on ‘The Swelling Fruit About to Shatter the Husk of the Old World’, always with a with a masterful balance of sparing precision and directness that holds listeners to a seat-edge intensity befitting of the album’s intentions.