Tashi Dorji - S/T LP
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Tashi Dorji grew up in Bhutan, on the eastern side of the Himalayas. Access to any music created outside the country is limited, as are most cultural options, given the geologically isolation of the country. How Dorji went from a life so remote to developing his innovative and revelatory guitar style is mind-boggling. Yearning for access to the world outside, Dorji pursued and obtained a fully-paid scholarship to a liberal arts school in Asheville, NC, in his early twenties. He’s since settled in there (save a short stint in Maine), soaking up a vast array of music, most notably the works of Derek Bailey and John Zorn. Along the way, Dorji developed a playing style unbound by tradition, yet with a direct line to intuitive artistry. His recordings feature improvisations that spasmodically grow along tangential, surprising paths. All references break loose during a composition, as Dorji keys into his own inner world. After a handful of cassettes on various labels, Dorji presents his first proper album on Hermit Hut, the label created by Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) and inspired by spreading word of Dorji’s talents. The six compositions here are hand-picked by Dorji and Chasny as the most representative and far-reaching of his recordings. Taken together, they announce a new guitar music unlike anything being made today.