Dosh The Lost Take

[Anticon; 2006]

Rating: 2.5/5

Styles: instrumental from the ground-up hip-hop
Others: The Books, Fog, Tapes ‘N Tapes

First and foremost, Dosh is a talented individual. He's crafty. He plays the drums and Rhodes, mainly, and uses actual instruments and samples to build upon this base. Guitar, violin, pedal steel, bass, clarinet, sax ”” no instrument or clip of an instrument is foreign to Dosh's crafty usage (this here project go-round, The Lost Take, includes many bits from collaborative musicians). Dosh's songs range from dense to fleshed-out. They are well-crafted songs. Craft.

Dosh is a master at his craft. His ability to compose in the matter in which he does is unique and quite spectacular. But where Dosh is an expert craftsman, he is not so much an emoter. His music doesn't evoke passion, despite the effort put into its creation. Dosh's music thrives when it is studied or performed in a live setting (Dosh the performer is phenomenal, as his studio work is reenacted before an audience's eyes without error or masquerade). Instrumental music, without word or vocalized sentiment, needs to be affective in some alternate way in order to touch upon the recipient's emotions. That alternate way is, obviously, the music itself. Where acts like DJ Shadow and Godspeed You! Black Emperor seem to succeed at this effortlessly, Dosh has yet to accomplish the feat. Although admirable for its craft, Dosh's music doesn't move; no fluttering hearts, no welling tear ducts, no boiling tempers. True, music can be appreciated for its technical triumphs, but its function as a means for expression is often favored. And I'm sure Dosh wants it that way as well.

One final, tangential, note. Like many instrumental musicians of this day, Dosh has decided to try his hand at singing. On "Everybody Cheer Up Song," we can hear this tentative and toe-testing-the-waters voice; it almost sounds afraid to be heard, and it isn't for the remainder of the album. Way I see it: Dosh may choose in the future to improve and rely on the voice as a mode for emotion, or he can shift some of his focus on craft to the conveyance of emotion. His call.

1. One Through Seven
2. Everybody Cheer Up Song
3. Um, Circles and Squares
4. A Ghost's Business
5. Ship Wreck
6. MPLS Rock and Roll
7. Fireball
8. Unemployed Blues
9. Pink Floyd Cowboy Song
10. O Mexico
11. Bottom of a Well
12. The Lost Take