Known / Unknown

Artwork by Robert Beatty.

What is there to report? On the bright side of things Kuzu (Dave Rempis / Tashi Dorji / yours truly) has a new LP out on Astral Spirits entitled The Glass Delusion. Classic Chicago record shop Dusty Groove says:

“Kuzu is fast becoming one of the more compelling settings for the saxophone talents of the great Dave Rempis – as the blend of sounds here really sets things apart from other improvised combos, even though the elements are all very familiar! Tashi Dorji has a way of handling the guitar that creates lots of sharp edges and bold moments – much fiercer than the legacy of improvisers like Derek Bailey or Fred Frith – and really full-on at moments when the drums of Tyler Damon take off! Rempis is as deft at these moments as he is in some of the sparer, more open passages – blowing alto, tenor, and baritone on the two long tracks on the record – “It Simply Becomes Jammed” and ‘Gnash.'”

Thanks to homie Robert Beatty for providing the excellent elemental artwork for the LP. Robert was at the very first duo show Tashi and I ever played (as well as one of the last Kuzu shows pre-COVID and many in-between) and it’s a pleasure to have his exceptional artwork gussy up the sleeve. I have copies available for those interested – drop me a line over at the CONTACT page if you’d like to order directly…

There is some hope that I will be playing some dates in Europe in August and November of this year and should have more information on that soon. For those interested, keep an eye out on my LIVE page…

What else?

I’ve “gone dark” as they say; you will no longer find me shamelessly self-promoting or offering graceless, pedestrian opinions on any social media platforms. This beacon, along with my Bandcamp page, seems like enough online presence to me. Content nausea hit me hard during the lost year. I’m trying to break out of the corner instrumental reason put us in and can no longer justify use of these platforms that flatten discourse & creativity and so on…

did participate in a handful of online streams since this all started; I lacked the resources / know-how to do this effectively and ultimately found it diminished my work under these circumstances (the exceptions being the incidentally streamed outdoor sets Rempis & I did last year). I’ve felt little or no motivation to correct this, either. The idea of being more effectively online is, well…repellent to me. About as appealing as learning to code or joining the military. Being an “artist” at this juncture feels more like being a process manager or administrator, and I’m not sure I have the stomach for that path…certainly not the desire. It reminds me of the old Mitch Hedberg joke:

“Alright you’re a stand-up comedian…can you act? Can you write? Write us a script. They want me to do things that are related to comedy but not comedy…that’s not fair. It’s as though I was a cook and I worked my ass off to become a good cook and they say, ‘Alright, you’re a cook – can you farm?'”

It’s true, it isn’t “fair,” not that fairness is relevant or even matters. Another disruption some will bend to and some won’t, though if this is the New Way™ I might just stick to playing drums for people in my direct vicinity. That said, participating in well-executed live streams with technologically knowledgeable operators at the helm was a pretty-alright experience (as a stand-in for the visceral nature of live music with an audience physically present) and I’m grateful for their efforts. Thanks to Nolan & Ed at Constellation & Ben at Elastic for hosting a couple of first-time outings with me on the tubs (a trio with Gerrit Hatcher & Joshua Abrams and a quartet featuring Mars Williams, Brian Sandstrom & Steve Marquette):

Both units plan on having a future together, so keep an ear to the ground if you find promise in either of the above ensembles…

I also want to share a fundraiser for a friend and early advocate of my work, Tim Barnes. From the fundraiser page:

“Tim has recently been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease (EOAD). Over the past 2-3 years, his symptoms have become more defined, affecting his ability to recall words and concepts and express himself verbally. He has issues with concentration, using technology, and spatial and simple math problems. After two years of medical testing resulting in an unclear diagnosis, Tim and Erica sought help from the Mayo Clinic. The doctors there believe EOAD is the best fitting diagnosis at this time.”

I was and am deeply saddened to hear this news. Beginning with his (unfortunately defunct) DIY performance venue, Louisville’s Dreamland, Tim was incredibly encouraging to me as a young musician trying to find my place in the broad world of free / experimental music and the effect it had on my development is incalculable. I can only imagine that if you ask around you will hear countless stories from other artists about the profound impact he had on them as well. I have witnessed it enough first hand to know this is true. His solo CD All Acoustics, released on his own Quakebasket label in 2002, remains a strong, unique statement in the realm of solo percussion almost two decades later and is held in high esteem by drummers ranging from Chris Corsano to Glenn Kotche. I could go on about Tim’s wide ranging contributions to independent music in general, but would rather encourage you to listen for yourself and, if you’re able, to please donate to alleviate some of the burden on Tim and his family:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/tim-barnes-medical-expenses

Lastly, my longtime friends/collaborators/cohorts at Indianapolis’ Medium Sound label have released their first “sheet music” compilation with a small contribution from me. My “piece,” a kind of map of my work from 2018 entitled Successes & Failures Both Public & Private is featured amongst “…sheet music and visual scores from Gnat Bowden, Tyler Damon, John Collins McCormick, Mac Blackout, Nick Yeck-Stauffer, Jordan Munson, Mark Tester, and Landon Caldwell.” It is available to order here: https://mediumsound.bandcamp.com/merch/medium-sound-sheet-music-one

Thanks for checking in. ‘Til next time…

Tyler


April 17, 2021   [permalink]   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New releases and upcoming appearances…

Kuzu – “Hiljaisuus” artwork by Id M Theft Able

Tashi Dorji & I have a forthcoming LP with extraordinary saxophonist and human being Dave Rempis. We’re calling our new trio KUZU and our new record, entitled Hiljaisuus, is out September 14th via Astral Spirits (though we’ll also have copies available at our August dates):

“KUZU is a hard-charging but patient trio that came together in the fall of 2017, after saxophonist Dave Rempis, a stalwart of the Chicago improvised music scene, worked with both Tashi Dorji (guitar) and Tyler Damon (drums) individually as part of a lengthy solo tour of the U.S. that he undertook in the spring of that year.  Dorji and Damon’s work as a guitar/percussion duo has become well-known, a highly refined and specific language developed through relentless touring and recording over the last few years, with a sound that straddles improvised music, rock, and any number of as-yet-undefined territories.  These two provide an incredibly fresh take on the possibilities inherent to spontaneous composition.  Superimposing Rempis into this mix was a logical next step after the relationships they’d forged individually.

Musically, these three create a highly focused pallet of sounds. At times, spacious gestures carve up the canvas with the austerity of a calligrapher, while at others those sparse gestures build into an unstoppable tsunami of energy.  Those waves are never impulsive or impetuous though, they ebb and flow logically and patiently out of simple and clearly defined sources.  This trio pursues every gesture with tenacity, passing them back and forth until they’ve explored every facet of an idea.”

Catch us on tour next month in Texas and in October in Eastern/Midwestern US/Canada:

– Monday, August 13th – Kuzu @ house show, Beaumont, TX

– Tuesday, August 14th – Kuzu w/ Dane Rousay @ High Wire Art Gallery (326 Josephine St.), San Antonio, TX

– Wednesday, August 15th – Kuzu w/ Carter/Smith/Ruth/Gonzalez/Gonzalez quintet, Espina/Daghighi/Butler trio @ Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd.), Dallas, TX*

– Thursday, August 16th – Kuzu w/ Soft Healer, Dane Rousay. DJ Gerard Cosloy @ Sonic Transmissions Festival, Sahara Lounge (1413 Webberville Rd.), Austin, TX

*This date also features a screening of Milford Graves Full Mantis

– Thursday, October 4th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ The Mothlight (701 Haywood Rd.), Asheville, NC

– Friday, October 5th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ If ART Gallery (1223 Lincoln St.), Columbia, SC

– Saturday, October 6th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Ruby Deluxe (414 Fayetteville St.), Raleigh, NC

– Sunday, October 7th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ October Revolution In Jazz & Contemporary Music, Philadelphia, PA

– Monday, October 8th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Tubby’s (586 Broadway), Kingston, NY

– Tuesday, October 9th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Casa Del Popolo (4873 Boul Saint-Laurent), Montréal, QC

– Wednesday, October 10th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center (341 Delaware Ave.), Buffalo, NY

Thursday, October 11th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Bop Stop (2920 Detroit Ave.), Cleveland, OH

– Friday, October 12th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Trinosophes (1464 Gratiot Ave.), Detroit, MI

– Saturday, October 13th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Elastic Arts (3426 W. Diversey Ave.), Chicago, IL

– Sunday, October 14th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Sugar Maple (441 E. Lincoln Ave.), Milwaukee, WI

– Monday, October 15th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Southern Illinois University, Old Baptist Recital Hall, Carbondale, IL

– Tuesday, October 16th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ Outside The Spotlight series, Lexington, KY

– Wednesday, October 17th – Kuzu (trio w/ Tashi Dorji & Dave Rempis) @ The Blockhouse (201 S. College Ave.), Bloomington, IN

Tashi & I also have a forthcoming duo cassette on Magnetic South called Soft Berm. This tape was recorded straight-to-cassette in glorious mono by John Anderson at Reverberation Vinyl in Bloomington, IL. Here’s a little taste of that performance as documented by Michael Mayer:

I’m also excited to announce the first new Open Sex LP in five years, White Horses, out September 7th on Louisville’s Sophomore Lounge records:


Artwork by Xerox the Kidd

“(Thee) Open Sex Music comes from a decade-long practice of reductive composition and improvisation. The group has encompassed over 20 artists lurking around punk and experimental music circles, interchangeably shifting from minimal tape purr, Hypnotist beat and proto-punk textures.

The most consistent participants, guitarist and sound tech John Dawson (Magnetic South Recordings) and percussionist Tyler Damon (Dorji/Damon Duo, Circuit Des Yeux), anchor the two side-long pieces on “White Horses” with their evolving language and repetitive form. They are joined by Ben Lumsdaine (Spissy, C&R House Band), Mark Tester and Landon Caldwell (both of Creeping Pink and Burnt Ones) whose electronic pianos hover overhead and dissipated into colored vapor.

Recorded and mixed by Cooper Crain, mastered by Mikey Young.”

Release shows are slated for Indianapolis at Hoy Polloy on August 30th and Bloomington, Indiana at the Blockhouse on August 31st. Details forthcoming…

Last weekend Circuit Des Yeux had some hometown dates with appearances at the Empty Bottle and at the Pitchfork Music Festival. Here’s an excerpt of what the Chicago Tribune had to say about the set:

“Best set of the weekend: I have no idea what a band is going to have to do to oust Circuit Des Yeux as set of the weekend. Conjure thunder? (…) Soft yet loud, this was a set that rocked harder than anything to date that weekend, the band part of the drama rather than mere accompaniment, setting Fohr’s amazing voice in bedrock. She cooed, moaned, screamed and bellowed, went deep, so deep with songs broad in scope, and nigh flawless in execution. Wow.”

Circuit Des Yeux has some dates scheduled through the end of the year, including a free show with Deerhunter at House of Vans in Brooklyn and some stateside performances of Haley’s re-imagined score to Charles Bryant’s 1923 film adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé:

– Saturday, August 18th – Circuit Des Yeux w/ Deerhunter @ House Of Vans (25 Franklin St.), Brooklyn, NY

– Sunday, August 19th – Circuit Des Yeux presents Salomé (1923) film score @ National Sawdust (80 N. 6th St.), Brooklyn, NY

– Friday, August 24th – Circuit Des Yeux presents Salomé (1923) film score @ The Art Institute Of Chicago (111 S. Michigan Ave.), Chicago, IL

– Saturday, September 8th – Circuit Des Yeux @ Hopscotch Festival, Raleigh, NC

EU

– November 9th-11th – Circuit Des Yeux presents Reaching For Indigo: Gaia Infinitus feat. members of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra @ Le Guess Who Festival, Utrecht, NL

– Tuesday, November 13th – Circuit Des Yeux @ Folk (Olof Palmes Plats 413 04), Gothenburg, SE

– Wednesday, November 14th –  Circuit Des Yeux @ Revolver (Møllergata 32), Oslo, NO

– Thursday, November 15th – Circuit Des Yeux @ Fasching (Kungsgatan 63), Stockholm, SE

– Friday, November 16th – Circuit Des Yeux @ Inkonst (Bergsgatan 29), Malmö, SE

– Saturday, November 17th – Circuit Des Yeux @ Püschenfest, Puschen (Schlesische Str. 38), Berlin, DE

– Monday, November 19th – Circuit Des Yeux @ Klub FAMU (Smetanovo nábř. 2), Prague, CZ

– Tuesday, November 20th – Circuit Des Yeux @ Orpheum Extra (Orpheumgasse 8), Graz, AT

– Wednesday, November 21st – Circuit Des Yeux @ A4 (Karpatská 3089/2), Bratislava, SK

More announcements to follow but that’s it for now… – T


July 29, 2018   [permalink]   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dorji & Damon “Both Will Escape” & “Live At The Spot +1” in Wire #393 + more reviews…

wiremagshirley

Tashi Dorji and I were reviewed in the new issue of Wire Magazine by Bill Meyer (thanks again Bill!). He wrote about the recently released Astral Spirits cassette “Live At The Spot +1” and our new LP on Family Vineyard, “Both Will Escape.” Check out the review below and snag a copy of the mag if you feel so inclined:

dorjidamonwiremagblock

Guillaume Belhomme at Le Son Du Grisli also recently reviewed the “Live At The Spot +1” tape for the Francophones. Check it out HERE.

Other recent reviews of “Both Will Escape” below:

Marc Masters’ 200 Words column at The Out Door:

“…there’s something frighteningly blood-quickening about Dorji and Damon’s nuclear energy on Both Will Escape, such that the entire 43 minutes seems to glow with radiation and spark with high voltage. The sounds of Dorji’s earth-clearing guitar and Damon’s fist-pumping kit rocket out of the speakers in ways that feel dangerously uncontrolled, like someone playing with a plugged-in toaster over a filled-up bathtub. I’m hesitant to make comparisons because the specific language Dorji and Damon have quickly developed deserves to be savored and digested on its own, but suffice to say that there’s a rarified upper echelon of guitar/drum annihilation that for me is topped by the detonating 90′s work of Rudolph Grey and Rashied Ali, and Both Will Escape squarely belongs in that league.”

Justin Spicer’s Cerberus column at Tiny Mix Tapes:

“As Dorji settles in and begins to twist his guitar into a steely sledgehammer, Damon begins to apply a similar blunt force to his percussive instruments. They do this not through one particular sound study; the rhythm and influence jumps from song to song, keeping both nimble and on edge. Neither wants to drop the ball, so the results are an album’s worth of fantastic ideas that can’t settle down. Each brings its own mood and setting; a very Prokofiev feeling.”

Eike Klien also reviewed the LP for German readers over at Das Klienicum


October 12, 2016   [permalink]   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Live At The Spot +1” w/ Tashi Dorji out now!

tylertashispot

Tashi Dorji & I have a new cassette release out now via Austin, Texas’ fantastic Astral Spirits label entitled “Live At The Spot +1”- we are really stoked to finally get this one out there! It’s limited to 175 copies and you can order one HERE or snag one from us on tour. Here’s a preview of the tape:

…and here’s what the label has to say about it:

“Astral Spirits is unbelievably excited to present the debut release from the duo of Tashi Dorji & Tyler Damon! “Live at the Spot +1” presents 1 solo performance by each as well as 3 duo cuts all (but one) recorded live at The Spot Tavern in Lafayette, IN, toward the beginning of Tashi & Tyler’s time together as a duo. Since these recordings Dorji & Damon have recorded another full length album (the amazing “Both Will Escape” out in October on Family Vineyard Records!), done a handful of tours together (including a small tour as a trio with Mette Rasmussen!) AND tore the roof off the Hungry Brain at “Astral Spirits in Chicago” as a trio with Thom Nguyen of MANAS.

[…]

“Live at the Spot +1” is a snapshot of Dorji & Damon learning to play together. At times it may sound a bit loose, but Dorji & Damon never loose focus. “Flashes of ecstatic intensity, blurred timbral lines, fractal repetition, noir-ish, cinematic mystery and inclinations toward free play” is part of their own bio BUT also is the perfect description of the music you’ll hear on this tape. Throughout the entirety of the tape there is an unhinged excitement exuding from the music. True modern day fire music captured live in all it’s glory.”

Special thanks to Tom Burris for capturing the clip below from the “Live At The Spot” gig that got the ball rolling on this one:


September 3, 2016   [permalink]   , , , , , ,

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