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
– 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] Art Institute Of Chicago, Astral Spirits, Cassette, Chicago Tribune, Circuit Des Yeux, Columbia, Dave Rempis, Hopscotch, kuzu, Le Guess Who, LP, Magnetic South, Mars Williams, Matt Lux, Medellin, Monofonus Press, National Sawdust, Open Sex, Pickathon, Pitchfork Music Festival, Salomé, Sonic Transmissions, Sophomore Lounge, Tashi Dorji, tejas, texas, Thee Open Sex, Trio, White Horses
Live at Mahall’s, Cleveland, OH. Photo by Rob Galo.
Tashi Dorji & I hit the road in late-March/early-April for a string of dates leading to and from our residency at the Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City. We recorded a great deal of material during our days-long session at Flat Black Studios in Lone Tree, Iowa with engineer/proprietor Luke Tweedy at the helm. Special thanks to Luke & Chris Wiersema for their efforts in making the residency come together in such a fantastic and accommodating way. It was truly sublime and rejuvenating to spend the week at Flat Black observing the transition from Winter to Spring across the undulating flatlands, ringing in the new season daily through hours of unencumbered playing. I’m grateful for the opportunity. Many thanks also to everyone who helped our tour dates come together; as always we were humbled to be treated so well, so often, by so many golden human beings.
Dave Rempis and I also got together in late-April for some duo action at the one-and-only Spot Tavern in Lafayette. Indiana. Here’s a clip from one of our two sets captured by Tom Burris:
Poster by Aaron Denton.
Additionally, (Thee) Open Sex has a short tour on the horizon (several of which include our Asheville psychedelic-compatriots, Acid Reign) for the first time in years. Here are the confirmed hits:
– Tuesday, June 13th – Open Sex w/ Lather Sommer Duo, Amy O, Rays (Oakland) @ Magnetic South (1305 S. Madison St.), Bloomington, IN
– Thursday, June 15th – Open Sex @ Terrapin Station (920 S. 12th St.), Murray, KY
– Friday, June 16th – Open Sex @ Far Out Nashville @ The East Room (2412 Gallatin Ave.), Nashville, TN
– Saturday, June 17th – Open Sex, duo w/ Thom Nguyen w/ Acid Reign @ All Go West Festival, West Asheville, NC
– Sunday, June 18th – Open Sex w/ Psychic Baos @ The Pilot Light (106 E. Jackson Ave.), Knoxville, TN
– Monday, June 19th – Open Sex w/ Jason Lescalleet (Berwick, ME), Acid Reign @ The Lazy Diamond (98-A Lexington Ave.), Asheville, NC
– Tuesday, June 20th – Open Sex w/ Acid Reign @ Neptune’s Parlour (14 W. Martin St.), Raleigh, NC
See you out there…
Open Sex also recently released a split cassette with Bloomington’s Lather Sommer Duo in a limited 100-tape run. Tony Conrad is an inspiration to us all and the tape is, loosely speaking, a tribute to Tony. Listen and download/order the cassette HERE. The tape is also available in Bloomington at Landlocked Music and TDs CDs and LPs. As a side note, if you haven’t yet had the chance to view the stunning documentary “Tony Conrad: Completely In The Present,” I highly recommend it. Tyler Hubby did an excellent job in presenting the legacy and spirit of this still-underrated giant.
Collage by Alex Cunningham. Original photo by Frederick Eberstadt.
Next up, Yoke has its first new release of 2017, YO-05. This time around we have an untitled one-off trio of NYC’s Daniel Carter on reeds & trumpet with Muyassar Kurdi on vocals, movements & electronics joined by yours truly on drums & percussion. Recorded with a handheld at a cavernous dance cooperative in Ridgewood, Queens one afternoon last Summer, this is a raw document unlike much else in my catalog. My intention was to have this one out sooner but it looks like I should have copies in hand by June. More to come…
Keeping in line with the tape theme, Tashi & I’s cassette on Astral Spirits, 2016’s “Live At The Spot +1,” was recently reviewed by one of my favorite shops in the country, Deep Thoughts in Jamaica Plain, Boston on their Cassette Gods blog. Check it out HERE. I sincerely appreciate reading that my playing is “beatifically disorienting and hypnotic and evocative of animal rutting and fighting and writhing…” Thanks Cassette Gods! This tape is now out-of-print but I’ll bet you can find one if you look hard enough…
Manas “III” artwork by Bill Nace.
Tashi & I also have another LP on the horizon, this time as MANAS w/ drummer-and-homie-extraordinaire Thom Nguyen. To be fair and accurate, I’m actually the guest on this one as Thom & Tashi have been ripping it up in duo style as MANAS for many years now. The new LP, entitled III, is the follow-up to 2015’s self-titled LP on Florence, Mass’ Feeding Tube Records. Test presses have been approved and this one should see the light of day soon, also via Feeding Tube…
Lastly, Tashi & I will be going on tour again this September in support of the aforementioned releases (and some still unmentioned), concluding with 2017’s Cropped Out Festival, arguably my favorite fest anywhere. Dates and details coming soon…but in the meantime, GET STOKED on that Cropped Out lineup! – T
May 28, 2017 [permalink] Acid Reign, Cassette Gods, Cropped Out, Cropped Out Festival, Daniel Carter, Dave Rempis, Discography, Duo, Feeding Tube, Live, Manas, MIssion Creek Festival, Muyassar Kurdi, Open Sex, Recording, Residency, Review, Tashi Dorji, Thee Open Sex, Thom Nguyen, tour, Trio, Video, Yoke
Open Sex @ Kafka, Hồ Chí Minh City, Việt Nam, January 4th, 2017. Photo by Nguyễn Minh Hoàng.
I arrived in the States late last Wednesday from almost 5 weeks abroad in Vietnam. I’ve spent the last week getting my ducks in a row and recovering from jet lag but, more importantly, I must highlight what an incredible privilege it was to have the chance not only to visit but also to collaborate with some outstanding musicians and new friends. I sincerely hope that it is not my only opportunity – already looking forward to the next! I cannot express enough gratitude to everyone who had a hand in organizing shows, lending gear, time and energy, sharing studio and rehearsal spaces or just simply making us feel welcome and showing us around. I am already planning to return in my mind…below are a handful of shots from performances during the trip:
Solo at Kafka, Hồ Chí Minh City, Việt Nam, January 4th, 2017. Photo by Nguyễn Minh Hoàng.
Solo @ Manzi, Hà Nội, Việt Nam, December 22nd, 2016. Photo by Nguyễn Bá Hiển.
Generally speaking, there looks to be a busy year ahead…several recording sessions are booked, tours are being planned and/or confirmed and there are many new releases in the queue, featuring collaborations with the likes of Muyassar Kurdi & Daniel Carter, Dave Rempis, Darin Gray, Tashi Dorji, Thom Nguyen, Eddie Flowers, Eric Weddle & Will Staler, Thee Open Sex, Ohmme, Golden Braid and more…
Elastic Arts, Chicago, November 4th, 2016. Photo by Piotr Lewandowski.
Additionally, Tashi Dorji & I have been selected to be the artists-in-residency for this year’s Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City. We are taking this opportunity to work on our 2nd studio full-length and will be performing at the festival on April 7th w/ our homies 75 Dollar Bill. We are touring around this date beginning March 31st and concluding on April 12th. Here are the official dates (many details TBA):
– Friday, March 31st – duo w/ Tashi Dorji @ Duke Coffeehouse (Crowell Building, Epworth Dorm Ln.), Durham, NC
– Sunday, April 2nd – duo w/ Tashi Dorji @ TBA, Cincinnati, OH
– Friday, April 7th – duo w/ Tashi Dorji w/ 75 Dollar Bill @ Mission Creek Festival @ Trumpet Blossom Cafe (310 E Prentiss St.), Iowa City, IA
– Saturday, April 8th – duo w/ Tashi Dorji w/ Tontine Ensemble @ Acme Records (2341 S Kinnickinnic Ave.), Milwaukee, WI
– Sunday, April 9th – duo w/ Tashi Dorji w/ Six Organs Of Admittance @ Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Ave.), Chicago, IL
– Monday, April 10th – duo w/ Tashi Dorji @ TBA, Cleveland, OH
– Tuesday, April 11th – duo w/ Tashi Dorji @ TBA, Baltimore, MD
– Wednesday, April 12th – duo w/ Tashi Dorji @ TBA, Asheville, NC
Tashi & I are grateful to have had “Both Will Escape,” our debut studio LP released in October of 2016, featured in several year-end lists, both personal and for publications. Thank you all for the continued support…
Elastic Arts, Chicago, November 4th, 2016. Photo by Piotr Lewandowski.
Lastly, here are a handful of other upcoming live dates for those interested:
– Thursday, January 26th – quintet w/ Dave Rempis, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Jason Stein, Michael Zerang w/ Boneshaker @ Elastic Arts (3429 Diversey Ave. #208), Chicago, IL
– Friday, February 3rd – solo w/ Drekka, Dante Augustus Scarlatti @ The Artifex Guild (1017 S. Walnut St.), Bloomington, IN
– Saturday, February 11th – quartet w/ Matthew Setzler, Kyle Quass & Jeff Greene w/ Show-Me Boys (Cincinnati) @ The Blockhouse (201 S. College Ave.), Bloomington, IN
– Friday, February 17th – Open Sex quintet w/ Laffing Gas, Tropical Trash (Louisville) @ Jan’s Rooms (1102 S. Washington St.), Bloomington, IN
– Saturday, February 18th – Open Sex quintet w/ Total Disgust, Tropical Trash (Louisville) @ State Street Pub (243 N. State Ave.), Indianapolis, IN
– Sunday, February 19th – Open Sex quintet w/ Bitchin’ Bajas, Tropical Trash (Louisville) @ The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia Ave.), Chicago, IL
– Friday, April 21st – solo & duo w/ Dave Rempis @ The Spot Tavern (409 S. 4th St.), Lafayette, IN
January 18, 2017 [permalink] Daniel Carter, Darin Gray, Dave Rempis, Eddie Flowers, Eric Weddle, Golden Braid, Ha Noi, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Iowa City, Jason Stein, John Dawson, Live, Manas, Manas Trio, Michael Zerang, MIssion Creek Festival, Muyassar Kurdi, Open Sex, Recording, Residency, Saigon, Tashi Dorji, Thee Open Sex, Thom Nguyen, tour, Vietnam, Will Staler
Damon/Gray/ Lorenz trio @ The Comet, Cincinnati, OH. Photo by Pete Fosco.
I’m a little late posting this but I wanted to share a little tour wrap-up in the wake of the TD/DG – “For Four” mini tour. In order of appearance, a HUGE thank you to:
Rachel Maudlin, Joe Estivill and the Player’s Pub, Rick Brown and Che Chen (75 Dollar Bill), Jim Manion and WFHB, Eric Weddle, Jon Lorenz, Zohair Hussain, Pete Fosco, Tina and Jack Damon, James, Leah and Virgil Toth, Robert Beatty, Ross Compton, Carey Balch, Will Fist, Valerie Kuehne, Give Thanks, Nate Fleckenstein, Chris Davis and Portland Brew South, William Tyler, Tim Barnes and Dreamland, Keenan Lawler, John Dawson, and anyone/everyone who came out to a show, share a bill, played a trio with us, provided a comfortable night’s rest, bought something from our table, gave us records or shared a kind word. More than all others, though, I must give thanks to my duo partner and great friend Darin Gray for his incredible support and focus, his ceaselessly inventive and exciting playing and, especially, for his devotion to helping those around him feel like the golden human beings that he insists we are. I had a beautiful, rewarding tour experience – THANK YOU…
Additionally, I played a duo show w/ John Dawson as Open Sex the day after tour w/ Darin ended so I got bonus hangs w/ Plastic Crimewave Syndicate, Sedcairn Archives and the beautiful people of Indianapolis’ State Street Pub. John and I will be back there on December 19th playing with Lech – come on out (additionally, another Lech show is happening in Bloomington w/ St. Louie’s Lumpy & The Dumpers on Thursday the 17th…)