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Dosh: An Electro-Acoustic Casserole

Over the course of five full-length albums, multi-instrumentalist Martin Dosh has built a signature style that involves numerous samplers and looping machines. His music sounds like a thickly layered electro-acoustic casserole, baked to perfection and ready to feed a family of 50.

Dosh's latest record, Tommy, isn't any less coated in instrumentation, but it does represent a small step outside his comfort zone. The album employs a few pop song structures, and longtime friend and collaborator Andrew Bird lends his voice on some tracks, too.

"Subtractions" melds this new direction with the old; it builds a mountain of instrumentation while still leaving space for the vocals. The multi-tracked voices "ba-ba" and "da-da" their way through distorted guitar leads and warm xylophones, and as the looping continues, synths, saxophones and a plethora of drums trade places at the front lines.

Despite a clearly electronic execution, an improvisational jazz ethos informs this music. Dosh removes instruments from the mix, turns sounds up and fades melodies out. It's the sound of electronics being bent to the fickle whims of a human.

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Anthony Fantano