Interviews:: Dosh

We recently had a chance to pick the brain of Anticon's IDM poster child, Martin Dosh. Dosh's new record - The Lost Take - is fantastic, as are his contributions to Andrew Bird's material. If your looking for new music that escapes the traditional genre borders, Dosh is the man for you.

HH:: My first exposure to the new material was seeing you play it live. When I got the record, it was much more melodic that I expected (after what I heard at the live show). When you are writing songs do you ever consider how they will sound recorded as opposed to how they sound live?
Dosh:: No, i don't really even learn the songs until the album is done. It's been that way with almost all of my recordings. rarely do i develop a song and then record it. It is almost always the reverse. Recording and composing are the same thing to me. By the time I have finished the record, then i have to go back and listen to it, and say, "Hmnn, how am i going to pull this off." Then i have to learn all the parts and practice them, etc, before i can play them live. It's a way to keep it interesting and fun, being all alone up there, you know. I basically treat them as two separate things, and i don't feel an obligation to have the live version be a replica of the recorded version.

HH:: Anticon really started out and is known as an underground hip-hop label. How did you get hooked up with them and how is the relationship for an artist that is really so different from most of their roster?
Dosh:: I got hooked up basically through my work in Fog, Andrew Broder's band. I met them all through playing in that band. When i had finished my first self released cd, i handed out copies to all of the guys on the Mush tour of early 2002, and apparently enough of them liked it to be willing to slap the old ant on the cover and put it out. God bless em.

My relationship with everybody there is great. I've done tours and traveled with all of those guys, and while my music may seem different, there is a common aesthetic going on there. I'd be hard pressed to tell you exactly what it is, but it's there. The fact that no one is really afraid to try new things out has actually helped me to be more confident in what i'm doing.

HH:: The record has so many styles and sounds. When you start putting together tracks, do you worry about how the album flows or are you more concerned with the music on a song by song basis?
Dosh:: The flow thing happens much later. I was probably working on 20 pieces when i started this record, and that got whittled down to 10 (with 2 happening during the last month of mixing). I've found that if i just trust my process, these kind of things will work themselves out. Also, i felt that using the korg sequencer, live drums and mellotron on a large chunk of the record would help glue it together. There is a sameness of sound on this one that probably wasn't as present on my other records. But who knows.

HH:: When you opened up for Andrew Bird I was really impressed. Not only with your set but by what you added to his show as well. After doing some reading I realized I'm not alone. A lot of people who might not have been exposed to your music are taking notice from your work with Bird. On the new record you collaborate with Bird, as well as some other big names on the Indie scene (ie. some guitar work from Tapes & Tapes). How does the collaboration process work for you? Do you supply the artists with your ideas or is it more give and take?
Dosh:: It is give and take. But it's more like they give and I take. With regards to the guitar stuff, most of those parts were attempts to double the sequencer lines i had composed, but in any case, once the stuff was recorded, i would go back in, resample, chop, relayer parts and just generally mess with the arrangements. Jeremy Ylvisaker helped out a lot with arrangement stuff on Mpls rockand roll...... Most of the sax parts are just doubling the rhodes melody line and then the violin... andrew basically wrote his own parts, as a reaction to the piece, and then i took his parts and did much the same as what i did to the guitars, re-arrange it as i saw fit.

HH:: Your tastes and musical history is very diverse. What artists would you say influenced your style the most?
Dosh:: That's the one isn't it? It's really hard to delve that deeply into my subconscious, First and foremost, my friends influnce me, but if i had to name a few more well known artists..... James brown and Jimi Hendrix, John Bonham, Mitch mitchell. Elvin Jones....Keith Jarrett, Run DMC. Public Enemy. Prince. the Headhunters. Mahavishnu Orchestra. this list could go on.....

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