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Dosh & Ghostband soundtrack the most indescribable dance party you’ve ever attended. The sort of phenomena where your friend asks the next day what the music sounded like, and you vainly search a thousand different adjectives before discovering that none seem accurate. All that matters was that you had one of the best times of your life and never stopped moving.
Things have gotten easier for us. We live in a world where you can now just play Def Kith II: The Price is Ill to answer the equation. After all, if you traveled back two decades and asked DJs to predict the future of sound, the guesses would probably come out something like this four song, 38-minute odyssey, released on Anticon.
There are the sleek glides of Krautrock, the chromatic grit of Detroit techno, the liquid freedom of improvised jazz, the loop-digging hypnosis of raw boom-bap, the cerebral float of IDM, and the fusion shock of the new. Minneapolis multi-instrumentalist producers Martin Dosh and Jon “Ghostband” Davis have forged a rumbling and burrowing, lightless and electrified, claustrophobic and wide-open, metallic and shimmering saga. A mess of contradictions that always becomes clear around the next musical curve.
It’s sculpted for crumbling warehouses outfitted with blistering subwoofers and headphone treks through the city at night. The four songs—“Produce Section,” “Shish Kebob,” “Chopping Spree,” and “Kool-Aid”—comprise their own gestalt. Removing one is like chopping off a leg. These are electronic loops with subtle flourishes, built on movement and variation, long forms and intervals – a collection of small moments that build to delirious conclusions.
Both producers have built revered solo catalogues over the last decade, but this formation yields something entirely new. The ideas and influences of the long-time collaborators are chopped and synthesized, merging Herbie Hancock and Caribou, Squarepusher and Wu-Tang, The Meters and Medeski, Martin & Wood. The result is weird dance music that never fails to live up to its initial reason for being: you are supposed to dance to it; you have to dance to it.
Dosh and Davis have wrought something immediate and raw. It was knocked out in four days and mirrors the sort of sleepless euphoria that such a creative process renders. It feels intuitive and loose. It’s heady without being cold. It’s anchored by the four to the floor but has a crafty intelligence to the design. Consider it dance music that overachieves rather than IDM that fails. It’s Def Kith II, a synthesis of visceral grooves and the unknown.