Yellow Green Red reviews Tashi Dorji & John Dieterich’s ‘Midden’ LP


John Dieterich I recognize from his years spent in everyone’s favorite twee-pop avant-rock deconstructionists Deerhoof; Tashi Dorji I don’t recognize at all, but they both play guitar, and they got together here to create Midden. You get two side-long pieces of dual guitar improvisation, and while we all know that sorta thing can crumble under the weight of formless meandering, Dorji and Dieterich clearly have an excellent rapport and do no such crumbling. They’ve got lots to discuss with each other, and they do so entirely with their guitars, which for the most part utilize only modest distortion – no daisy-chains of effects pedals being stomped back and forth, or at least not until the end of side two. Brief twangy phrases, extended freakouts, discombobulated chords, awkward plucking, physical scratching and scraping, it all goes down throughout this two-way conversation, and for an unscripted journey, it flows incredibly well. These two guitarists aren’t simply going through the usual noisy improv moves, they play off each other in ways that demonstrate keen listening and natural synergy. Really though, the only important thing is whether Midden sounds cool or not, and by my estimation it surely does.


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