The Lost Take

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Despite its Anticon home, there's nothing hip-hop -- nor has there ever been -- about Martin Dosh's third full-length, The Lost Take. By inviting musicians like Andrew Bird, Jeremy Ylvisaker (from Fog), Michael Lewis (from Happy Apple), and Erik Appelwick (from Tapes 'n Tapes) to play on it, Dosh set himself up nicely for creating more of what's he's always done: something resembling an experimental, jazz-influenced record that toys with elements of electronica and indie rock, and loops organic and sampled riffs into a near soundscape of layers and warmth. Dosh, who daylights as a drum teacher, wraps eighth- and sixteenth-note keyboard riffs into one another, pulling back or adding more when necessary, but never, thanks to major keys, does the subtlety in the mixing, the overall lightness of the chords, come across as heavy or intense. However, because The Lost Take is mainly instrumental, that formula can become a bit predictable, and a little too nice, a little too pretty at times. Luckily, Lewis, who plays jazzy saxophone riffs that are catchier than the often-rambling ones Dosh chooses, helps to bring individual character to the four songs he's featured on; songs like "Um, Circles and Squares," which has a techno-inspired synth line, slowly poignant violins, and a gentle yet bouncy saxophone. It moves quickly, but there's something very deliberate about it as well, the same can be said about "O Mexico," which uses Appelwick's guitar to create a more purposeful groove that drives the piece along and offsets the relative calmness of the rest of the record. In terms of what Dosh has always done, The Lost Take isn't drastically different: it's experimental instrumental music that hesitates to adhere itself too firmly to any categorization, but it's a consistent and interesting release nonetheless, and probably the best of his career.

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