Martin Dosh plays drums and Rhodes organ for Minneapolis’ Fog, whose indie-rock/hip-hop mongrelizations somehow found a home on England’s renowned Ninja Tune label. He also teaches drums to twelve- and thirteen-year-olds. These are fairly impressive things to list on a résumé, but Dosh harbors greater ambitions. His self-titled debut album serves as a calling card to procure work with hot vocalists or MCs seeking a crafty producer with unconventional skills to burn. As such studio demonstrations go, Dosh is supremely accomplished. Whether it appeals to anybody besides musicians and producers is another matter.
Most of Dosh‘s twelve tracks exist at the jazzier end of the post-rock spectrum where artists from the labels Thrill Jockey (Tortoise), Bubble Core (Mice Parade), and Domino (Four Tet) dwell. Dosh’s beats move in intricate, unexpected time signatures, and his keyboards drone with vivid textures and swell with dramatic panache. Some tracks recall Boards of Canada’s murky, hazy downtempo funk with their naively psychedelic and sinister aura. The overall tone here is unassuming, and you probably won’t hear any of its tunes on the radio. But Dosh is a deft display of technical prowess that’s begging for an adventurous singer or rapper.