Tashi Dorji and Marisa Anderson are both renowned as inventive solo guitarists: here they share wax for a split record on Footfalls Records, a brand new imprint operating out of Kentucky. Explorative (improvised?) probings from each, tipping hats towards recognised styles of blues and folk whilst remaining singular.
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- Split by Tashi Dorji / Marisa Anderson
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Sometimes, you can really tell how a record will sound from the cover art on the sleeve. So Robin and I thought when Clinton -- I mean, Robin -- passed me this record to review; "It looks tranquil", he surmised. He wasn't wrong. This is a split album, featuring two very engaging guitarists, Tashi Dorji and Marisa Anderson. Tashi first, on Side A, then: a warped but expansive and scuzzy steely blues-inflected instrumental folk soundtracks your next Appalachian mind-journey. A solitary row boat is moored at the most serene lakeside setting, with not so much as a gentle lapping at the water's edge; nary a whisper among the pines, a duotone scene in slate blue-grey and forest green. Tashi picks and thrums as you lie back on the bank enshrouded by calm.
Marisa's side is strikingly more full-bodied, more soulful, more melody-orientated; those melodies sure do unfurl in an unhurried manner, though. No rush, boys and gals, no freight train comes a-rollin' to hop onto. Marisa's steady plucking of her electric geetar reflects a non-linear passage of time - contracting, expanding, warping, without or outside of time but still evocative of a place. And we're back to the photo on the sleeve, but perhaps having trekked apiece amongst the rocks and pines. Anderson meshes the old, in the form of two intertwined standards which she makes her own, and the present, the original - which come in the form of three molten, shiny tunes hand-picked from the recesses of her own history and psyche. It's an immensely absorbing listen.
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