The paradoxical title of Dosh’s new album, Tomorrow 1972, to be released this spring by Max/Min Records, distills the exploratory rootedness central to the producer and performer’s aesthetic. Like everything Dosh has put out since coming to prominence as a pioneer of loop-based multigenre multi-instrumentalism, the album uses old and new technology to seek uncharted ground, but it also takes cues from a lifetime of varied listening and sometimes evokes the perpetually contemporary fusion of Dosh’s babyhood (the album title, you may have guessed, contains the year of his birth) as well as hip-hop, minimalism, harmolodics, Midwestern hybridists from Tortoise to Happy Apple, and a hundred other touchstones that equally revere experimentation and groove.

Though mainly wordless, the album reflects the infuriating and heartbreaking period during which it was composed and recorded: the later years of the Trump Administration, the pandemic, the police murder of George Floyd on a Minneapolis intersection near where Dosh and his family have long lived and worked. The album is both a solo album—Dosh’s first since 2013’s Milk Money and a collectivist statement.

Dosh originally gained attention for his dazzling onstage multitasking—moving between drums, Rhodes, loop pedals, synths, mixers, and stomp boxes—but he’s also committed to group interplay. The latter commitment is demonstrated most of all by Tomorrow 1972’s layered and sympathetic sounds, but even before that by its long and impressive personnel list, which includes guitarist Jeff Parker; multi-instrumentalist and kindred spirit Tobacco; fellow loop composer Sarah Elstran (the Nunnery); and songwriter and renaissance man Andrew Bird, with whom Dosh has often toured and recorded as a supporting musician.

The initial spur for the new album came in 2018 when Walker Art Center commissioned Dosh to compose and perform live scores to four silent shorts from the 1920s. The sprawling opening cut, “Manhatta,” whose players include Bird, saxophonists Mike Lewis and Chris Thomson, and Tortoise bandmates Parker and Dan Bitney, was first conceived to accompany the throngs, skyscrapers, and sunsets of Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler’s namesake film.

That same year, Dosh started collaborating with the James Sewell Ballet in performances that demanded his loop-based pieces be flexible enough to respond immediately to the dancers’ movements. For those commissions and other recent pieces, Dosh started using the Electro Harmonix 95000, a multi-track looper that preserves the hardware constraints that inspire Dosh while letting him create long, complex loops.

The foundation of “Manhatta,” for instance, is a loop, but a minute-plus one that repeats only eight times. That opener, like the rest of the album, showcases Dosh’s singular approach, often at once jittery and pacific, while letting the other musicians—who sometimes tracked in COVID-era remote sessions, sometimes together in a studio, and sometimes in Dosh’s Powderhorn backyard—shine as improvisers, ensemble players, and co-creators.

After the expansive “Manhatta,” things get back to relative normal with “Wake Me Up When It’s Over,” a slightly tongue-in-cheek expression of the exhaustion and anger recent years have produced, grounded by the Nunnery’s vocal mantra, JT Bates’s first-take drums, and a blistering guitar solo by Jeremy Ylvisaker. Closing out Side One is “Copy That,” another song developed for the Walker show. A warped meditation on sevens over fours, the track is a perfect distillation of how the 95000 has allowed Dosh to easily incorporate other musicians. All the horns—saxes by Mike Lewis and Chris Thomson, trumpet by Jake Baldwin—were recorded live in two takes in Dosh’s backyard.

“Big Floyd,” titled after George Floyd’s nickname, arose from a 2019 visit Dosh paid to the Pittsburgh-based Tobacco, who contributed the song’s stately descending melody. Another track informed in part by grief, “Tomorrow Is in the Bones,” features a poem written and recited by J. B. Best in eulogy for Brendon “Alias” Whitney, the rapper-producer who with Best cofounded Anticon Records, home to much of Dosh’s catalog. The closing track, “If U Strike Me Down,” ranges from chaotic to blissful and features an orchestra of acoustic and mechanical drums played or programmed by Dosh, JT Bates, and Joey Van Phillips.

Martin Dosh was born in Los Angeles but has spent most of his life in Minneapolis. Both his parents were initially called to careers in the church: his father was a priest when he met Martin’s mother, who was training to be a nun. As a teenager, Dosh studied jazz and drums in Massachusetts at Simon’s Rock for two years, and after graduating from SUNY New Paltz, gigging ferociously around the Northeast with his band Como Zoo, returned in his mid-twenties to the Twin Cities.

There, he fell in with a scene of players variously or equally interested in hip-hop, jazz, electronica, funk, ambient music, R&B, and rock. His debut solo album was released to acclaim in 2003. While attracting a devoted following for his own music, Dosh worked widely as a supporting musician and collaborator, touring and recording with Bird, Gaelynn Lea, Bonnie “Prince” Billie, Jel, Gayngs, and who knows what else.

Past Shows


May
25
th
2022
Fine Line
May
25
th
2022
Fine Line

Makaya McCraven

with Dosh
Jan
8
th
2022
7th St Entry
Jan
8
th
2022
7th St Entry

Dosh

featuring Charlie Lincoln, JT Bates, Kevin Gastonguay, and Chris Thomson
with The Nunnery
Oct
23
rd
2021
Turf Club
Oct
23
rd
2021
Turf Club

Dosh

with Soubrette
Aug
23
rd
2019
Clown Lounge
Aug
23
rd
2019
Clown Lounge

Dosh and Lucky Paul

CLOWN LOUNGE (Turf Club basement)
Sep
15
th
2017
Turf Club
Sep
15
th
2017
Turf Club

Actual Wolf

with Kid Dakota and Dosh
Mar
18
th
2017
The Cedar Cultural Center
Mar
18
th
2017
The Cedar Cultural Center

WHY?

with Dosh
Oct
28
th
2016
7th St Entry
Oct
28
th
2016
7th St Entry

Heyday: 35 Years of Music in Minneapolis

The Photography of DANIEL CORRIGAN Book Release Show
with The Mighty Mofos, Dosh, Porcupine and more!
May
21
st
2016
Indeed Brewery
May
21
st
2016
Indeed Brewery

WHIRLYGIG 2016

with The Black-eyed Snakes, BLOODNSTUFF, The Blind Shake and more!
Apr
27
th
2016
Turf Club
Feb
23
rd
2016
Turf Club
Feb
23
rd
2016
Turf Club
Feb
16
th
2016
Turf Club
Feb
16
th
2016
Turf Club
Feb
9
th
2016
Turf Club
Feb
9
th
2016
Turf Club
Feb
2
nd
2016
Turf Club
Feb
2
nd
2016
Turf Club
Dec
30
th
2015
Turf Club
Jul
23
rd
2015
Turf Club
Jul
23
rd
2015
Turf Club

BIG WHITE HOUSE

with Dosh and Greg Cardinal
Jul
3
rd
2015
Turf Club
May
20
th
2015
Turf Club
May
20
th
2015
Turf Club

DKO and TODD CLOUSER’S A LOVE ELECTRIC

with batteryboy and Dosh
Jan
27
th
2015
Turf Club
Jan
27
th
2015
Turf Club
Jan
20
th
2015
Turf Club
Jan
20
th
2015
Turf Club
Jan
14
th
2015
Turf Club
Jan
14
th
2015
Turf Club

More Shows

Sep
2
nd
First Avenue

Emo Nite

Oct
19
th
7th St Entry

NNAMDÏ

Aug
19
th
Turf Club

Sleeping Jesus

with Dark Bunny and Grand Courriers
Sep
20
th
Turf Club

Zeal & Ardor

with Sylvaine and Imperial Triumphant