Stateless by Tashi Dorji on Drag City Records (the album cover depicts an grainy, dark, and out-of-focus black and white photograph of Tashi Dorji standing in front of a patterned wall hanging. There is no text on the front of the album sleeve)

Tashi Dorji - Stateless


  • $32.00



Guitar improviser Tashi Dorji takes acoustic in hand, recording in a rare studio setting with extra focus and balance. In a set of songs that travel through our bleak modern lifescape, his ability to access an exceptionally wide range of moods and sounds help to express the confusion, rage, helplessness and resolve as an outsider in America today. 

In the past two decades, Tashi Dorji has travelled a long road, recording several dozen albums and touring the world, playing his guitar solo and in collaboration with others. Gifted with a sensitive ear to the clarion call of intuitive artistry, he is forever picking up his instrument and reaching through it to find new sounds, and has distinguished himself among those who listen to improvised music as an incisive, distinctive player of moments. 

Very beautifully recorded, Stateless is a probing recital in which music, the texture of the instrument and the nature of the space in the moment which it is played are all of equal significance. It’s an astonishing sequence of performances - and when paired with titles like ‘Refusal’, ‘Statues Crumbles, Heroes Fall’, ‘End Of State’ and ‘The Swelling Fruit About To Shatter The Husk Of The Old World’, the music is further informed with elevated vision and purpose. 

Like a sculptor, Tashi flecks away at the guitar, percussive strikes discovering the shades of folkish melodies within, while continuously shaping other contours. A resourceful and vigorous use of techniques suggest discourse and discordance. The scraps and ricochets begin to add up, shots to the head, grazing the side, exposing ribs that grin dully red. Yet moments of his bluntest touch yield fluidly to lithe feathering, or pivot to a quiet focus on selected strings, which threatens to rise up before a moment of gentle subsiding. This is improvisation: the songs playing through Tashi, beyond choices or preference. The result only of sitting and playing, no thoughts in that moment. Yet even the shreddiest, pluckiest, out-of-mindest moments feel guided, led by a hand from beyond. 

With the gravity of a rock-opera and the delicacy of a suite, Stateless measures the miles on the charred highway we’re all presently stalled upon - not going home again, at time on a march for no reason, other moments insensibly in the weeds, rummaging, looking for something. 


  1. Refusal, Pt. I 
  2. Refusal, Pt. II 
  3. Statues Crumbles, Heroes Fall 
  4. End Of State, Pt. I 
  5. End Of State, Pt. II 
  6. End Of State, Pt. III 
  7. What You Will Loose, As All Are Lost 
  8. The Swelling Fruit About To Shatter The Husk Of The Old World 
  9. Now, Pt. I 
  10. Now, Pt. II 



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