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Dosh - Pure Trash

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Artist: Dosh

Album: Pure Trash

Label: Anticon

Review date: Oct. 19, 2004

Pure Trash is a terrible title for such a tender-hearted record. With a sampler, drum kit and Rhodes piano, Martin Dosh's ode to his newborn son is the warmest, most soothing electronic record since Four Tet's Rounds. Lovely piano melodies, simple xylophone patterns and elaborate drum breaks make for a wondrous childhood soundtrack that never confuses saccharine for sentiment.

The sweetness of tracks like the lead single "Naoise" – Dosh's son's name – builds off a solid foundation, whether it's drum, guitar or horns, and doesn't exhaust itself in looped ennui. "I Think I'm Getting Married" features a mellow, optimistic acoustic guitar before low horns and a lead saxophone takes an idyll-tronic stereotype and ushers it to surprising terrain.

Dosh's love for his family does lead to a few tired tactics. His wife’s "being pregnant and having a baby is not weird" looped ad nauseum on "Sample Exercises" drives the point home a little too far. The finale "The Last Plan" has Naoise making the same sort of crying "debut" Seven Benjamin made on OutKast's "Slump," but without the same engaging production. And the jumbled but boring “Pure Trash” is, appropriately, the worst song on the record.

Thankfully, this is where Dosh’s odd sort of funk comes in handy. He doesn’t rely on the cliché of a breakbeat or wa-wa guitar; he picks and chooses from a junkyard of sound. A tuba snippet pops up here and there, other times a swing motif works wonders. Nothing threatens to fire up the dancefloor, but nevertheless, the chopped sonic collage of “Dark Lord of Rhodes” and the low, rumbling “Building A Strange Child” are bumpin’ in their own peculiar way. Compared to the anticon crew’s usual idiosyncrasy, however, Dosh’s well-rounded style feels as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

By Josh Drimmer

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