Sir Richard Bishop, Tash Dorji, Ryley Walker | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Sir Richard Bishop, Tash Dorji, Ryley Walker 

When: Tue., Sept. 2, 9 p.m. 2014
Price: $12, $10 in advance
Guitarist Sir Richard Bishop has been making himself pretty scarce for the past four years, releasing very little music (aside from stuff on his own CD-R label) and not touring the States at all. My fingers are crossed that VDSQ: Solo Acoustic Volume Eight, his fantastic new album for the Vin du Select Qualitite label, signals the start of an uptick in activity. Hypostasis, the three-part composition that fills the record, is one of Bishop’s most accomplished and sustained works. It feels patient even as it feverishly morphs from forceful, driving strummed patterns to delicate passages of tangled fingerpicking, which display Bishop’s assiduous assimilation of Fahey-style Americana, flamenco, and Arabic modes without directly imitating any of them. The entire 35-minute opus coheres beautifully—with any luck, Bishop will continue exploring long-form ideas.

Self-taught Bhutanese guitarist Tashi Dorji, now based in Asheville, North Carolina, built on the flamenco and classical guitar he heard on short-wave radio as a teenager for his earliest work, but since moving to the United States, he’s begun exploring all stripes of improvised and experimental music. His brand-new self-titled album (released by Hermit Hut, founded by Six Organs of Admittance guitarist Ben Chasny to release Dorji’s music), which samples from the many cassette releases he’s put out over the past five years or so, showcases his distinctive, highly original style, which uses folkloric and ethnic motifs as raw material for improvisations riven by spiky dissonance, pregnant pauses, and sudden directional shifts. Dorji has been embraced by the fingerstyle-guitar community, but unlike most of his colleagues, he’s distinguished not only by the improvisational ethos of his playing but also by his interest in process—rigging his guitar like a prepared piano or experimenting with mike placement. This is his Chicago debut. —Peter Margasak

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