Fantastic debut LP by this severely talented instrumental duo, currently based around Hampshire College unless I am much mistaken.
Living Window is comprised of drummer Cameron Mitchell and guitarist Mila Dorji, who have create an album of pile-driving avant garde hunch reminiscent of pre-Mahavishnu McLaughlin’s slow-hand recordings with Tony Williams or Billy Cox.
Mitchell drumming mixes rock and jazz attacks in equal measure, either drawing out rhythms or pounding them straight into pumice. And Dorji collects his amped notes into a huge mass before he releases them, displaying far more taste and patience than most of his contemporaries.
This kind of jazz/rock guitar/drum dueling can be traced back (more or less) to Doug Snyder & Bob Thompson’s Daily Dance LP from ’73. Whether or not they’ve heard it, Living Window are fully in sync with that amazing record. They also hint at the early duo improvisations of the Alex/Nels Cline Duo, and combos such as Manas (led by Mila’s dad, Tashi), Chris Guttmacher’s Louis Farakhan! and other nimble purveyors of stripped down excess.
Living Window have chosen a hybridized aesthetic route, which presents opportunities to bring jazz to rock masses and vice versa. But it’s also a path that can lead to playing concerned with mere “chops” rather than invention. At this stage of their trajectory, Living Window are bursting with so many ideas they display no weakness in that area. At times their moves almost evoke a one guitar version of Randga, which is about as high a praise as I can imagine.
Astralturfing is the first blast of music from a duo with amazing potential.
Towers open fire.
-Byron Coley, 2023