The first Dogon show of the Summer 2016 All My Relations Tour was a beautiful start to this collaboration. We appeared at a sweet downtempo all-night party in Emeryville, CA - Re:Set Midsummer. The evening began with meditative, transcendent content-driven DJ sets (with some live playing too) by Heartbeatz and Illuminertia. Followed by the exotic bellydance stylings of Aurora Rosa.
Dogon took the stage just after 11 pm and began with their grounding, intentional "Increado," (the uncreated) - the piece was created three decades ago and appeared on their eponymous cassette release in Venezuela (1989). Followed by the evanescent opener of 2016 All My Relations (at peace), "All and Everything" - the set continued with their deep-space radio hit, "Chet's Dream" from 1996 Notdunjusta. The band was joined by guest bass player, Ari Gorman who created the dubby groove for "Cloudy With a Chance of Meeting," from the recently released Smellucinations Vol. 1 and continued with the band on the rest of the set.
A highlight of the evening was the first live performance of "Thousands of Uncountable Flowers," when Dogon was joined on percussion by Heartbeatz and Jef Stott. The song is inspired by the Zen Tarot of Master Osho - the theme is the multitude of personalities which compete for control of the self. A strong connection was made with the audience, an elevated bunch indeed who seemed to physically connect with the driving ethno-ambient rhythms and the lyrical themes equally. An audience member reported afterward - "you moved me deeply, you are in your truth, doing exactly what you are set on earth to deliver, thank you!"
The set reached a climax with 1998's "The Round Buddha Factory" from The Sirius Expeditions and finished intensely with "I Lay Down" from All My Relations (at peace). Stephen Hill, the legendary space music pioneer, founder of record label and streaming music Music from the Hearts of Space was in attendance and likened the music to Peter Gabriel (an embraced influence on the band). Jef Stott, founder of Re:Set Gatherings and well known composer/DJ himself, reported "It was a wonderful performance. I wasn't expecting so much of a post-rock sort of thing but I really loved it!"
Visuals by the far-reaching Ameera created an immersive, "natural world gone psychedelic" counterpoint to the music of Dogon. It was a great start to the summer's journeys.