11 Sep

They are called Tolchock. They are from Japan. They are two people who like to play loudly, for extended periods of time. Their cassette, on Sky Lantern Records, is called “After Fog Open,” and the first of three songs clocks in at a length of eighteen minutes and forty-four seconds.

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It’s possible that along your way through “After Fog Open, you’ll hear bass and drums and guitars and howls and moans (of the type that arouse suspicions of Daughters of the Sun-worship, though that’s really just us doing the worshiping). It’s possible that you’ll at one point hear a flute that seems to come alive, Freddie-style, and just as soon appears to perish in a swell of volume.

Anything is possible with Tolchock and we find their sound to be extraordinary.

Everything else is up to you.

So let’s talk about something else.

And make no mistake – “After Fog Open” is perfect, absolutely perfect, for something else. For contemplating something else. For doing something else. For going somewhere else. And that something else, of course, can only be this, can only be what is right here. Only “things as it is.”

And what’s right here is Tolchock. And Tolchock is something else, indeed. It is the insistent pull of the drone that dominates the duo’s doings, igniting crushing constellations of sound from modest parameters, creating these inconceivably monolithic songs quite literally out of thin air, manifested in patterns that quickly turn in on themselves, repeat themselves, double themselves, become unmoored from themselves, contradict themselves, unleash themselves, see themselves through.

You may find yourself – or your lack-of-self thereof – following a similar pattern. But as we say: everything else is up to you.

“After Fog Open” is available on cassette from Sky Lantern Records. A digital version is available at the band’s Bandcamp page.

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“So if you think enlightenment is just a personal experience, this idea of enlightenment is like collecting only square stones or only round stones. If someone likes beautiful stones, in which you can see something blue and some­thing white, if that is his enlightenment, he will keep collecting the same stones. But with so many of the same stones, you cannot build an interesting garden. You should use various stones. Enlightenment is the same. If you attach to some par­ticular enlightenment, that is not true enlightenment. You should have various enlightenments. And you should experience various experiences, and you should put more emphasis on relation­ships between one person and another. In this way, we should practice back and forth, according to the position in which we find ourselves.

This is the outline of our practice and how you attain it. If enlightenment is just collecting, or just being proud of a kind of experience, that kind of ex­perience will not help you at all. And if that were enlightenment, there would have been no need for Buddha to strive hard to save people after he attained enlightenment. What is the purpose of wandering about the dusty road of illusion? If attaining enlightenment is the purpose of zazen, why did Bodhi­dharma come to China from India and sit for nine years on Shaolin Mountain? The point is to find our position moment after moment, and to live with people moment after moment according to the place. That is the purpose of our practice.” – Shunryu Suzuki Roshi



  1. Lieutenant Spliff September 29, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    Sold, dude 🙂

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