Artist: Dawn of Midi
Label: Thirsty Ear (2013) // Erased Tapes (2015)
For Fans of: Steve Reich, Squarepusher, GoGo Penguin, Nils Frahm
Words by Jasper Morvaridi
With rhythm at its core, Dawn of Midi’s Dysnomia pushes towards a minimalist electronic sound despite being comprised of only acoustic instruments. The Brooklyn-based trio, made up of Qasim Naqvi on drums, Aakaash Israni on double bass and Amino Belyamani on piano, originally started as a free-jazz improv outfit that used to rehearse in pitch-black darkness. Dysnomia moves away from their free-jazz debut, ‘First’, with its precise and meticulously planned score that took some two years to perfect. Though the album was originally released in the US only in 2013, Dysnomia recently saw a worldwide re-release on the ever-present Erased Tapes records.
Listened to in its entirety, Dysnomia sounds as though it could be one complete piece or a mix that progresses from each song. ‘Nix’, for example, has been compared to a DJ tool: a means of transitioning from one section to the next. In this sense, the pulsating rhythms that subtly build throughout the record situate the sound somewhere between Steve Reich and Squarepusher. There are times where the trio seem to drift apart only to perfectly realign, such as in ‘Ymir’. Belyamani’s use of the piano as a percussive instrument, dampening and plucking the strings, is central to the album’s attention to rhythm over melody.
One could sit and decode the intricate changes in time signature and tempo for hours. Yet the beauty of the album is that while the unpredictable rhythms are simple, they amount to subtly detailed and different permutations that make you want to dance, or at the very least nod your head.