Dawn of Midi
Channelled madness – the sound Dawn of Midi spent years shaping, culminating into their most mesmerising work yet
With Dysnomia, the Brooklyn-based group Dawn of Midi abandons improvisation in favour of composition, utilising sophisticated rhythmic structures from North and West African folk traditions to weave a sonic tapestry of trance-inducing grooves. From close up one may see only dots, but when stepping back an undulating image reveals itself. “We didn’t want to create anything cerebral,” says Belyamani, “we wanted something visceral, something that would awaken our instinctive dance impulses.”
Having met at California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles in 2006, bassist Aakaash Israni, pianist Amino Belyamani and drummer Qasim Naqvi found their original rapport through late night tennis matches on the campus court. The chemistry they founded there eventually led them back indoors to improvise together; something they did in total darkness to deprive themselves of all their senses except the crucial one – their hearing.
The manner, by which a trio of solely acoustic instruments ends up sounding like electronic music, has to do with the unconventional ways the group play their instruments on Dysnomia. The record comes to life in the trio’s critically acclaimed live shows, a test of endurance and trust that involves performing their hand-looped acoustic minimalism note for note, just as the compositions were recorded. Dawn of Midi’s sets are as energetic and rhythmic as a seamlessly mixed DJ-set, mesmerising fans in the same way the group’s favourite experimental and electronic acts have for decades.