Dawn of Midi reel in admirers and fresh-faced fans from all over the globe, and when you listen to Dysnomia, it becomes crystal clear as to why that’s the case. That trend is set to continue. It isn’t said very often, but they’re a genuine group – an ensemble, no less – with an authentic and highly original sound; every new rhythm and every new kick carves up the rulebook.
It all started in 2006. The trio’s late night tennis matches would serve up some sessions that leaned specifically towards the art of improvisation. They also took place in the dark, thus depriving the young musicians of all senses bar one: hearing. This focused approach leads to a more focused sound. Aakaash Israni (double bass), Amino Belyamani (piano) and drummer Qasim Naqvi make up the trio of Dawn of Midi. Together, their music can and does sound like electronic music, but the instruments are purely acoustic. Due to their purely acoustic nature, the notes have more of a soft, circled tone and a kinder, lighter weight that helps the music to naturally resound. Dysnomia is a playful record that stays true to its concentrated sound. Its strict rhythms are still fun, and they still dance in complicated patterns.
Abandoning their earlier improvisation in favour of a compositional theme, the Brooklyn-based ensemble use deeply complex rhythms rooted in North and West African tradition. This is pure music, the kind that’s all about the rhythm and the intricacy of its interplay. ‘Io’ kicks things off. Syncopated stabs spiral down into the void and new rhythms start to take hold, shooting up and out of the track’s spine. It’s a rhythmic masterclass. Percussive melodies fly and flee, blazing along. The track seamlessly moves into the next one, and as a result the music never loses its vibe. It just continues. Rhythms inexplicably change course, the emphasis on the beat dragging the listener one way and then the other. It will leave you in a spin.
Amazingly, the pounding rhythm of ‘Nix’ isn’t a million miles away from a deep house tune, but later on the rhythms contort and the piano offers up its own rhythm upon the strange, symmetrical altar of the music. Like the spritely, rapid growth of a young branch, the beats are wrapped in many slithering tentacles that ooze melodic sap and seemingly have no end. When everything comes together, the music blazes fiercely. The scraping beats are so low to the ground that they create a burning friction as they pass by. Their own momentum carries them on, and the tempo remains speedy. The white-hot ensemble can do no wrong; they’re on their way to legendary status.