Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) - Main Room
WHO: Brooklyn-based acoustic trio of double bassist Aakaash Israni, pianist Amino Belyamani, drummer Qasim Naqvi
STYLE: Post rock, post jazz rhythms with electronic music textures, mesmerizing compositional madness
LATEST: Dysnomia (2015)
LABELS: Erased Tapes
MORE: Improvised together in pitch dark practice spaces for years to better focus on listening to the music
Dawn of Midi’s percussive piano and compositional progressions have more in common with minimal electronica, experimental techno, and post rock’s locked grooves than with a jazz trio. The group’s acoustic dexterity and creative vision results in a futuristic sound couched in vintage sonics.
After meeting on the late night tennis courts of the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles in 2006, Aakaash Israni, Amino Belyamani and Qasim Naqvi transferred their athletic rapport into their own visceral form of rhythm-led music. After years of favouring improvisation, the group began to focus on composing songs based on the intricate rhythmic structures they’d come to know so well – weaving electronic musical textures (whether Aphex Twin or 80s video games), vintage rock and pop, North and West African folk traditions, and elements from their respective Indian, Moroccan and Pakistan backgrounds, from polyrhythms to Hindi film soundtracks. Dawn of Midi’s piano sounds expanded to include muted delay tones, bass dealt in harmonics, drums took over higher frequencies. Those varied new compositions became Dysnomia, recorded in analog in a former church in Hudson, New York, mixed by Animal Collective producer Rusty Santos, and internationally released on London label Erased Tapes (also home to Nils Frahm, Kiasmos and Rival Consoles.)
Live, Dawn of Midi perform a dazzling high energy endurance test of seamless tracks. They’ve opened for MUTEK fan favourite Nils Frahm at Montréal’s Métropolis, and for their MUTEK premier they join a buoyant Sunday night bill that skirts the edges of classical, jazz and beyond.