Dawn of Midi – Dysnomia

written by: August 6, 2013
Album-art-for-Dysnomia-by-Dawn-of-Midi Release Date: August 6, 2013


Dysnomia is a memory disorder in which one cannot identify things or people by their titles and names. A sufferer knows what an object is and its function, but simply cannot identify said object by name. Dysnomia is the Greek daemon of lawlessness, prevalent in both philosophical and mythological ideologies. Dysnomia is the only known moon of the dwarf planet Eris.

Dysnomia is also the second studio album from Dawn of Midi, an aural journey through electronic minimal groove. It’s a proper album title for such an ambient work, which swerves though electronic swells, experimental groove, and improvisational jazz.

In just under 50 minutes, Dawn of Midi impresses its live workings in a continuous rhythmic voyage. No words, no breaks, and no extravagance here.

Based out of Brooklyn, Dawn of Midi—comprised of bassist Aakaash Israni, pianist Amino Belyamani, and percussionist Qasim Naqvi—recruited Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear collaborator Rusty Santos to mix the work.

Nine tracks, all named after scorned, cursed, villainous characters across various mythos, blend seamlessly together without pause, culminating in a more cohesive work than everything short of a well curated DJ set. While the group’s debut album, First, exists in a more analog world, Dysnomia feels like it belongs in the cosmos with the tracks’ namesakes.

It’s not really kosher to speak of individual tracks and whether one stands out more than another, or to point out weaknesses and strengths of particular sections of the album.

Dawn of Midi has crafted Dysnomia in a way that dictates it be consumed, and thus judged, as a whole. Don’t think of the album as nine tracks, but as one set, seamlessly curated and only divided on the basis of conventional album frameworks.

The group went through a painstaking process to perfect the transcription of its live interpretive work onto record, and its talent for improvisation shines through as a dogma of sorts, to guide the group through the album. Even if improvisation is elemental, the group performs in a tight and structured manner, producing coherent melody and rhythm in theme.

On another level, there is validity to connecting the concepts of dysnomia to the group, as Dawn of Midi escapes many identifiers in modern music. This is not pop or rock or jazz or anything, really, other than music at quadrant zero. What seems like circumlocutions of rhythm only seems so because of the nature of this particular beast.

Instrumental hip-hop and jazz have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years, as groups like TNGHT and BadBadNotGood pave the uneven path to allow common music listeners to approach the seemingly simple, yet complex musings of groups like Dawn of Midi.

The departure from Dawn of Midi’s more traditional jazz sound cultivated early on in exchange for one that is more processed actually comes off as organic, leading to an original and impressive foray through the grooves of sound. Dysnomia thus emerges as a stunning musical project that plays by its own rules, refreshing the palette of this year’s musical landscape.

Dawn of Midi – Dysnomia tracklist:

  1. “Io”
  2. “Sinope”
  3. “Atlas”
  4. “Nix”
  5. “Moon”
  6. “Ymir”
  7. “Ijiraq”
  8. “Algol”
  9. “Dysnomia”