DAWN OF MIDI: First (Accretions Records)


Posted on Apr 25th 2010 11:44 pm

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Dawn Of Midi: First

Accretions Records 2010
10 Tracks. 52mins20secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD iTunes: DLD

Unlike what their chosen name could lead to think, experimental jazz formation Dawn Of Midi operate an entirely acoustic policy. Formed of Pakistani percussionist Qasim Naqvi, Indian contrabassist Aakaash Israni and Moroccan pianist Amino Belyamani, the trio, based between Paris and New York, create with their debut album, released on Accretions, a particularly vibrant and contrasted piece of work, during which they constantly move from shaded to open terrains and back.

Totally improvised and left untouched, with no overdubs to cloud the result, First seems to explode in a variety of directions at first, giving it a kaleidoscopic feel, but repeat listens reveal a tighter focus, away from gimmicks and stylistic effects. While the trio reference classic jazz forms all the way through, they do it with a vision that gives them much freedom and allows them to explore the full range of their collaborative work.

Israni’s warm and precise bass playing and Naqvi’s often restrained and delicate drumming provide a refined rhythmic backdrop for Belyamani to populate with intricate piano motifs, with occasional addition of prepared piano textures, and while his contribution is often placed slightly to the front of the mix, he never actually takes on the position of leader. Instead, the clear repartition of tasks and the chemistry between the three musicians never calls for any of them to conduct the performance, leaving them with no other concern than the music itself. This serves the record extremely well, each musician contributing to the overall fluidity of the improvisations while never seeking to outshine the others. Their music, while at times angular and arduous, remains surprisingly melodic and fresh, and unusually accessible for a work of this calibre.

This is particularly the case on the crisp Civilization Of Mud And Ember, with its wonderfully bright and lively cascading piano lines, which occasionally hint at classical music, or on the more subdued Tales Of Two Worlds or No Abhor. The trio are equally at ease when they hit more fragmented or restricted melodies, as they do on The Floor, Hindu Pedagogy or Annex for instance. Here, they develop a different approach, where sounds become more critical and central. Everything, from Belyamani’s plucked piano strings or solitary notes, left in the mix as if in suspension, to Israni’s syncopated phrases or Naqvi’s powerful yet delicate rhythmic touches, contribute to the overall balance of the record. This synergy between all three musicians is perhaps highlighted best on the eleven-minute closing piece In Between, where the varying intensity of a somewhat minimal piano sequence is echoed by the drums throughout, while the bass circles around it with discreet touches.

A key to improvised music is the ability to listen to each other and act accordingly, and it is definitely something Qasim Naqvi, Aakaash Israni and Amino Belyamani have mastered. Channelling the strength of three very gifted musicians into a series of hypnotic pieces, First is a terrifically successful and enchanting debut release from Dawn Of Midi, and one that shows improvised music at its most fascinating.


Dawn Of Midi | Accretions
Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD iTunes: DLD

Filed in Albums | Tags: ,
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2 Responses to “DAWN OF MIDI: First (Accretions Records)”

  1. […] Naqvi, also a member with another fine jazz ensemble, Dawn Of Midi, who released their debut album, First, earlier in the year, Axis Trio first appeared two years ago with The Hand, an album released on […]

  2. THE 2010 REVIEW | themilkfactoryon 19 Dec 2010 at 8:50 pm

    […] OF MIDI First […]