How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
The script gets flipped in Dysnomia, where calculated syncopations are not generated from laptops or patched-in devices but produced by the post-minimalist acoustic trio Dawn of Midi, paying homage to electronica with 46 minutes of methodically composed music. But then again what is music? As defined by Merriam-Webster: it is a science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuitywhich is precisely what DOM delivers with this release.
The Brooklyn-based trio members' diverse origins of Pakistan (drummer Qasim Naqvi), India (bassist Aakaash Israni), and Morocco (pianist Amino Belyamani) give clues into its polyrhythmic ideas. While there are hints of each member's respective homeland, this experimental music transcends geography as the trio has captivated audiences with its unique live performances, documented in its self-produced 2011 release, Live. Picturing a DJ-programmed jazz trio, pumping out a flow of exotic beats and sounds for a packed audience might provide a glimpse into the flavor of this release.
The music is best experienced in its entirety and demonstrates a connected rhythmic thread that grows and morphs like an organism. There's no improvisation, solos, or melodic themes but rather a continuous stream of repeating and changing patterns as the musicians work their instruments amidst a sea of pulsations, string mutes, and single note reverberations that sustain and release spellbinding grooves.
At times, the sound of each instrument becomes indistinguishable as Israni's bass fingering move in tandem with Belyamani's piano string manipulations or when his piano keys pound out the same cadence with Naqvi's pulsating drum beats. Though calculated and methodical, the program's momentum is in constant in flux, changing as the trio works through its artistic verve. While the recording can only mimic the live experience, DOM's playing in Dysnomia is felt and not just heard, and while the sounds are logical and intriguing, they can also provoke some head-bopping, finger-snapping and a desire to dance.