DAWN OF MIDI – First

Accretions

This is the debut album by Dawn Of Midi which, despite the name, is an entirely acoustic transcontinental group consisting of Amino Belyamani (Morocco, piano), Aakaash Israni (India, contrabass) and Qasim Naqvi (Pakistan, percussion). Dissipating any doubt about the possible incidence of electronics – there isn’t any – and mostly avoiding the typicality related to a supposed synthesis of local influences (apparently absent, yet still detectable in certain scales and moods) the musicians set themselves in a specific field, namely that of the freely expressing trio slightly influenced by jazz-tinged reminiscences.

Belyamani is a sincerely restrained improviser, presumably familiar with Bill Evans but also Claude Debussy (the press release got it right this time), his gestures on the piano keyboard eliciting an aura of redemptive reverberation or instigating mild minimalist obsessions when the moment comes (the conclusive “In Between”, for instance). Israni’s work is elegantly discreet, characterizing the music with a substantial economy of movement concealing a remarkably immediate understanding of the ongoing contrapuntal processes. Naqvi looks like the most open-handed among the three, a rhythmic multiplicity at the basis of the only moments in which the interplay sounds constellated with welcome accidents.

In general, there’s a sense of unplanned dilation of the spaces around the notes, whose relative scarcity does not subtend to easy contemporary posturing, being instead perceived as a necessity for the pieces to evolve and self-define. Even when the reciprocal instrumental responses cause the mix to become a little more populated, intelligibility ultimately prevails in this crystal-clear album.

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