Minimum. This is a concept that seems to elude artists and the content they present whether it be in cinema, television, or in the auditory kingdom of music.
strips away everything you come to expect from any genre of music and serves you with a palette of simplicity. Deep, complex, multi-layered simplicity.
The acoustic ensemble is composed of an upright double bass, drums, and a grand piano; each of which is played in a very specific, calculated manner. There are no dazzling solos, no melodious interludes. The music presented here is based around cleverly arranged repetition that bears a striking resemblance to the ambient/electronic genre, though it is important to recall, there is nothing electric at work here. It all can almost come across as something robotic.
Don't be fooled into thinking that this fundamentally basic approach makes the music boring. It's anything but. Dawn of Midi has managed to create a simplistic series of sounds that elucidate every note and give depth to what you would assume could only come out sounding shallow. It's minimal, yet complex. Intense, without ever being loud. Wandering, yet neatly organized. Using only three instruments and no vocals, listeners are presented with an auditory landscape that they themselves are left to infer meaning from. Because there is no specific musical objective, the band is unshackled from any pretense or expectations as to what must be achieved. The only clues we are given to the meaning behind the music come from the album title and it's, for the most part, seemingly nonsensical track names. The psychological condition known as dysnomia is characterized by significant difficulty in recalling names or certain words, which may explain the incomplete song titles. This, of course, is all guess work. Not unlike the continual guessing the listener will undoubtedly indulge in when trying to suss out where the music is going.
And where the music goes is captivating. In playing such a sparse amount of notes, both the bass lines and muted keys create a series of wandering passages with a compelling focus on rhythm. This rhythm is central to the essence of Dysnomia
. When these two instruments are married with Qasim Naqvi's tight and restrained drumming patterns, a groove is found that can often only be described as tribal. Yet, it can be argued the music is at its most compelling when the melody is thrown out of alignment. Notes will wander off from the main beat, bass will be left to it's own peculiar dance, and all the while, the drumming patterns serve as a base to keep the music from veering off too far. This ebb and flow of alignment, disconnect, and realignment persists throughout until the title track brings everything to as close to a climactic finish as one can expect; complete with a powerful introductory rhythm and gradual fade out.
Despite all of these seemingly mechanical, complicated, contradictory aspects; we are still left with an essentially simple piece. At it's core, it's three individuals performing three unplugged instruments. But within that core is something dense. Something remarkable. Something human. And in a musical landscape seemingly overcrowded with sounds that couldn't be created without the help of technology, isn't that something worth hearing?