Record Label: Erased Tapes
Limited Edition, clear double LP version that includes download code.
Channeled madness -- the sound Dawn of Midi spent years shaping culminates in their most mesmerizing work yet. With Dysnomia, the Brooklyn-based group abandons improvisation in favor of composition, utilizing sophisticated rhythmic structures from North- and West-African folk traditions to weave a sonic tapestry of trance-inducing grooves. "We didn't want to create anything cerebral," says pianist Amino Belyamani, "we wanted something visceral, something that would awaken our instinctive dance impulses." The manner by which a trio of solely acoustic instruments ends up sounding like electronic music has to do with the unconventional ways the group play their instruments on Dysnomia. The record comes to life in the trio's critically acclaimed live shows, a test of endurance and trust that involves performing their hand-looped acoustic minimalism note for note, just as the compositions were recorded. Dawn of Midi's sets are as energetic and rhythmic as a seamlessly mixed DJ set, mesmerizing fans in the same way the group's favorite experimental and electronic acts have for decades.
The album was recorded to two-inch tape at Waterfront Studios in Hudson, New York, a former church that was purchased and transformed into an analog recording playground by the great engineer Henry Hirsch. Rusty Santos then mixed the album to make sure it would hit as hard as the group's favorite electronic albums do in spite of being entirely acoustic. "We wanted to make a record that sounded both musically futuristic and sonically vintage," explains bassist Aakaash Israni, "and since the album never saw a proper international release, it is very exciting to see what might happen when more people are exposed to it. And to be aligned with Erased Tapes, whose enthusiasm for the music they release has done a lot for exposing unique instrumental and electronic music, makes it that much more interesting." Swiss artist Fabian Oefner created the cover image by placing paint on a spinning drill bit and firing it at a canvas, then capturing it with high-speed photography.
Formed in 2007, the band happened upon their name after drummer Qasim Naqvi casually uttered the phrase in reference to the improvised music the trio was making at the time; they had no idea that years later they would make an album like Dysnomia that would make their name appear fateful.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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