Dawn of Midi's Qasim Naqvi Goes Deep with 'Chronology'

Monday, November 07, 2016

'Qasim Naqvi: Chronology' 'Qasim Naqvi: Chronology' (New Amsterdam Records)

The minimalist construction of Chronology, the new electronic music album from Qasim Naqvi, carries bated breath like being at the bottom of the ocean – especially since the album’s opening track, “Kindly Static,” sounds like the long, deep cries of whales. For a while around you there is nothing but darkness, maybe drifting krill. Something scuttles past on the floor. A large creature slinks past you, safe in the moment but carrying a threat. By the time you reach “Head Within a Head,” a bizarre, electrified creature is about.

The album feels familiar in its uniqueness. It is hugely reminiscent of exploring a modern art exhibit, both in the cautiously curious sense of the music as well as in the literal sound of it. Chronology doesn’t quite feel full on its own. The jittery tones incite roving eyes, and the album begs for a visual component. It pushes the mind to invent, to see that deep ocean scene.

In fact the album was created in tandem with visuals. Pippo Lionni, a painter, worked while Naqvi responded to the creation of that art with what we now have on Chronology. Naqvi has worked extensively in the visual realm as his musical work often accompanies film and television productions. The attention to sight is apparent in the album.

Much like Naqvi’s previous album, Preamble, Chronology evokes exploration in fits of caution and excitement. Naqvi is most well known as the drummer of Dawn of Midi, but Chronology was created with a Moog Model D analog synthesizer. White noise permeates the tracks, which crackle, moan and gurgle. The sound is unsettling, but ultimately safe. The tracks creek to life in energetic jerks, but each one comes down to rest by the close, back among the krill, in the dark of potential strangeness.

Qasim Naqvi: Chronology
New Amsterdam Records | Released Nov. 4

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