Dysomnia by Dawn of Midi

Ambient music played acoustically

Dawn of Midi

This album was recommended to me by none other than the awesome composer of Journey and Monaco, Austin Wintory. I learned about this album after asking him for music recommendation. He ended up pointing me to Dysnomia.

Upon my first listening, I can say I never had heard something like this in my life. I consider this album as a unicorn as I can not fit it into any category nor any genre. The closest genre I could come with would be “acoustic ambient music”. But then, this would not represent how special and innovative this album is. It, also, cannot represent how much this album moved me.

This masterpiece was composed and performed with only three acoustic instruments: a grand piano, an upright bass and a drum. The end result does not sound like those at all. Dawn of Midi artist modified their instruments so they would sound more electronic. With this relatively limited set of instruments, they wrote an EDM chef d’oeuvre where repetition and epic sound texturing are on the menu. Rather than sounding boring, this LP is really consistant with itself and absolutely stunning. The icing on the cake is that recording and mastering are literally perfect to my ears.

This album is a perfect example on how mystifying polyrythmic music can be. It is a kind of rhythmic that is used a lot in African music. I do not need to point out that I am not used to listen to this at all. The thing that struck me the most is how the rhythms feel so uneven and random but they also have this feeling of being stable and heavy as a rock. It is quite a feat to be able to play those tracks with this degree of precision. It gives me the impression that the music is alive and will change upon every hearing. The album was separated in multiples tracks but, in reality, it is meant to be consumed in one sitting. I am completely incapable of putting this album down after hearing the first notes. It is mesmerizing and addictive.

The album plays a lot on emotions and imaging via sound texturing. I will not go into a detailed track by track review but I would like to mention my favorite track of the album: “Moon”. This track give me goosebumps every time. It is slower paced and the theme is heavy and ominous. The rhythmics have the effect of emphasizing the feeling. It really is worth a listen if you don’t give the whole album a chance.

I’ll be completely honest saying that I have no idea why this album connected with me so much but, since discovering it earlier this week, I can’t put it down. This album is my perfect companion to concentrate on some hard problems. It has touched me a lot and I’m sure I will listen to it for a long long time. This is a masterpiece like no other!