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QASIM NAQVI

Qasim Naqvi

Chronology (RSD21 EDITION)

    THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2021 EXCLUSIVE AND WILL BE AVAILABLE INSTORE ON SATURDAY JULY 17TH ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

    IF THERE ARE ANY REMAINING COPIES THEY WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE ONLINE AT 6PM ON THE SAME DAY (SATURDAY JULY 17TH).


    July 17 will see the much-treasured analog synthesizer suite Chronology by Pakistani-American composer and drummer of the cult trio Dawn of Midi, Qasim Naqvi, finally receiving a worldwide vinyl release on Record Store Day 2021. Originally conceived only digitally in 2016, Chronology was Qasimís first release of electronic music. Having been in the world of improvised and classical music up to this point, it seemed only fitting for Naqviís inaugural electronic music album to be made exclusively on a malfunctioning synthesizer ó an old Moog Model D. Leaving the abundant options of a computer behind. Transparent vinyl

    QASIM NAQVI

    Beta (Love Record Stores Edition)

      Love Record Stores Edition available from 9am on Saturday June 20th.
      Limited to one per person.

      Pakistani-American avant-composer and drummer of the cult experimental acoustic trio Dawn of Midi, Qasim Naqvi releases his new record titled Beta on a limited edition clear vinyl for the first Love Record Stores Day on June 20.

      Meant as a sister release to last year’s acclaimed six-part modular synth suite Teenages, Beta is a series of experiments chronicling Naqvi’s understanding of writing for this type of instrument and the growth of the instrument itself.

      “Beta is a prequel to the story of Teenages. At the time I had the most basic elements of a modular synthesizer- one oscillator and a random voltage generator which is a module that releases sporadic currents through the system. Ironically, this component provided a lot of warmth and humanness to the music, a kind of fallibility. I fed simple melodic ideas and rhythmic patterns into this bare bones setup and observed the responses, while occasionally guiding the music in other directions. It was like a diagnostic test. At the time I felt that this music was underdeveloped but listening back, I think the Beta tracks add an interesting dimension to the entire Teenages arc.They’re the zygotes.” — Qasim Naqvi

      The B side of Beta is a live performance of the track 'Teenages', which was recorded at the first Erased Tapes x LCO: Purcell Session at the Southbank Centre, in London last February. “I had performed this work just a couple of times and this particular one was special. There were microphones up everywhere and you could hear the room bleeding into the sound of the synthesiser” says Qasim of the performance.

      If Teenages captured the sound of electronics living, breathing and mutating of their own accord, Beta rather describes the moment they came to life.

      Love Record Stores Day is an initiative from the #loverecordstores campaign, launched during lockdown to encourage music fans to shop online with their favourite record stores. Qasim Naqvi joins a wide range of artists and labels who have pledged to release exclusive, limited edition records including Caribou, Belle and Sebastian, Beach House, Robyn, New Order and many more.

      Qasim Naqvi

      Teenages

        Pakistani-American composer Qasim Naqvi will release his debut album for Erased Tapes on May 3rd. 'Teenages’ captures the sound of electronics living, breathing and mutating of their own accord – almost autonomously – with only subtle, sparing but perfectly-judged and masterful guidance.

        This album is one singular synergy between Qasim and his machine within a broader milieu of sound, also explored by contemporaries Sarah Davachi, Alessandro Cortini, Caterina Barbieri and also the forefather, Morton Subotnick. At points tonal, textural and rhythmic, over six evolving and growing audio organisms, the album flourishes upwards in stages, from initial micro-sonics to something bigger, brighter and anthemic.

        This is Naqvi’s first non-soundtrack release, having previously established himself as a renowned composer for dance, theatre, film and installation-based art, not to mention his role as drummer in lauded trio Dawn of Midi. According to Naqvi, “my past releases like ‘Chronology’, ‘Preamble’, ‘Fjoloy’ and ‘Film’ were made to accompany visual mediums. The music was always written to enhance another form. ‘Teenages’ is the first album with its own motivating force. It’s a live multi movement work that I recorded for myself.”

        With ‘Teenages’, Naqvi summoned all the material on an analog modular synthesizer – a voltage-controlled sound generating system comprised of multiple modules. Naqvi built this synth over the course of two years and amassed a collection of works for this album.

        “I’ve always been drawn to the power of un-amplified acoustic music. And for me modular synthesizers are a natural progression forward from the acoustic realm into the electric. It feels like an orchestra comprised of very unusual instruments, and their orchestration and vibrational properties lie in the patching and flow of voltages through a system.

        They’re also unstable and they rarely play the same thing twice in any exact way. It’s almost organic and human. It was really important for this album to capture that kind of uninterrupted behavior.”

        Capturing a live feeling without the aid of heavy studio production was an important component to this release: “Even though this is ‘electronic music,’ I didn’t want to rely heavily on a computer with an array of plugins, loops and samples, or exhaustive editing as part of the writing process. I wanted to treat this work like a live piece of music and have the natural behavior of the machine shine through and sound huge, like an orchestra of electrical signals.”

        Gently stuttering like a time lapse-video of a seed sprouting up from the earth, ‘Intermission’ sets the scene, before musical motifs begin to emerge on the dancing, bubbling bassline of ‘Mrs 2E’, which possesses a playful, infantile quality, like a newborn animal learning to walk after birth.

        More bouncy, skewed bottom-line squelch appears on the jittery, buzzing ‘Palace Workers’, which seems to evoke life in the form of amplified insect or bat noises, with a melody that eventually unfolds into something akin to a fractal rendition of ‘Oxygene’. By ‘No Tongue’ more traditionally identifiable musical signifiers begin to emerge, with a bright and melodic synth line evoking the new blooms of spring, whereas ‘Artilect’ takes a more ominous drone tone, insinuating the dark, potential threat of artificially augmented biological intelligence.

        Like a coming-of-age, the album culminates on title track ‘Teenages’ – a dynamic, technicolour symphony that was recorded in one take, with no overdubs or edits. In the year leading up to ‘Teenages’, Naqvi created a series of shorter works. These stepping-stones eventually became the first 5 tracks of the album and were part of a larger process, leading to the realization of the title track. “I wanted to show the stages of development that lead to the main act. All of these tracks share the same D.N.A., even though they seem distantly related.” Explains Naqvi.

        The pieces heard prior to ‘Teenages’ chronicle both Naqvi’s understanding of writing for this type of instrument and the growth of the instrument itself: “I started with just a few modules. And naturally things had to be layered and pieced together but as the synthesizer and its components grew over time, I was able to create broader and more complex strokes in the moment. And by the time I got to ‘Teenages’, it was possible to create a robust, large-scale piece spontaneously. This is very much an experiential album for me because it was borne out of my direct experience of learning the instrument. And as the synthesizer grew over time with more components, it matured. At times I felt like it was even rebelling against my instructions or surprising me with what felt like its own choices.

        When everything was finished and I was thinking about track titles, this idea of artificial intelligence came into my head; a machine that reacts to your impulses and is capable of giving you something different from what you ask, and even defying you. It felt like different stages of growth and adolescence, and that lead to the album title, ‘Teenages’.”

        Deeply rewarding on close listening, Naqvi has created an inspiring and synapsestimulating new masterwork, within the analogue/modular cannon.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Intermission
        2. Mrs 2E
        3. Palace Workers
        4. No Tongue
        5. Artilect
        6. Teenages


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