Vision Fortune and Dawn of Midi at Electrowerkz
Electrowerkz, Islington’s former metalworks, is an interesting venue. Originally it was stables, later becoming a metalworks, before being re-purposed as the event space it is today, complete with crumbling brickwork, exposed wiring and grimly lit low tunnels. The atmosphere is grimy and dark, a memorial to industrial decline and decay. In short, the perfect venue to take popular notions that music should be catchy or relatable, and smash them into a million tiny pieces.
The evening was a double-header, featuring experimental London two-piece Vision Fortune, and Brooklyn jazz freaks Dawn of Midi. Vision Fortune played first, unleashing a savage assault on the senses – blinding strobe lights, heart-stopping drums and stomach-churning bass, all combined to create an intense and frenetic event. It was music as a pure art form, stripped of the need for melody or harmony and reduced to sound, shape and noise. On the smoke-filled stage, the two musicians barely moved as they murdered synthesisers and shouted garbled insanities into the microphone. An audience member remarked: “This is the sort of music they play to the detainees in Guantanamo Bay.” When they finished, it was like the atmosphere after it stops raining, or like a humming fridge being turned off at night – suddenly all was sweetness and light, and crystal clear.
Next up, Dawn of Midi. They came on and bassist Aakaash Israni began playing a two-note bass riff. 45 minutes later, he was still basically playing the same riff, having looped through a thousand subtle rhythmic variations while the drummer did the same. The crowd began to wonder if it was ever actually going to finish. Even the soundman was struggling, having to grab a bite to eat midway through the ninth hour.
It’s easy to mock the pretensions of the jazz crowd. In truth, there was clearly a lot of thought and musicality in the proceedings. Dawn of Midi were playing their recent album Dysnomia, which is an entirely different prospect on record – it’s much softer, gentler and altogether easier to enjoy than last night’s live performance. This music might be great for some ambient soundtracking, but seeing it performed live is something else entirely – and you’ll have to make up your own mind on that one.
For further information about Dawn of Midi and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Dysnomia here: