Qasim Naqvi – “No Tongue”

Pakistani-American artist Qasim Naqvi is known for playing heady, percussive jams with the Brooklyn-based jazz and electronic-slanted trio Dawn Of Midi. It’s been a while since the group’s last record, 2013’s Dysnomia, but thankfully, Naqvi is about to unleash his own compositions onto the world. Today, we’re premiering the first look at Naqvi’s debut solo record, Teenages.

“No Tongue” serves as our introduction to Naqvi’s synth-teeming soundscapes. We are at first immersed deep amongst dark synthesizers and plucking, dissonant notes. It feels like being suspended, floating in space with help just out of reach. After a deliciously tense pause, we are rushed without warning down a stream of playful, unpredictable synth plops, in the vein of a more sinister Four Tet. Naqvi shows promise as a composer of marvelous opacity.

Via email, Naqvi explains that the album is the result of learning to use an analog modular synthesizer he built over the course of two years:

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 [closing track] “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.

Experience “No Tongue” below.

01 “Intermission”
02 “Mrs 2E”
03 “Palace Workers”
04 “No Tongue”
05 “Artilect”
06 “Teenages”

Teenages is out 5/3 via Erased Tapes. Pre-order it here.

CREDIT: Smriti Keshari