1000 Albums Project

ALBUM 231

Dysnomia, by Dawn of Midi
Suggested by Stuart Emerson

HP Sauce is a brown sauce, once produced by HP Foods but now under the remit of Heinz. It’s base tomato, blended with vinegars, sugars, dates, flours, spices and tamarind. It was invented in 1899, becoming a touchstone of British culture for over one hundred years.

Named after the Houses of Parliament, it’s the best-selling brown sauce in the UK, with a 74% share at its peak. It’s used as a condiment with hot and cold savoury foods, as well as an ingredient for soups and stews.

Adolf Hitler wed his lover Eva Braun on 29th April 1945. At this point, they were living in the infamous Fuhrerbunker in Berlin. The war was ostensibly over at this point, with Soviet forces less than five hundred metres from their door, and the German forces defending the rest of Berlin predicted to run out of ammunition within twenty-four hours.

At 15:30 on 30th April, witnesses reported hearing a loud gunshot from within Hitler’s private study. Upon inspection, staff members discovered the lifeless bodies of Braun and Hitler, both having apparently ingested cyanide capsules before Hitler shot himself in the right temple. The bodies were carried to the bunker’s garden where, in accordance with Hitler’s written instructions, they were burned with petrol.

Pelicans are a genus of water bird, characterised by their impressively long bills sporting a downturned hook at the end of the upper mandible. The bottom half of the bill is home to a huge gular pouch, formed into a workable basket by the strength of the rami and the flexibility of the tongue muscles.

This basket-pouch is utilised by the water bird in a variety of ways. Its primary function is the storing of fish and other prey when hunting, but it’s also a fine home for rainwater and other necessities. Inside the pouch, the pelican’s tongue is tiny in comparative scale, as not to hinder the swallowing of larger fish come feeding time.

HP Sauce. The death of Adolf Hitler. A pelican’s bill. What do these three things have in common?

Simple.

None of them are music either.

Dysnomia, by Dawn of Midi, might just be the worst thing I’ve ever heard. Forty-six minutes of mis-matched percussive sounds, blunderingly repetitive and acutely irritating, loosely separated into nine tracks titled after mythological figures, moons, and other nonsense. Each single strand of sound on each of the nine tracks is acting in seeming independence of the others, as if recorded in isolation, or by accident, or through sheer bloody-minded spite.

These layered spangs and flomps merrily march to their own beats, fading in and out, morphing from spangs to jeeks and from flomps to zobbs, and yes, I realise these made-up words are devoid of artistry and meaning but I’m sure you’re picking up on the subtext. It’s a relentless meandering drone that ebbs from one forgettable moment to the next, never settling on anything that lets you relax into it but never presenting anything of actual interest.

Standout track? Ijiraq. Why? No clue. It’s the least acidic mouthful on the menu.

Dysnomia is defined as a mild, fluent type of aphasia presenting as a deficit of expressive language. I relate. When I plumb the depths of my distaste for this 1/10 garbage, words completely fail me.

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