Pakistani-American avant-composer and Dawn of Midi drummer Qasim Naqvi has announced Beta, a new record to be released as a limited edition clear vinyl for Record Store Day 2020 on April 18.

Beta serves as a sister release to last year’s six-part modular synth suite Teenages, and comes as 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,” Naqvi tells XLR8R. “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.”

The record’s B side is a live performance of the track “Teenages,” which was recorded live in London in February 2019. “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 synthesizer,” says Qasim of the performance.

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


01. Roll Program
02. Matic
03. Ctaphone
04. Onna at Pulse
05. Teenages Live

Beta EP is out on April 18 as a limited edition clear vinyl. Meanwhile, you can stream “Matic” in full below.