Yair Etziony: Flawed

One-time Faction member Yair Etziony re-emerges with Flawed, a nine-track collection that the Israeli producer originally conceived of as two separate albums, one a beat-based, late-night jazz set and the second a textured piano-oriented collection. Over time, however, the experience of presenting his work in both gallery and live performance settings persuaded him to fuse the two into one with Flawed the result. The title originates from the fact that, in one way or another, all nine pieces deal with mistakes and errors whose potential for beauty Etziony maximizes (a detail borne out by song titles such as “Dirt” and “Broken”). By focusing on the amplification of tiny details, glitch-derived sounds, and textural loops, he aligns himself to Raster-Noton but the deep digi-dub dimension of many tracks suggests kinship to ~scape (“Sinking” could nestle snugly on Pole's “yellow” album, though Etziony's track is even slower in tempo than that set's pieces).

The album unfolds like a succession of tableaux, with each one taking the stage briefly before ceding its place to the next. There are beats but the music is tangentially dance-oriented (if that), and, though certain elements of the music are dub-like in character (e.g., bass lines, echo effects), Etziony's tracks are less about propulsion and more reflection induced by stasis. In the opening “Corrosion” and “Broken,” he creates semi-static settings of hypnotically lulling design by sprinkling piano notes over lurching beats and loops of gaseous character. The title piece mingles shimmering waves of metallic chords with a prototypical dub bass line and skeletal beats. Greg Haines brings a different dimension to the project by adding electric guitar shadings to the glitches and train-like noises that rattle through “Sunburned.” The closing “Sivan” begins with a pure field recording (ambient noise, voices) but eventually morphs into an entrancing field of textural flourishes. Etziony's carefully executed transformation of broken elements into compositional design produces an inviting and subtly melodic meditative space.

March 2008