Yair Etziony: Albion
Yair Etziony completes his Mist in Corners trilogy with Albion, a fifty-minute collection that distances itself from the dark ambient stylings of its predecessors Baltia and Delphi. By comparison, the new release has a more melodic focus and ranges liberally between genres, among them synthesizer music and krautrock. Rooting itself in Etziony's memories of the ‘80s and ‘90s, Albion was recorded using old-school analog gear, including the Roland SH-101, Roland Juno 6, and Korg MS 20, and was recorded to an old Studer multi-track tape machine.
The music's often heavy in tone, as exemplified by the lumbering “Atlantis,” which slathers a muscular post-rock drum groove with liberal doses of synthetic fire. Krautrock's another reference point for the album, as suggested by the track's motorik pulse, plus there's an industrial vibe that lends the material a quality shared by an act like Third Eye Foundation. Its opening chords reminiscent of Philip Glass's soundtrack to Errol Morris's The Thin Blue Line, “Avalon” paints an entirely different portrait from “Atlantis,” in this case one that's lush, serene, and beatific; more kosmische-styled than krautrock, the synthesizer sequencer patterns in “Avalon” twinkle and sparkle with transporting intent.
Numerous styles are explored on the release: “Imperium Romanum,” in keeping with its dramatic title, ushers in a mood of ominous portent, while the swooning “Hibernia” adds an Eastern quality to the album in working hand drums into an arrangement otherwise centered on synthesizers and drums. “Caledonia” derives its momentum from an insistent pulse that when smeared with layers of atmospheric washes takes on a krautrock character, and much the same might be said of “Never Again” in the way it powers its animated synth weave with a punchy post-rock groove. Albion's funkiest moment arrives with “Nightwatcher,” a raw, trip-hop-styled low-rider.
Listened to one after the other, Etziony's Mist in Corners trilogy amounts to a pretty impressive collection of music, and Albion concludes the project on a satisfying note. With so much ground having been covered on the trilogy, it'll be interesting to see what direction Etziony pursues on his next project.