Review: Yair Etziony – Deliverance

Central to this album is the idea that deliverance can find you anywhere, at any time. In unglamorous locations. Amidst the flow of other events and thoughts. It’s like a chemical output, produced when all of the elements of life fall serendipitously into a very particular constellation. On Etziony’s latest record, this idea manifests as the experience of waiting. The composer places these huge blocks of synthesiser in the air – some like dirty storm clouds, others like tiny hailstones suspended on strings – and then shifts them into different choreographies, hauling rectangular bass drones beneath the cluster of chimes, dragging an electronic drone across the centre like a carving knife, building a scrunched ball of static in the centre. There’s something bleak and monochromatic to this process. Joyless, even. Yet Etziony persists in the faith that one of these arrangements will unlock his liberation, illuminating the drear like a flash of lightning.

Texturally, the record has as an abandoned brutalist aesthetic. Blocks of analogue synthesiser tone stand among the throbs of unsettled emptiness, part-obscured by the mists of electronic interference. Where rhythm exists (the soft pulsation of “Unterwelt”, for example), it is a stasis. An act of paralysis. The only movement resides within this process of configuration and reconfiguration, hopelessly stacking sounds and placing them side-by-side, waiting for deliverance to announce itself as if by miracle. Yet the record isn’t about the act, but the anticipation of it. Strangely, I feel that this ominous, colourless arrangement of synthesiser textures is actually rather optimistic – an ode to the fact that, even as I stand at the foot of these towering odes to destitution, nurturing the churn of nausea all the while, my liberation could be imminent.