Erez Yaary Gravity (2022)
Updated: Dec 22, 2022
“A very nice album of New Berlin School and evolving rhythms that is a good listen”
1 Dark Matter 9:10
2 Blackshift 9:04
3 Electromagnetic Fields 7:39
4 Astra Kinetic 12:44
5 Metric Tensor 7:08
6 Gravitational Redshift 4:30
(DDL 50:17) (V.F.)
(New Berlin School)
Erez Yaary made a big comeback last year on MellowJet Records with the albums Memoria Technica and Delta Evolution, released the year before and made with the collaboration of Bernd Moonbooter Scholl. Digging deeper into his discography, I realized that I had already reviewed one of his albums, Blind Vision, in the mid-2010s. It was a nice album with a bunch of tracks with quite diverse essences and influences. GRAVITY feeds on these elements. Also inspired by the more versatile structures of Memoria Technica, this new album of the Israeli musician offers a rather accessible electronic music (ME), except maybe for Astra Kinetic. Most of the album structures are conceived on evolving rhythms that flirts with New Berlin School as well as cosmic rock. There are good ideas on the level of the elements of percussions, giving a more attractive dimension to the music and its developments. The melodic aspect transits between New Age and Synthpop, and reminds me of Yanni, especially in the orchestrations which are sometimes very melodic. The influences of Tangerine Dream wrap most of GRAVITY's structures, I also noticed those of Jean Michel Jarre which are more discreet. These influences are more on the level of sound effects and orchestral arrangements, although some of the rhythmic structures took me back to Edgar Froese's Pinnacles and Stuntman albums. Besides the orchestrations and the cosmic layers which surround his music, Erez Yaary also develops very good lines of melodies and superb solos from his synths. In short, a very good album which has everything to please the most demanding aficionados of an EM flirting with the New Berlin School style.
With its sibylline synth layers, mixing breezes and voices, which undulate lazily, Dark Matter reveals a rather oneiric atmospheric opening. Silver particles glisten in this nostalgia-inspired panorama in the melodious sighs of the synth. Slowly, these ambiences migrate to a darker zone around the 3rd minute, when the synth makes roll harmonious tendrils in a texture where the psybient flirts slightly with a vision of atmospheric music a bit darker. The murky organic effects get transposed onto layers of orchestral haze, reminding us that Tangerine Dream is at the heart of the Israel born musician-synthesist's influences. The rhythm sets in a little before the 5-minute mark with pulsing bass blasts over keyboard chords' reflections that stretch like finely chipped hoops. Bouncy rather than pulsating, this rhythm highlights a nice collection of ideas in the percussion elements, including anvil tones and electronic castanets, in an embryonic phase that needs a few minutes before gaining more intense and ultimately driving momentum. The orchestrations and the percussive claps, similar to mechanical hand clappings, can take us back to the days of Yanni's first albums. A very good track, Blackshift offers an ethereal opening with ambient filaments that are reminiscent of TD's Schmoelling years. The structure is evolving by displaying a heavy, slow rhythm that undulates like a snake on a bumpy ground. The synth harmonies, drawn in the form of solos, are very nice and guide the structure towards a bouncing rhythm, always haloed by percussion elements as good as in Dark Matter, in a texture that slightly quavers to give a spasmodic appearance. The track exploits more here a Berlin School structure with good solos of a synth also creative in its orchestrations and melody lines. Electromagnetic Fields starts with a series of bass sequences that run in a zigzagging axis. Chords fall on this structure of which the rhythm is halfway between trot and gallop. These chords bounce with an opal glare in the tinklings, drawing a vague echo effect that resonates above the slightly melancholy cybernetic sighs. The rhythm displays a constant velocity before reaching a phase of indecision after the 3rd minute to reactivate itself with a more fluid flow a minute later. The structure becomes a good Berlin School with a rhythmic sequence that rises and falls while harmoniously slaloming through an enchanting setting of mist and orchestrations. I think of Edgar Froese when I discover this Electromagnetic Fields which becomes a little more electronic rock when the percussions are docked around its 6th minute. Another very good track here.
From the top of its almost 13 minutes, Astra Kinetic wastes no time in pushing the impulses of its pulsating rhythm between our eardrums. At first banging dully, the rhythm develops on sequences of interplanetary gallops and of cadenced big eight patterns with a sequencer that likes to make dribble around some of its rhythmic arpeggios. Percussions complete the different evolutions of these rhythmic phases that are always catchy for the feet. The percussive effects are less present on this title, except for the addition of castanets towards a final that we do not wish. Speaking of arpeggios, one of the sequences activates a suite of chords that are as much melodic as rhythmic. The setting is cosmic with shooting star effects and musical dust trailing in their grooves. The melodies have a ghost appearance by being discreet around the cosmic haze banks that abound in this structure where the synth also throws some more chloroformed layers that drift on the multiple impulses of a rhythm always constant in its driving effect. A very good track with an evolution more accessible to the listening than complex. A track that flirts with the Synthpop of the 90's, Metric Tensor is a good cosmic rock that is very Jarre, as much in its circular rhythm as in its ambiences and those long solos always perfumed with a melodious vision. Gravitational Redshift concludes GRAVITY with an atmospheric structure where the rumbling sparkle of the keyboard chords casts a dramatic aura around this slow cosmic funeral procession.
Available only in downloadable format on his Bandcamp site, Erez Yaary's GRAVITY is a very nice album of New Berlin School that is a good listen. The rhythms are both driving and melodic in rich panoramas with synth effects that inject orchestrations at both times cosmic and rhythmic as well as beautiful melody lines and countless solos that are as seductive as those melodies. This is the quintessential of EM at its most attractive if our ears are seeking for evolving rhythms and appealing melodies in a context that requires no effort to tame them.
Sylvain Lupari (December 22nd, 2022) *****
Available at Erez Yaary Bandcamp
(NB: Text in blue are links you can click on)