We Were Here Before, We Will Be Here After

by Yair Etziony

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1.
2.
3.
Commonplace 08:10
4.
5.
Nowhere 04:52
6.
Breather 06:24
7.

about

'To wander through any great city is to experience time in a unique way. The weight of history is everywhere - in the buildings, in the monuments, in the street names. But so too is the urgency of now, the present, shouting at you from every billboard and shop window. Quieter, biding its time, waiting its turn, the potential of the future is there too. Every boarded-up building, every chain-link fenced wasteland, every 'Acquired For Clients' sign is the future's tentative foothold in the present. The past, the present, the future, all held in uneasy tension by people, by us.

We know that some people think Berlin is a great city, but for me, it's lots of small villages, or islands, connected by a huge transportation system. At times, one might not leave your particular village for weeks. Each of these villages will have a main street that might be a bit noisier and crowded - but go a bit deeper into one of the smaller streets and you'll find a vast ecosystem full of life. From small 'Spielplatz' where the kids play to a small 'Spätkauf' where you can buy candy or beer and meet other locals after a day of work.

Berlin, particularly Neukoelln. has its own slow movement - it’s not like London or New York, especially if you step out from areas of business and tourism. The village aspect of things will slowly take you over and, due to the size of the ring area, you will tend to stay in your own area and will rarely leave.

There is a dark future looming over many of these islands, a new power is threatening to ruin and change them forever. With every small local business shutting, we lose something that makes our city special. This music was written while many of our favorite bars and businesses were closed or closing.

This album was written while I had a break from my work, and I could seclude myself in one of the small villages, just near the mighty 'Tempelhofer Feld' park, spending my early mornings making music and enjoying the neighborhood around me. The songs were written during two periods, so half is dedicated to Summer and the other half to Winter. In those intervals, I could see my surroundings changed by external money.

For the making of the record, I wanted to go back to my debut album 'Flawed'. The main instrument I used was an old E-mu sampler. Those were really expensive back in the mid-90s when I bought my original one. But nowadays, they are very cheap to buy. The idea was not to create a second version of the original, nor to try and deal with mistakes, but to try and use the same tools and see what has changed from those times. And they changed a lot.’
- Yair Etziony
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'Israeli electronic music veteran Yair Etziony has looked to his debut album, Flawed, for inspiration for his new long-player We Were Here Before, We’ll Be Here After. He’s returned to his old E-mu sampler and other instruments he used back in the day, not to make the same record or do things better, but to see how things have changed. It seems he’s managed to make quite a different record.'
- www.normanrecords.com
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'Fin dai loop granulosi e dalle pulsazioni che ne scandiscono l'incipit Northern Home appare inevitabile pensare alle architetture inerti e ai ritmi vitali della metropoli e in particolare della città europea che più di altre incarna le contrastanti pulsioni della modernità. Berlino ha da
tempo accolto Yair Etziony, rivelandogli le tante diverse città
in essa racchiuse. Sulle loro contraddizioni si stagliano sette brani costellati da samples organici, che rappresentano plasticamente
l'asimmetria temporale tra la fugacità delle sensazioni umane e
la lunga durata delle infrastrutture urbane. (UN)QUIET CITY.'
- www.rockerilla.com (July 2020 issue)
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'[...] Im Stadtteil Neukölln erdacht und aufgenommen, ermöglicht Yair Etziony mit seinen Stücken eine vielseitige Beschäftigung. Downtempo, Ambient und Electronica dienen als Grundlagen dazu, klangliche Entspannung anzubieten. Geschmackvolle Beats und Melodien, das meiste mit dem E-mu sampler gespielt, eine dynamische Produktion und genügend Volumen – „Commonplace“ und Freunde hört man sich mehr als gerne an. Dazu verbinden die Takte Gedankengänge zu dem menschlichen Treiben in der unerklärlichen Dimension der Zeit, besonders jetzt, in der viele Sicherheiten wegfallen und Absolute nicht mehr existieren. [...]'
- www.artnoir.ch
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'The album’s notes feature a key observation from Yair Etziony about Berlin neighbourhoods being like villages, each with an identity dependent on local personalities, businesses and more – it is an idea many of us who live in cities around the world can relate to, and that all of us who care about something other than commercialism can appreciate as we take in yet another gorgeous Etziony album.'
- Kevin Press
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'[...] We Were Here Before, We Will Be Here After est une balade dans le regard que l’on porte aux choses que l’on aime, courants downtempo aux secousses trip hop sur des ruelles pavées aux lumières tamisées.

Yair Etziony conjugue parfaitement, passé, présent et futur, en un tout intense, dénué de nostalgie mais habité d’étincelles mélancoliques, hommages aux architectures et places qui le remplissent et l’inspirent, échos lointains de souvenirs aux effluves tournoyantes, traversées de pauses ambient regardant vers le ciel. Magnifique.'
- www.silenceandsound.me
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'[...] Brooding exploratory themes permeate the record. A sense of being moved through tunnels and shifting scenes accompanied by polished glitches and glassy production evokes an absorbing Nordic Noir or sci-fi narrative, one that isn’t exactly dystopian but isn’t wholly to be trusted.

Laboratories, white rooms, fluorescent lights. Scalpels and trays of medical equipment. The compositions generally hold steady, and minor keys are balanced and fleshed out with stable strokes and purposeful production. [...]'
- www.irregularcrates.com
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'[...] Assez impeccable dans la variété des registres abordés (un peu d’ambient, donc, à côté de pas mal d’electronica, et de quelques doses de techno minimaliste), We Were Here Before, We Will Be Here After se fait très intéressant à plusieurs reprises, avec des morceaux comme Breather et Northern Home (respectivement le dernier et le premier du disque) qui, même s’ils sonnent un peu datés par endroits, accrochent l’oreille par leurs relances successives. Au total, Etziony démontre qu’il n’a rien perdu des capacités qu’on avait pu relever chez lui à ses débuts, il y a une douzaine d’années, ayant même conforté celles-ci au gré de l’expérience accumulée.'
- www.etherreal.com
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'[...] All dies, auch der heimelige Aspekt dessen, aber auch eine latente Bedrohung dieser vertrauten Lebenswelten durch ökonomische Veränderungen in einer möglichen Zukunft zeichnen sich auf vage Weise in den Stimmungen der oft leise dröhnenden, ambienten Soundscapes des Albums ab. Ruhig wie ein früher Morgen beginnt die Musik mit entspannter Perkussion und kleinen Geräuschen der auch im urbanen Raum hörbaren Natur, doch wenn man sich erst in der Szenerie eingerichtet hat, erscheint alles üppiger und fülliger. Mechanisches Rumpeln kontrastiert mit einem prachtvollen Goldregen, der all das Nahe ins beinahe Kosmische transzendiert. [...]'
- www.africanpaper.com
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'[...] Yair Etziony transforms the energy of the city and its inhabitants into rhythms and depicts quieter moments emotionally, which can be heard on the track “Nowhere” or in the second half of “Breather”. The darker side of the album surfaces on the track “We Were Here Before” and keep sprouting up in “We Will Be Here After”. Yair Etziony's recordings are permeating the tonal exploration of a megacity and its, perhaps sometimes bizarre, inhabitants. You have the feeling of being moved through urban landscapes while listening to the tracks. [...]'
- www.musiquemachine.com
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credits

released July 3, 2020

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All music was written, produced and mixed by Yair Etziony at Handwerker Raum Neukolln Berlin Summer 2018 and Winter 2019.
While making the record Yair was using the following equipment:
Roland SH101, Roland MC202, Emu E6400 Sampler, 2 modular synths, and Spectrasonics Omnisphere plugin.

artwork by Sebastian Mehl

photography by Yair Etziony
www.false-ind.com

mastered by Tobias Lorsbach
www.tobias-lorsbach.de
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© 2020 Seasides on Postcards

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Seasides on Postcards Berlin, Germany

Independent record label specializing in variations of ambient, classical, drone, and electronically-minded music
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