Tel Aviv is a crossroad of cultures and attitudes. A melting pot, some might say. Maybe it’s those qualities that have helped Israel’s second city foster such a vibrant community of musicians and creatives. Maybe it’s just pure coincidence. One way or the other, we’re enjoying the output of a city that feels like a breath of fresh air at a time when electronic music is so over-saturated. Many can be credited for cultivating the emerging scene but despite only existing for a matter of months, Malka Tuti is already leading from the front. Due to “technical delays” the label’s second release became its third (take no notice of the catalogue numbers), but better late than never, that elusive 12″ has finally seen the light of day.
A graduate of the Red Cotton band that also gave us Red Axes, Yovav Arzi is a multi-faceted multi-instrumentalist with a penchant for the mesmeric. It’s a quality that pervades both his originals – the title track ebbs and flows with an emotional intensity as a hypnotic mid-range pulses steadily, converging with celestial melodies that light the way amidst all the gloom. On the flipside, live instrumentation take centre stage. The first thing you’ll notice on ‘Magnetic Field’ is the low-slung balearic groove, but it doesn’t take long for the wandering melodies present themselves, lead by a guitar riff that wails with psychedelic fervour.
Strong remixes appear to be a staple for Malka Tuti, with Willie Burns and Jori Hulkkonen providing the reinterpretations here. Taking on ‘Botanical Garden’, Burns dampens the mood slightly without abandoning the warmth that made Yovav’s version so irresistible. The swirling ambience he brings to the table has its charms, but ultimately it remains a sombre affair. Hulkkonen’s remix heads in quite the opposite direction – majestic and spellbinding, the Finnish producer lends some big-room personality to ‘Magnetic Field’, typified by an intoxicating bass synth that ramps up the tension during the latter stages.
Capable of eliciting feelings of either euphoric contentment or melancholy in the listener, Yovav’s full debut has the layered complexity indicative of a prodigious talent.
MT002 is out now in vinyl format and available over at Juno.