Perhaps a limitless agenda is more of a detriment than a virtue in some respects. Online statistics, an objective gauge of popularity in music for most, in this instance intimate to us that a good chunk of label B. YRSLF DIVISION’s output goes relatively unnoticed, which is a pity for a label that has at some point cultivated a flavor for everyone. A discography made up of venerable artists such as Obey City, Myrryrs, Pedro 123 and Seapoint among others now spans four years; the French imprint has certainly surpassed a fledgling status. Still, you simply don’t see enough of Simon Bernheim’s alien-like signage cover art when an EP drops, whether that’s because their brand lacks a consistent sonic signature or not. A Truant—or anyone else susceptible to the unexpected—knows better, and the play button was clicked immediately when London newcomer Tsvi’s debut-at-large Malfunction hit the net, B. YRSLF’s fifth installment of a rather scattershot 2014 schedule.
While clearly positioning nearly half of Malfunction to fit within the club trax format, Tsvi remains pleasurably refreshing most of the time, though that’s not to say it sounds like he wrote the EP completely ignorant of the contemporary transatlantic electronic climate either. Track 1, “Cop LAPD” is the most well-natured track of the bunch—which is of course in comparison to the racy (if not pornographic) eroticism that imbues “Something” and “Gold Cave”—for which Tsvi borrows Obey City’s rhythmic elements: the mousse’d over bassline, sprightly chords, and 80s new beat-inspired drum programming. A flaccid, detuned melody suitably preludes the said elements, which all play loose, taking their own paths throughout the track, but still feasibly tight, arriving at the same rhythmic end. The producer sounds more than inspired by Jam City on the title track. “Integrating new DNA profile” voices a seemingly robot-assembling system, which successfully contextualizes the industrial mid-range sounds that give the track its jagged outline atop Jersey-influenced drums. To our pleasure, “I Married The Woman Of My Dreams” could be a cut off P. Morris’s Debut.
The video treatment for “Malfunction” plays out very well in conjunction with the EP. The otherworldly montage was created by visual artist Matteo Zamagni with various techniques involving 3D photo-scanning, 3D fractal software, microscopic videos and audio reactive particle systems. The end result looks as if its a relic documentation of space exploration. The sun soaked alien scapes with these morphing anomalous organisms mirror the way Tsvi uses synths on the EP, bringing some old classic sounds into a new modern and highly stylized framework. The vocal samples, which we are pretty sure comes from Metroid Prime and Crysis, fit perfectly with the video, as if you are in a robot suit flying through space and your helmet HUD is reminding you of all the possible problems. Through out the video Zamagni creates stunning rhythm and motions out of these figures with incredible angles and swift cuts. Two thirds through the video the “danger” and “missile malfunction” samples come in again paired with error messages jilting out in different colors. Much like Dr. David Bowman in 2001 with the black monolith, once the viewer of Zamagni’s piece makes contact they are thrusted through an abstract version of the space time continuum, hurtling off into deep space.
TSVI’s “Malfunction” EP is out now via B.YRSLF Division.