Review of Aix [12k1051]

Signal To Noise (US)

With their emphasis on linear development and intriguing timbres, Giuseppe Ielasi’s earlier recordings imparted a sense of rhythm that was more filmic than funky. Not here. Ielasi seems to have fallen in love with the loops that swirled like eddies on the surface of his last album August. He likes them so much that he has stacked them, one atop another. On “02” — one thing that hasn’t changed is his allergy to naming his tracks — there are unzipping zippers, knocks on a piano’s lid and the persistent sounding of one of its keys, all landing precisely in formation in the spaces in between a sparse bass bump and an insistent jaw harp twang. More conventional rhythmic elements — hand drums, a xylophone, an electronic sizzle — appear on “07,” bounded by a single wah-wah guitar lick. But they never coalesce into a groove; instead the music seems to shrink, receding into echoes. It’s about patterns, not grooves. Ielasi hasn’t tossed out all of his older preoccupations, though. He pays as much attention as ever to qualities of tone and texture, and his sense of placement extracts a subtle sense of event from the tiniest of gestures.  He hasn’t totally reinvented himself, but he has moved on in a way that leaves one wondering just where his next step will fall.

View Release