The vision of Giuseppe Ielasi is remarkable in its depth and simplicity. On “Aix,” he creates meticulous compositions while using samples of acoustic instruments, creating an effect that resembles the Cologne minimalism of Wolfgang Voigt. These pieces stem from his technique of microediting, in which he precisely arranges very short samples from all types of sources—percussion, piano, mouth harp, rhythmic rubbing, and even zippers create hypnotic beats that are constructed like electronic pieces. Keyboards play a familiar role here, climbing over the top of Ielasi’s plodding beats to form a sort of main event in many of the pieces. He also incorporates other acoustic instruments in familiar form, including trumpet blasts, Spanish guitars, bowed bass, and other accoutrements, to sculpt his dark atmospheres. The tunes are short—typically around three minutes—but they quickly lock into intriguing grooves that are both tense and mellow.
Ielasi has garnered a lot of attention for the conceptual strength of releases like “Tools” (12K), in which he used a single household object on each track (a rubber band, a cardboard box) to create intricate beats meant to be used by electronic musicians. But “Aix” moves him onto another level, with compositions that stand fully on their own, as moody and stark as they are imaginative. He’s developing an exciting synthesis of methods that are currently being explored, especially in Europe—the combination of electronic structures with freer ones, the manipulation of acoustic instruments to resemble electronic sounds, the increasingly subtle and integral use of digital editing. “Aix” affirms his place at the vanguard of this new electroacoustic minimalism, looking both back and infinitely forward. 10/10 -- Travis Bird (18 August, 2010)