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Giuseppe Ielasi - Gesine

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Artist: Giuseppe Ielasi

Album: Gesine

Label: Hapna

Review date: Apr. 12, 2005

Giuseppe Ielasi structures his quietly rigorous solo recordings with intent and acuity, interrogating each sound event and restricting his palette to the most appropriate sounds. Ielasi has engaged in a unilateral disarmament since he recorded and released his first solo disc, Plans, in 2003. Gesine lets more space into his conceptions, which now revolve around the thrum and buzz of a slack-jawed acoustic guitar. As Ielasi spools phrases from his instrument, sonic detritus slowly accretes, with the wineglass whine of a distant e-bow, the scrape and clatter of fingers on strings, or the open-mouthed sigh of a wavering harmonium sketching in shady details. Gesine is chiaroscuro, a few simple juxtapositions resounding far beyond their “material” presence.

Ielasi drafts the six tracks on Gesine with a quiet armory of instruments, but his perspicacious guitar playing stands out. The only immediate parallel for Ielasi’s approach to guitar playing is Australian improviser Oren Ambarchi. Ambarchi sends his instrument through a silent swarm of pedals to strip the guitar’s register of signification, eschewing the tartness of “emotive” performance for aesthetic and personal freefall; Ielasi plugs the wavering tone of the right hand back into the same concept. These two players share a general disavowal of plotted tactics, but Ielasi is looser. Some of his moves border on quantifiable tropes: the melodious, hazy strum of the fourth track recalls Loren Connors’ dark hearted blues. However, Ielasi is best when he lets his instrument loose of its moorings, dropping pearls of tone from his strings like spillage from a silver phial, as on the second track, where an electric guitar leaves stray vapor trails over a stratum of woozy electronics.

By Jon Dale

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