The Wire, Dan Warburton
There's a new aesthetic in improvised music; traditional concerns for pitch (Stravinsky's "jeu de notes") and form (climax / decay / surprise) are gone, and texture and structure (event-density) are the new "parameters", borrowing the term beloved of the Darmstadt generation. Just as their total serialism became the lingua franca of the post-War avant-garde, high register bleeps and white noise screes have become to electroacoustic improv what the crackly Stax samples were to mid 90s triphop; if earlier generations of improvisers were turned on by Ligeti and Penderecki, Fennesz and Rehberg seem more relevant to today's players, who have seized as much upon the sound of the post-Mego laptop world as its jumpcut aesthetic. For several years Giuseppe Ielasi has been exploring this territory both as a performer (on guitar and, here, electronics) and through his aptly-named Fringes label, and this outing with Domenico Sciajno (composer and bassist, but here laptopper) is as finely crafted and diverse as Friederike Paetzold's cover art, a geometrical montage of architectural perspective drawings opening up to reveal a rich, golden honey pot. Similarly, the music is about angles and edges, but also curves and broad brushstrokes. Contrary to what you might think, it's eminently listenable, colourful and highly enjoyable, an exfoliating scrub of an album seemingly unctuous but shot through with tiny abrasive particles to stimulate the inner ear.
All Music Guide, Brian Olewnick
Right After is a remarkably subtle album of duo electronics by two relatively young Italians with roots in avant-garde improvisation. While Giuseppe Ielasi began his career as a guitarist and Domenico Sciajno was an improvising bassist of note, both gradually moved into the area of pure electronics and sound manipulation. A fine balance of pristine, crystalline sounds and earthy scrabbling noises is shown from the first track, ²at a greater distance² which offsets pinging, high pitched tones that oscillate in one¹s ears with rough scratches and rubs, all of which manage to cohere into a satisfying whole. The music is, in a sense, entirely abstract with only the occasional throbbing pulse barely hinting at a regular rhythm and no traditional melody to be found. At the same time, however, there is an odd familiarity to the pieces, as though the duo is evoking an urban nostalgia filled with the cast-off sounds of contemporary, industrial life. There are a couple of relatively violent eruptions but more often the works are on a smoother keel, veering this way and that with the adroit real-time decisions of their creators. In fact, the listener is well advised to remember that these are improvisations, as well formed and ³rounded² as they are. When the final track ends at almost exactly the same territory where the first began, one can¹t help but be impressed at not only the distance traveled, but the grace and imagination with which it was crossed. Right After is a valuable contribution to the catalog of electronic improvisation.
Other Music, Dan Hirsch
File under: uneasy listening. The debut CD by this duo sounds like a series of field recordings from the human nervous system. Ielasi and Sciajno are central figures in Italy's under-recognized improvised music scene, playing in various ensembles, organizing festivals, and running labels. Over the years, Ielasi and Sciajno have been augmenting their chosen instruments (prepared guitar and bass, respectively) with electronics. This recording is the first to document their work solely in the digital realm. Listeners familiar with electroacoustic music will be reminded of both Japanese Onkyo (Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura, etc.) and various 'lowercase' sound artists (Lopez, Vainio, Deupree, etc.).The sounds on this album are reminiscent of scientific recordings of the magnetosphere, ion storms, and atomic reactions. Magnified static, whispered sine-tones, cellophane wrinkles, and flickering pulses are introduced and removed in a seamless, ghostly mix. These layers create a discrete architecture, not unlike that pictured in Friederike Paetzold's cover art. Because the recording requires focused attention, it heightens the listener's awareness of his/her surroundings. You hear the hiss of steam pipes, the digital purr of cell phones, and click of power transformers as part of some larger composition. This is one of the most challenging records on a label with a well-deserved reputation for pushing the envelope of its listener's expectations.