Milanese guitarist and electronic musician Giuseppe Ielasi is best known for his languidly beautiful, yet painstakingly wrought drone poems. His finest releases – 2003’s Plans (Sedimental) and 2007’s stunning August (12k) – are set apart by Ielasi’s attention to the smallest of details in his sound sources, which are left largely untreated. Pieces seem to unfold out of the hypnotic ebb and flow of crackling field recordings, warmly linear guitar lines and burbling electronics.
On first listen, Aix – named for Aix-en-Provence, where the album was recorded – appears to mark a shift, however subtle, in Ielasi’s solo work. The emphasis is more on rupture and rhythm, rather than on the soft, stream-of-consciousness flow that is Ielasi’s hallmark, but it’s still as immersive and atmospheric as ever. Ielasi constructed the nine untitled pieces that make up the album along the lattice points of a rhythmic grid, using chopped up samples and fragments of piano, drums, guitar, trumpet, vinyl and other less-easily decipherable sources as basic musical building blocks.