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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
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+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
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Giuseppe Ielasi
Giuseppe Ielasi

In gothic films, the fear resides not in the Night or in the Gods, nor in any such transcendence, but in one's own psychological swamp of memories, digestions and desires. His self-titled second full-length for the Hapna label finds renowned post-minimalist guitarist Giuseppe Ielasi on the dark side, consistently drawing from the gothic genre to explore the uglier sides of the human psyche.

This means, for one thing, that unlike past releases, which were often subtle and undefined, this work houses more pronounced, robust forms, beacons that make navigation through these supple tonal murmurings a great deal easier. Theremin warbling, a thin shriek of strings, and pointillist guitar feast on industrial rhythms, unfolding a stream of colors and harmonies between foreground and background. At the same time, the basic structures of gothic theatre music give Ielasi a welter of signs to play with, and play with them he does, progressively stretching, cutting and pitch-shifting these stabbing shrieks of feedback, Morse code episodes, and somber piano sonorities into dense balls of foreboding energy. This effectively keeps the cinematic motifs from becoming merely banal.

With Ielasi wresting such minute fragments from the overarching genre, each fragment, in its own particular way, subverts more than reflects the whole. This may be seen in the fifth track, where low-end rumbles of bass and bowed, multi-tracked guitar are intercepted midair by particles of static, swarming like startled bats storming out of a cave.

Track four explores another path, with Spanish guitar figures dancing around light snare swats and faint electronic rustling. Gradually, the percussion grows more volatile, the electronics begin to thrum, and soon an avalanche of electronic grit and grime reaches a fingernails-on-a-chalkboard discord. Elsewhere, Ielasi summons less shocking states, where compositions are especially unhurried, yet no less unsteady. The third piece, for one, harbors cryptic yet distinct timbral changes, revealing an ear for balanced dynamics.

As though shaken from its dream, the album ends abruptly. Over its 40 minutes, though, Ielasi rests its menacing light on plenty of new-spun forms, then moves affectingly on.

by Max Schaefer

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