Italian musician Giuseppe Ielasi is once more back on the 12k label with his new record, Five Wooden Frames. During the mid-2000’s, Giuseppe largely abandoned the sound of the guitar, preferring to choose a new direction which led to more minimal sounds and electro-acoustic anomalies. Five Wooden Frames brings the guitar back into focus, primarily through the modulation of glissando and the dissected technique of looping, which, instead of giving verve to the rich and ringing sound of an acoustic guitar, produces an off-kilter, eerie sound, in which notes are cut and spliced to form repetitive elongations with no discernible beginning or ending. The notes slide around in a disembodied, haunting fashion, seemingly in purgatory, so it’s far away from the sunshine of a strummed acoustic.
Ielasi’s experimentations take the instrument into unknown terrain, as its musical topography is able to block out the sun. August heat shrivels up until it’s no longer there. A subtle variation in pitch keeps the music alive; it sways and slides as it progresses, trying to lock onto a rogue pitch and either passing over it or falling short and never reaching its target. The five wooden frames are each supported by a hovering drone, which sits in the centre and balances the music; the notes slide around at different speeds and lengths.
On another new 12k release, Taylor Deupree and Federico Durand have created the ‘folklore of an imaginary land’, where its crystal shores offer new views of paradise. ‘This Valley Of Old Mountains’ is a collaboration split by differing continents, but their music unites them, setting foot on one golden island, an alternate-Ibiza where the afterglow of a sunset lingers like the spread reverb of a recently-departed note.
An exotic atmosphere results in lucid, gleaming, and exceptionally humid music. The water is warm and clear, and although they’re thousands of miles apart, their music is connected in more ways than one. The musicians share a love and a fascination for the mountains which divide them, but there are no such divisions within the music. Recorded in Argentina and New York, USA, the music’s DNA is split between the two countries, with one eye coloured in red, white, and blue, and the other shifting to South American colours, with the blue bands on the Argentinian flag resembling the uncluttered and deep blue of the sky. As the music coasts along to the south, the humidity rises and new forms of indigenous life appear.
The repetition is similar to a zoom function, moving closer towards the source and deeper into the sound to the point of it becoming microtonal music. Outside edges are slowly erased as the shot pans inwards. Sometimes fluttering, sometimes skipping like a palpitation or a murmuring from an unknown amphibian, the music remains gentle and soft.
The sounds are like rarely-glimpsed birds of paradise on a lost world, and field recordings are played back to reveal alien chirps and squalls with strange vocalisations. Rainforest-lush melodies pop up in this ever-bright and fantastical land, gently playing a selection of notes, see-sawing like a hammock between the bass and treble strings in a lackadaisical way. Both focusing in on the sound, zooming in like a microscope, and chilling without a care in the world, their self-titled album is a much-needed vacation in a tropical land.