Giuseppe Ielasi - Tools [12K - 2010]I only have a few records by Aube in my collection, but every one of them is an object of singular mesmerism. I mean “singular” in a very specific way: all of his recordings revolve around the sounds generated by a single object—a glow lamp, a heart monitor, a Buddhist prayer bell, a Bible. Each thing becomes a gateway to a tiny private world.
Enter Giuseppe Ielasi, who has attempted something similar with Tools, an EP-length work where he takes a number of household objects, records the sounds produced by them, and creates little musical works from the results. It’s not, strictly speaking, a bad record; it’s just a very limited one, and while a lot of that may be entirely deliberate that doesn’t mean the results are automatically worth applauding.
Its best moments are just that: moments, which come and go. My favorite cut, “Rubber Band”, brings back to mind pioneering avant-garde composer Ýlhan Mimaroðlu’s “Bowery Bum” (which also used the same object as a sound source). Also rather startling is “Aluminum Foil”, which dares you to try and make a connection between what you hear and the material in question. It sounds, more than anything else, like samples harvested from the sort of vintage analog drum machine Suicide might have used up on stage next to their broken Farfisa. “Paper Lamp”, too, yields up such a rich array of sounds that I wondered why it wasn’t used to create a much longer track, or even a record unto itself.
Two major drawbacks hamper this record. The first is its narrowness. It’s like a collection of the interlude tracks on an Autechre or Aphex Twin album: they’re interesting to hear once, but they don’t lend themselves to being revisited. The second problem is a function of the first: it clocks in at just over 20 minutes, which for a CD that’s listed at £6.99 is just shy of a rip-off. I’ll wait for a full album from Ielasi, since this plays more like a sneak preview than the main attraction.Serdar Yegulalp