Monday, October 7, 2013

Giuseppe Ielasi & Kassel Jaeger- Parallel // Grayscale (2013)

Parallel Grayscale
Over the past couple weeks, Parallel // Grayscale has become a late-night favorite of mine.  Some people get ready for bed by drinking warm milk and read, others re-watch the same DVD from their collection, but for me this album has become a great way to unwind.

Maybe it is because the doctor has me taking opiates very 4-6 hours until this kidney stone passes, but Ielasi and Jaeger have a way of making even the softest of sounds feel intimate.  While the first few minutes of 'Parallel' may only focus on minor sound changes, the end result is still a lush, texture filled opening to the almost 20 minute track.

'Parallel' feels almost reserved in its sound, as though there is more to it that isn't being shown but hidden beneath it.  When the song shifts gears around the 8 minute mark, a burst of sound quickly escapes, only to be quickly tamed and restrained back into the quiet ambience it was making before.  After this point in the track, there is a constant churning as if the sound is going to eventually boil over, but it never quite does.  While the sounds presented on the surface are soothing, beneath is a tension by how they are arranged which results in feelings of anxiousness and anticipation amidst the ambaince for the listener.

The start of 'Grayscale' is why I really enjoy this album at night. The crackle of tape with the occasional echoey bloop; this is a sound that is overwhelmingly calm and it comes after the long buildup 'Parallel' creates before it.  The loops in 'Grayscale' stack up nicely, in a way that one could easily not notice the numerous layer of loops unless paying close attention.  The electric guitar samples at 12:30 feel evanescent with their short bursts and delay effects, and it's not until the loops start fading out that you realize that the album is already almost over.

Having heard Ielasi's other 2013 outputs (solo album Rhetorical Islands and collaboration with Andrew Pekler Holiday for Sampler), I can safely say this is his strongest work of 2013.  Go into this album expecting long, quiet ambient tracks, and you will come out of it with a fond appreciation for the duo's work.

The two tracks can be heard Here, and the album can be purchased Here.

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