These exquisitely rendered miniatures sit somewhere between the furry repetitions of tape loop music and the reduced explorations of electronic composition. Ielasi has an unerring ability to home in on sound sources that, while appearing simple, contain multitudes, diligently working his material into forms whose depth and detail reveal themselves only gradually. A process analogous to a potter shaping a vase, perhaps, the combination of labour, instinct and intellect transforming crude matter into delicate beauty. The pieces themselves have an odd, granular quality, often bathed in a warm, ambient hiss and fuzz, as like tiny fragments of field recording captured on some cheap hand-held device (although Ielasi’s release notes suggest otherwise, describing the tracks only as ‘electronic music’). Check out the dusty squawks and creaks halfway through Part 1, for example, evoking images of boozy goose executing ballet moves, the strange morse code tip-taps that bring Part 2 to a close or the airy ventilator whine that opens Part 3.
Yet that materiality is subverted, both by the acousmatic mystery of the sounds and the flickering, spectral quality they possess. Listening to these cuts, there’s the nagging feeling of something not quite within earshot, of a lack, even when one pushes the volume right up. ‘Ghostly’ is an overused term but it seems right on the nail here, describing the incorporeality of Ielasi’s compositions, hovering as they do in a liminal space somewhere between absence and presence, as well as their uncanny, unresolved stasis. Think Burial replayed by Keith Rowe, or J Dilla beaming back freeze-dried donuts from Solaris in time-delayed bursts. And with this intense focus on individual components comes an almost wilful disregard of structure, Ielasi seemingly content to let each artefact exist as only as itself, standing alone in the space for its short duration before departing to let the next one appear, passing by us like links in a chain, or drifting in and out of focus like the slow gaze of a gallery visit. Utterly absorbing.