Somnambule - Writing About Music

Giuseppe Ielasi ~ Plans

How to respond to this single 30 minute, 50 second piece? Contextualise it within a gaggle of like-minded wayfarers or use it as springboard to reflect upon the state of abstract electronica in 2005? Music may be deployed for infinite purposes, including open-minded, in-the-moment wondering...

0.00: Water wheels, pendant hums. The (almost) too-familiar striations of digitalia alternately scratched upon and kneaded into the ear. Eddying whirlpools, a giant echo chamber, blustery days by the seashore, ghosts of gulls circling above, coasting and diving.
3.30: sudden fade to crunchier climes, little squeaks and squeals, the sound of a windmill gone awry. Axles and wooden wheels off-kilter - imagine spokes clattering against suspended metal rods. Cut to film of warm front, flying just before it, being buffeted gently along. Gulls screeching in the immediate vicinity, wind-borne dust and grit obscuring eyesight.
9.30: junkyard buildup, guitar strings quiver, momentum breaks up into small, metal pieces crashing into and over each other. Signal streams gathering in force, everything else cuts out. A pitted, streamlined hull gathers form.
13.37: Vacuum suction, everything disappearing into the nozzle; radio interference. Distant roars, activity.
17.10: biscuit tin rumours, drums reflected in shards of broken glass.
21.10: birdsong, canary, at least caged for sure. Crunch of falling gravel (is the avalanche burying the bird? Undertones of the surreal). At 23.18 bird still audible, it lives!
25.30: guitars and drums flicker together in a cascade of reverberant sound
28.10: whiplashes, cans opening, pops and clatters as the guitars rise up again, transfigured.

I’ve no idea how Plans constructs its conceptual logic, but its episodically interleaved structure is engaging and its ear for textural beauty is impressive.

NB see this blog entry detailing the rejection of this review.

Colin Buttimer
October 2005
Not published by e/i magazine