Boomkat Product Review:
Andrew Pekler and Guiseppe Ielasi freeze time on their second full-length, chipping away at old improvisations and sculpting a marble garden of haunted meditations on memory, space and biography. Subtle and reflective, 'Palimpsests' features music for pensive moments that will appeal to fans of Felicia Atkinson, Jan Jelinek and Oren Ambarchi.
Both veterans with sprawling and diverse catalogues, Pekler and Ielasi find common ground once again on a sequel to 2013's concrète exotica gem 'Holiday For Sampler'. This time they revisit irl improvised collaborations made in Milan in 2015, cutting into the raw material while working apart and shuttling their fresh compositions back and forth. The title hints at this process; a palimpsest is commonly a re-used material - for example a piece of paper - where traces of its original use remains. Here, the original improvisations are just about visible, peeking out underneath both artists' unique individual studio processes.
The duo use their evolved mutations to stitch together a loose narrative that concerns memory and metaphor. Each track is named after a city the artists have a personal connection to, giving the tracks a haunted sense of resonance and rooting in reality. The sounds too are a mixture of the real and the synthesized; indistinct voices and foley clanks are layered beneath stuttering pads or percussive bumps, and faint poems materialize in the cracks between sounds. There's a stylistic link to Pekler's incredible "Tristes Tropiques" and "Sounds From Phantom Islands", but his haunted exotica is disrupted by Ielasi's confident concrète cut-n-paste techniques, witnessed on albums like 2009's excellent "Aix".
Their sound is a vaseline-covered middle ground, not as jerky and sharp as Ielasi or as stonewashed and marooned as Pekler. Instead, "Palimpsests" feels poetic and reflective - it's a meeting of minds that exists outside the realm of competition. The friends have found a fertile sonic space to exist within, and we're left with a suite experimental electro-acoustic music that heaves with creative passion, artistic confidence and wide-eyed passion.