In November and December 2000, guitarist Taku Sugimoto played two solo concerts in the Italian cities of Bologna and Milan, organized by Giuseppe Ielasi (himself a guitarist and in charge of the Fringes label). While Sugimoto's earlier solo release, Opposite, on hatNOIR, met with outstanding critical acclaim and brought together 20 pieces (half of which were under two minutes in duration), Italia consists of just three extended tracks. The guitarist allows himself more room to stretch out in, but the silences which frame his delicate sonic embroidery and occasional blasts of feedback are relatively short in comparison with the work of Austrian trombonist and composer Radu Malfatti, whom Sugimoto greatly admires. Sugimoto's music is also often compared to the late works of Morton Feldman, but once more the comparison is misleading: This is clearly improvised music, and whereas Feldman's (which is evidently composed) works through its patterns at a reasonably regular pace, like the weave of the oriental carpets the composer so much admired, Sugimoto often surprises himself, boxing himself into corners of howling feedback, picking up and casting aside ideas as the spirit takes him rather than crafting them into extended structures. True, the music is, for the most part, exceedingly quiet, nearly empty (the word is more appropriate than "minimal," and Sugimoto's recent work has become even emptier), but once the ear becomes attuned, it's delicate, fleet (surprisingly active in places), melodic, and extremely beautiful.
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AllMusic Review by Dan Warburton