Fluid Identity - The inaugural release on Alessandro “Buck” Stefanio’s Substrato label, by Limo a.k.a. Giovanni Limongelli, wastes no time in establishing the label’s sublime fusion of ageless, pre-human beauty with contemporary, manmade tools and techniques. Hard and impermeable beats represent the “geological” side of the label’s identity (also represented by Ignazio Mortarello’s captivating 12″₺ package design), while a heady blend of organic electronics testifies to the feelings achieved by climbing high above sea level. Already a long- time collaborator of Stefanio’s (see for example the Buck + Limo 12″₺s released on the Re>>>>Vox label), Limo uses the opportunity of the Fluid Identity EP to take this partnership into exciting new territory.
While it may seem paradoxical to have a record titled Fluid Identity on a label inspired by the rigid formations of the earth’s crust, Limo excellently reconciles the states of ‘fluid’ and ‘concrete’ from the outset; merging cloud-like atmospheres, vocoder chatter and nimble keyboard runs with tactile, patient basslines. The following track “Sounscapes” offers a slightly different take on the same panoramic approach, using overlapping atmospheric swells as the base from which to build a majestic piece that gives off a feel of continual ascension. Sharp arpeggiated sequences, sly portameneto shifts and a few frostings of white noise all join together to make for a piece that is as much a celebration of sci-fi adventurism as it is of more earthly forces. Those who want to hear such sounds complemented by a vigorous pulse beat won’t go away disappointed, as Edit Select kicks off the b-side with a riveting take on the title track. Once again proving his skill as an insightful remix specialist and a close ally of the Italian techno community, Edit Select almost effortlessly makes a 1:1 mixture of earth-moving rhythm with Limo’s expansive atmospheres and contemplative keystrokes. Closing things out is an original rhythmic track from Limo, “Long Reso,” which delivers on the title’s promise by placing a resonant filter drone at the proceedings and progressively layering it with metallic percussive accents, rusty-edged bass pulses and enough additional effects that it will take multiple careful listens to fully identify them all. Once these four unique phases of the program have run their course, it’s clear that this opening statement from Substrato is an electronic hymn to full awareness of, and engagement in, one’s personal surroundings.