Limo: Fluid Identity

Founded by Italian DJ-producer Alessandro Stefanio (aka Buck), Substrato is a techno label that aspires to incorporate into its productions the raw physicality of the earth and the magical quality associated with less earthbound realms. The first release on the label by Limo (Giovanni Limongelli, a veteran of the Italian underground scene active since the late-‘90s) attempts to do just that by amplifying a plethora of textural detail with a pronounced club-focused character.

Though a title such as “Fluid Identity” suggests a malleable entity like water more than something as relatively stable as the earth's crust, the EP's titular panorama nevertheless grounds itself using a lockstep, bass-heavy pulse and cymbal flurries as a solid bottom end. At the same time, an amplitude of atmospheric sound detail lends the piece a floating, ethereal character that creates an interesting balance between the two realms. More animated by comparison is “Sounscapes” [sic], which undergirds its subtly overlapping synthetic swells with rapid arpeggiated sequences; unusual for an ambient-techno production, a rather prog-like quality emerges during the track's second half when synthesizer melodies move to the forefront.

The EP's most overt techno track arrives in the form of a “Fluid Identity” remix by Edit Select (DJ-producer Tony Scott), which is buoyed almost immediately by a robust beat pulse and tick-ticketing hi-hats; listen carefully, however, and the heart of Limo's contemplative original can still be heard beating beyond Scott's thudding treatments. Surprisingly, Limo's final original “Long Reso” doesn't reinstate the atmospheric ambient focus of the opening two tracks; instead, it aligns itself to the Edit Select remix by capping the EP with a full-force gale of club rhythms. It doesn't totally turn its back on the style of the openers, though, as “Long Reso” also stretches a resonant filter drone and metallic percussive accents across its rubbery pulse. Fluid Identity lends itself effectively to a vinyl presentation in enabling two atmospheric productions to appear on one side and two clubbier treatments on the other.

February 2016