Fondamentalismi by Livio Improta
Warm broken Techno
Pencilling a path of activity to illustrate an artist's musical output can be revealing. In the case of Italian artist (and chef) Livio Improta, whose undulating interests since 2013 have taken him from House (Nerd Riot and Averno) to Acid and Breaks (Vient) to Techno and Ambient (Terr_one), his is a path devoid of straight lines. (Additionally, from a young age, his ongoing fascination with ethnomusicology likely influenced his decision-making.) Disillusioned with the way his music career was working out though, his sinuous path abruptly ceased meandering in 2016. Only after speaking with Claudio Coccoluto four years later (on the subject of food) did Improta feel confident enough to pursue music once again.
Part consolidation and part exploration, his new material, an album called Fondamentalismi, essentially picks up where he left off. The Ambient and Techno elements he was exploring on his Mareggiata a San Vito EP (under his Vesàlio alias) have continued to splinter into new territories. Made with only analogue equipment, and recorded to tape, he's managed to capture a sound rich and warm in lo-fi aesthetic. The prevailing vibe is Ambient, with soft pads and dusty textures underpinning all ten tracks, which is perverse considering that the album is packed with honed rhythms. For example, Iblis uses a subtle Acid squelch alongside a lounging beat and fuzzy topline melody. The mangled beats on the title track bump along in perfect unison with the bleepy bass. On Marechiaro flavours of four-on-the-floor are married to a lovely wonky melody (think Boards of Canada). My fav is central track Comunicando with its Trip-Hop accent and optimistic vibe.
In 2024, warm pads and broken beats may not be groundbreaking but when it sounds this good, who's complaining?