Fort Da (Tape)
Label: Maple Death Records
Preorder: Releases October 20th 2023
Peaking late, rising slowly and crashing gently, in other words dialing in the perfect extra sensorial experience. Giulio Stermieri’s first solo outing ‘Fort Da’ is a nuanced ultra hypnotic work of art, six movements that blend ascetic minimalism, polyrhythmic trance and ecstatic tension with surprising detours into primitive techno and abstract jazz.
Based in the smalltown of Saliceto Buzzalino, Giulio Stermieri is a pianist and composer, founder of the collective Impulse Response (with Laura Agnusdei) and Effetto Brama. His musical path merges his love for the African American piano tradition and improvisation with a focus on timbral exploration of piano and electronics. ‘Fort Da’ is the perfect example of how a minimalistic approach can transcend barriers and expectations, creating a language that is rich in texture and profound in symbols. Recorded almost exclusively with a Farfisa organ and a sampler, the compositions flow organically hiding small flourishes of melody that reveal themselves slowly through repetition and stratification. The Farfisa almost acts as a ‘living machine’ steadily moving towards new trajectories that seem to intercept both body and mind, the kosmische grooves of ‘Crepuscular Moths’, the rapturous heights of ‘Hesychia’, the ominous tension of ‘Wide Plain, Desolate Place’ build a dense and rewarding mosaic. Tracks like ‘Instruction Of Forgiveness’ with its scattering percussion almost trace a direct line towards the Italian tradition of library music, OSTs and cosmic experimentalism; closing title ‘The New Holy’ veers into unexpected techno territory almost suggesting a spiritual jungle future.
Pinning down Giulio Stermieri’s work is extremely complicated, an unusual blend that recalls the contemporary work of labels like Rune Grammofon, the organic tradition of Egisto Macchi and the electronic bleeps of Sakamoto’s ‘Esperanto’. Nothing though is set in stone, what shines through is a joyous musical expressiveness that permeates the whole journey.