I perceive Giovanni Di Domenico’s piano sound deeply enough to recognize, since the outset, that his research is fuelled by a kind of idealistic candour. The biographical references speak of Di Domenico’s year of birth (1977) as a pivotal rupture generating an unprecedented freedom of expression in his native Italy. However, it is also true that the immediately following historical period introduced an unashamed hiding of accurate information and the deliberate, and ultimately successful attempt to remove essential educational memories from our minds. This abominable process was enhanced by political strategies that, from the 80s on, resulted in the progressive descent of the Italians into absolute ignorance, until today’s hellish mire. Luckily for him, Di Domenico was growing in Africa during those times, and stays well protected from cheapness to this day, as a Brussels resident.
As for Isasolo!, recorded in Japan at Jim O’Rourke’s studio, my initial reaction to the first movement (of four) was to consider it an explicit homage to Charlemagne Palestine. The reference to the latter’s “strumming music” is in fact rather prominent, the result still warmly greeted by the ears although not exactly unique, stylistically speaking. The remaining parts influence the listener’s awareness in different ways. The second is nervously minimalist, never really restful, rhythmically edgy; the third explores slower movements, carefully highlighting selected resonances, somehow approaching La Monte Young’s spiritual territories. The final and shortest track is a cross of clustery chords and slightly sweeter openings alternated throughout an irregularly obsessive pulse, perfectly synthesizing the consonant/dissonant, quiet/perturbed dichotomies characterizing this album. It might not represent a groundbreaking statement, but for sure Isasolo! is alone more sincere than the entire discography of Franco Battiato, listed in the press release as a credential of sorts.