As many can tell soon after meeting him, Stefano is (and has always been) a few standard deviations away from the mean, proving himself a rather particular guy. He loves theoretical mathematics, pizza, cats, green tea and good music; he can’t play football, hates driving, and gets mad at white glass frames, people chewing loudly, and badly printed restaurant menus.
You maybe wouldn’t guess, though, that he has been producing electronic music for half of his life so far – and he’s actually pretty good at it. Whether hidden behind his 6884 alias or as producer for the house duo Bicycle Corporation, Stefano has scattered more than a dozen releases across the world in the last decade, and signed remixes for names such as Mauro Picotto, Chris Fortier, Misjah, David Glass… His discography so far, though, was no more than his chrysalis, and the best is just about to come. Two things amongst many: he recently started a personal series of releases on Bandcamp, questioning and exploring his personal vision of techno and electronic music in general, and his long-awaited rst album is now ready, and it has already awarded him the attention of quite a few big names.
The man behind the number
Born in Torino, Italy, in 1988, Stefano showed stunning skills with music (and maths, but that’s another story) since his early childhood. He studied with pro ciency classical piano, percussions, and drums, and surely loved his Chopins and djembes, but that distant, legendary gure of “that guy doing things with turntables” proved more and more fascinating for young Stefano. Little did he know that those electronic sounds, so hard to catch on late ‘90s Italian radio stations, were about to open him a completely new universe.
“Back then, my family didn’t have a computer, it was actually a rather expensive gadget”, recalls Stefano, “so my first encounter with music production happened on a Playstation. I rented a copy of Music, and got so awestruck that I went back to buy it few days later. I was maybe 11 or 12, and the games store clerk looked at me surprised saying ‘watch out, this is not a game’. Damn, I knew that very well, I was definitely not there for playing! And it snapped immediately: everything looked so exciting and at the same time so natural for me, I started remixing popular tunes, rewriting all the melodies by ear… I knew I had just found my thing.”
And his music production skills evolved continuously over time. As he grew older, he started investing in equipment: “All my friends were using their money for drinking, smoking, buying clothes… I just didn’t care. I was saving up to the last pence, all I wanted was records and stuff for making sounds”. When Internet finally arrived in his life, Stefano started orbitating around online music communities, in particular the german FOEM.info. As he puts it: “My musical tastes were still rather immature, and so was my style, but I already had quite some skills. On FOEM I took part in countless remix contests, knowing in the meanwhile several great artists like Julien Mier and Noraj Cue, and I surely grew a lot. So much that towards the end I started winning a few contests myself. It was an incredible satisfaction!”.
Furthermore, these remixes started earning him a certain popularity in the group, until he was proposed to publish on FOEM’s own label. The second release to appear under the 6884 name, Here, Maybe EP was released shortly after Stefano’s twentieth birthday, and it is according to many a true 6884 manifesto: its blending of hypnotic grooves and genuinely emotional melodic elements, a personal reinterpretation of the original sound of Detroit through the ears and the heart of someone as old as Detroit Techno itself, helped Stefano creating a world of his own, and strongly defined his style since then.
Many things happened since his EP, from the success of the duo project Bicycle Corporation, together with Marco Mei, to the BSc in Physics and a Master’s Degree awarded to Stefano by the Department of Mathematics of Warwick and École Polytechnique, of which he is (understandably) quite proud. Along the years, Stefano’s musical style kept on evolving, breaking new territories, gaining more dimensions, and increasing in complexity until a moment of enlightening and self-understanding was reached. It was time for his new, yet to be released Melancholia (or: The End of The Beginning): composed after his life-changing decision of moving to Germany – Stefano is now a happy and very proud citizen of Cologne – this album represents the distillation of a whole period of experimentation, crisis, and evolution. It is, metaphorically, the baggage that Stefano brought with himself while moving North and the discovery of a new place to call home: one can immediately recall 6884’s roots from Here, Maybe, but his branches have now reached the sky and his owers are ready to blossom.
Already blessed by the warmest support of great artists such as Stefano’s personal idols Robert Babicz and Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Melancholia recently moved the first step on its way to the surface: on October 24th the Cologne-based label 200 Records is releasing four tracks from it, in the appropriately-titled Pieces From Melancholia. It will be a great chance for the world to know more about what is, according to many, one of the most interesting well-kept secrets of today’s (and tomorrow’s) scene, an artist whose name fits all in four digits, but whose style could not be described in a thousand words.
He is 6884, and this is his sound.
200 Records Release: