Some slow cleaners from Fabio Orsi. Just For A Thrill is the new full length offering from the Italian producer. On this one he melds expansive electronics and synths with field recordings to blur the lines between organic and artificial to the point where you're not sure which is which. Definitely one for the Eno heads. Out on CD from Home Normal.
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‘Just For A Thrill’ is already a certified award winner in my books, taking home the prize for Best In Drone Albums With Pictures of Cats In Their Liner Notes 2015. It’s a prestigious and hotly contested award, if I do say so myself, and fuck Beck for thinking he can do it better than Fabio Orsi. The cat pictured for this record is quintessentially Home Normal, by the way: we see it from the back of its head as it stares out of the most rustic and rain-beaten of windows. It is probably thinking of coffee and William Basinski.
Cats aside, we should probably talk about Fabio Orsi, an accomplished maker of warm drones, a master of shifting synths and a possible sea captain? I don’t know -- it sounds like he has control of the waves. On ‘Just For a Thrill’, he sustains comforting tones while attempting to make vast, grandiose soundscapes that are at once soothing and omnipotent -- his work here comes out like the older sibling to Chinhei Hatakeyama’s music, sounding fuller, clearer and occasionally more lifelike. Orsi’s greatest asset is that he allows touches of humanity to kiss off his compositions: like the work of Olan Mill, he uses persuasive piano melodies to suggest the silhouettes of real people -- he even occasionally seems to use whispered fragments of voices, the first track of ‘Just For A Thrill’ hinting at a vocal not dissimilar from Sigur Ros; it’s so brief it could be imagined.
Orsi’s understanding of build is crucial to his works. This is a drone artist who utilises silence as its own music, with the third piece building to its kettle-ringing and soft synth from a good thirty seconds of deathly quiet. It’s a testament to how versed he is in ambient climaxing that you never notice his pieces reaching their huge apex: the loudness never feels like too much, because it’s always come from a well-measured approximation of nothing. The fifth track begins with a subliminal rumbling that lasts for a good minute before Orsi opens it up to its monolithic organ preset, showing that even ominous sounds have humble origins.
That's basically the story of this record: wait and wait and wait, then feel your heart out. ‘Just For A Thrill’ is a gorgeous work founded on the principles of culmination and patience -- and also maybe the premise that cats are really awesome -- and I love it for those reasons.
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