07 September 2010

Fabio Orsi - audio for lovers (2008, Last Visible Dog)

Fabio Orsi is a prolific electronic musician from Taranto (Southern Italy) exploring the world of atmospheric drone/ ambient music.

"Audio for Lovers" is a double album released in 2008 on Last Visible Dog but his other records can be found on various labels like A silent Place, Digitalis, Preservation, Low Point, Ruralfaune and many others.

It contains almost two hours of music and if it includes an earlier Students of Decay3 x 3″ CDR set on disc two, it's still very long and as a side effect, there is an aftertaste of unevenness.

There is something arbitrary about lengths on this record, disc two is exactly one hour long and disc ones is composed of ten tracks of 8:00, 6:24 or 1:40, which gives an impression of artificial sizes. Plus each of these ten tracks have a two words title, with the second one always the same, love.

Fabio Orsi uses a profusion of synths, organs, pads and develops drones with theses, adding piano, guitar and bass too, exploit minimal melodies and texture with the use of repeated and slightly modified patterns.

The opening track, "Yesterday Love" reminds me of Terry Riley, but translated in a modern form of instrumental ambient music. Not bad, but I'm not really convinced by this one.

"Rising Love" is more than one head above. Starting with field recordings of birds probably collected in a forest, then a suspected reversed loop of manipulated guitar and bass, slowly replace these, later a reverberated piano loop is placed above with a few other sounds finally closing the composition. Simple, minimal, efficient and impressive, à la Mountains.

"Secret Love" is a reverberated piano only short track, a kind of interlude before something more cohesive, a probably the best track of the whole record, "Pure Love", base around a repeated short guitar melody à la Secret Stars, with a second guitar and organ sounds. Utterly moving and intimate.

Another piano interlude later, "Lost Love", and "Young Love" show a more post-rock oriented facet of Fabio Orsi, using a melancholic guitar with layers of synths, bringing to mind artists like Bark Psychosis, Labradford or 1 Mile North.

A last piano interlude, "Tender Love" and we have an average drone soundscape, "Last Love", followed by an unexpectedly dark "Shining Love" before ending with "Tomorrow Love" a track that lasts eight minutes but where everything is said after one minute.

The second disc shows a more experimental side of Fabio Orsi where he explores drones with some psychedelic hints on "2or 3 Moments in 1 Day". The next track is much more breathtaking and impressive, "The Psychedelic Power Of Bubbles (You And Me)" but it's better to forget the stupid title track and immerse yourself for a 16 minutes trip which will make you feel elated, the second part is even dream-like, developing an Indian atmosphere over field recordings of rain in a forest, later replaced by drone sounds adding a tragic dimension.

"Before Long, Before Anyone, The Stars Will Be Walls In My Mind" is another success, an euphoric and warm soundscape, sparkling and massive, which floods your mind and makes you want to rise higher, on a hill, a cliff or the top of a building in order to get a magnificent view that could vibrate with the music.

"Last Dream Lost Carefully" the last track of the record tries to follow similar steps but like the first track of this second disc seems seems too thin and too related to the repetition without justifying its length.

I come to the conclusion that this album is really too long and with various levels of quality. But at least four of the tracks here are really delicate and convincing pieces of music, "Rising Love" and "Pure Love" on the first volume, and "The Psychedelic Power Of Bubbles (You And Me)" and "Before Long, Before Anyone The Stars Will Be Walls In My Mind". Their total length is of 47 minutes which is still a normal size for an album. On these, Fabio Orsi shows that he can explore sensitive and in-depth music and that his talent is real. But more self-criticism about releasing a double album would have been opportune.

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