Fabio Orsi ~ The New Year Is Over

It takes a generous label to offer an artist the opportunity to release a triple-disc set, and Silentes does just that with The New Year Is Over – nine songs on three discs from the prolific Fabio Orsi.  The cover may lead one to expect a dark affair, but the light is the more important symbol.  By varying instruments and sounds, Orsi keeps the listener interested throughout, and this collection provides a series of windows into his various capabilities.  Another advantage is that the set is not overly long; if not for intentional thematic separation, the music would fit easily on two discs.

Ambient, drone, and rock are all well-represented here.  Disc 1 is much more rhythmic than one might be led to expect from Orsi’s recent work; “the new year is over (nope)” is anchored by a tribal pattern reminiscent of African drums, building on the steady, but less propulsive rhythm of “the new year is over (yep)”.  A more typical (for Orsi) shimmering drone makes its appearance on the disc’s other two tracks, serving as a double coda.  While the drone is Orsi’s strength, it’s not his only card, and it’s a brave move for him to open with something different.  It’s not until the very end of “endlisch” that we realize a more subtle percussion has been providing the underpinning in this piece as well.

If a demarcation between discs were required, Disc 2 would be known as the ambient one.  This time, Orsi experiments with the longer, flowing form, providing two tracks that undulate and double back upon themselves, with some parts slowly swirling like whirlpools around stones while other parts grow like debris piling at a river’s bend.  Disc 3 is a single track, “the lonesome era”, divided into three parts.  As the first part unfolds, electronics pulse and fizz, providing grit.  The timbre lightens midway through the second, and the third grows active with even brighter tones, recalling the cover image while moving toward the fireworks presented on the back cover: two separate forces in the dark, one small and constant, the other large and temporal.  Orsi fans will be delighted, and newcomers will find plenty to delve into here as well.  (Richard Allen)

Available here

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