Fabio Orsi: Stand Up Before Me, Oh My Soul!

Recorded in Taranto and Berlin during 2009 and 2010, Fabio Orsi's Stand Up Before Me, Oh My Soul! presents a dramatically different side of the Italian electronic musician compared to the one documented on last year's Slow Flow release Winterreise and on his 2009 Near and Faraway collaboration with Seaworthy issued on Low Point. Whereas those oft-tranquil recordings cultivate moods of soothing serenity, the new collection opts for a far noisier and aggressive style in its eight raw, even primal pieces. The music's grungier character can be attributed to the diametrical shift in Orsi's own playing towards something more apocalyptic and punk-inspired, plus the involvement of Rich Baker, a regular associate of Nadja's Aidan Baker, who provides Orsi with a hellacious storm of drum loops with which to work. The album immediately distances itself from Orsi's preceding output when “Naked Trance” enters with a light-streaming guitar swarm accompanied by Baker's heavy attack. The buzz-saw raging throughout “Papa, Show Me Your Blues LPs” and “Full Metal Flat” is so awesome it's almost terrifying, as Orsi unleashes torrents of wall-of-sound fury so huge it even threatens to bury the drumming. All of that seems like a warm-up for the ferocious fireball “My Awesome Drugs Propoganda,” where the guitars and drums merge into a lacerating mass of distortion and grime. When the opening half of the eleven-minute closer “Soon, I'll Be At Home” omits drums and presents Orsi's playing in a more ambient style that's closer in spirit to Winterreise, one braces onself for an expected detonation when a drum pattern begins to steadily emerge from the background. But in this case the explosion never comes, and the track instead takes the listener out on a surprisingly restrained wave of ambient atmsopherics. That track aside, Stand Up Before Me, Oh My Soul! clearly isn't designed with the ambient listener in mind but more for those whose taste runs to the likes of Nadja and Sunn O))).

March 2011