[Reviewed by stark]
My first encounter with “Figures In Slow Motion” ended around the middle of the opening song. I mean it was playing until the end, but while doing some work at home I simply stopped paying attention, it just melted into the background. During the second attempt I managed to maintain focus on the music for about two, maybe two and a half pieces. Same situation with a few more approaches. The first sentences of this review began to formulate in my head, including definitions such as ‘background music’, ‘soundtrack to everyday activities’. On the other hand I still remembered that behind Orghanon is Sergio Calzoni, one of the members of Colloquio. I’ve spent a lot of nice moments with its music, especially “Si muove E Ride” from 2007. And since Colloquio works obviously do not strike one as the most dynamic and captivating from the first contact, I decided not to take hasty steps and to try to dig deeper into “Figures In Slow Motion”.
The brainwave came sooner than I expected. There was this weekend which I spent alone at home, winding myself up with alcohol and smoking one cigarette after another. Unintentionally I drove myself in not exactly the most positive mood in the world. And when I found myself on the borderline between different states of consciousness, I put “Figures In Slow Motion” on. And then something clicked. It drew me into its microcosm.
This CD was released by Eibon Records. One of the leading labels in experimental music and avant-garde metal, at least back in the day, now Mauro Berchi releases music so rarely that there are times when I wonder if he still wants to be the part of the underground industry, or if he’s somehow doing it out of habit. Probably not, given the fact that the quality of his productions is still high, even if lately there are so few of them.
This isn’t very distant from what Colloquio is offering, though – apart from a few samples – Orghanon’s music is one hundred percent instrumental. Drifting slowly in calm streams, unstirred by sudden changes of weather. Not spouting with geysers of optimism, but also far from arousing depressive moods or suicidal thoughts. “Figures In Slow Motion” is warm, summer melancholy. Seaside, South of Europe. It makes me think of my nightly walks in Palermo, during my brief yet memorable visit to that city a few years ago. A good, matching title. Indeed, everything flows in slow motion here. It’s not even about the dynamics of the music – it is leisurely, obviously, but still, I have less dynamic releases on my CD shelf. It’s the mood Stefano Calzoni manages to create. Tranquil, building a barrier between the listener and the usual hustle and bustle of his surroundings. Through post-rock guitar parts, ambient landscapes, simple yet endearing melodies, nice throbbing bass, static straight from an old radio, struggling to catch a broadcast from a different reality.
The label refers to movies by Jarmusch and Innaritu that “Figures in Slow Motion” could constitute the soundtrack for. Perhaps there’s something in this thought, especially when it comes to the work of the first of these directors. A bit of “Only Lovers Left Alive” poetics is present somewhere between these charming sounds by Orghanon. I mentioned Palermo in the previous paragraph but Tangiers fits as well… Somehow this album doesn’t work in daytime, as if it doesn’t possess enough power to break through the mundane. It’s not its purpose though. The darker it is behind the window, the greater the part of the environment that goes to sleep, the bigger the impression that “Figures In Slow Motion” makes. And it seems to me that it might be even more impressive when the summer comes and time begins to run more slowly.