[Reviewed by stark]
This album has already been released for almost a year, but it would be slightly tactless not to give it some time and attention. Fabio Orsi creates a lot of music, both individually and with other musicians. I admit that the last album of his that I listened to was “Endless Autumn” from 2013. Then I lost him from my radar until “Just For A Thrill”. And certain things are immutable in nature. Like for example, Fabio Orsi’s ability to teleport the listener from the depressing “here and now” into a place hidden somewhere in their dreams. Not necessarily the most joyous ones, but allowing one to break away for a while from the greyness of everyday life.
We’ve got eight songs, all of them untitled. And Fabio accomplishes something quite unique, because the material is consistent in atmosphere, but at the same time every song has its own character. They each have a feature that distinguishes one from the others, but they also imply that they’re a part of a larger whole. “Just For A Thrill” fits within the ambient genre of course – the melancholic and reflective variety – but it’s difficult to consider it solely as layers of drones intertwining with each other, slowly overpowering the listener and engaging the album in its internal fuzzy world. No, no, Fabio Orsi paints quite specific pictures, with clearly outlined shapes and contours. Like musical photographs of transitory yet memorable scenes, fragments of ordinary life, but having a touch of magic.
And just as a snapshot of life is immortalized on film or in digital form, so the music for “Just For A Thrill” stays with the listener for more than a moment, mainly because of the really good melodies, the skillful arrangement of individual songs and the efficient manipulation of the listener’s attention. Fabio Orsi doesn’t drag the sound textures indefinitely, so you’re not given the opportunity to get bored with this or that theme. Even these two very long songs, the fourth and eighth, respectively lasting fourteen and twenty minutes, can attract and captivate from beginning to the very end.
But my favorite composition on this CD is probably “five”, having probably the densest and most intense sound while at the same time being incredibly dramatic and touching. It anchors in the brain, making you want to loop these almost seven minutes for at least a few hours. For the most part the tracks included on “Just For A Thrill” are calmer, still full of emotion, but given in a more subtle, veiled manner. Just like the next piece, the sixth, playing on similar emotions but not so literally. While the first one is like a friend crying on your shoulder because of a lost love, the following track is like the same friend twenty years later, telling the same story from the past, over a glass of wine in a seaside cafe. Still with regret but also with a sense of reconciliation, without the despair.
Not without the reason did I make a photographic reference a few paragraphs above, as the Home Normal CD release contains a stunningly looking 16-page booklet with Fabio’s photos; photography is obviously his second passion, after music. I will not be doing any top lists this year, but if I were to try, “Just For A Thrill” would easily find its place there. A lovely tiny piece of monochromatic reverie.