Boomkat Product Review:
This most revered and productive of contemporary ambient composers issues his latest album via Japanese label, Slow Flow Rec, following in the footsteps of Home Normal boss Ian Hawgood and Celer, whose In Escaping Lakes was one of the duo's finest releases in a prolific 2009. For Winterreise, Orsi turns to a wrong-footingly simple list of devices: "guitar, effects, old keyboards" and creates an absorbing six-part suite. The Italian composer continues to operate at the top end of his field, making music that's tangibly organic and far more real-time in its feel than much of the computer-generated work produced by his peers. The first part of Winterreise arrives under a blanket of frosted drones - all filtered into blurry ambiguity, while loops of processed guitar lend the piece a sense of motion and continual flux. As this initial eleven minutes establishes, Orsi seamlessly bridges the distance between electronic drone music and live instrumentation, obscuring the threshold between performance and heavily constructed production. The third piece exhibits a more pastoral, hazily nostalgic feel, as prompted by field recordings of children playing being dissolved into minimal guitar gestures and evocative electronic chords. The second and fourth parts of the record offer a slightly more minimal, strictly realised sound, reminiscent of the micro-universes of Chihei Hatakeyama's music, but the album signs off in grander style, closing with a thirteen minute drift of lilting synth-strings and soaring ascents toward amped-up dissonance. Beautiful.