As sure as the sun will set and the tide will turn, Fabio Orsi will do big things. I got a hint of this when I did one of my first-ever reviews for Foxy Digitalis of his “The Wild Light of the Moon” a couple years ago. That same year he really wowed me with a double-disc set of compositions, “Audio for Lovers.” This was a most elegant canon of works that displayed the epic talent of his ambience par excellence. I usually don’t think of ambient drone as being epic, but there’s no question that this was the case for that release. Stepping it up a further notch, Orsi’s latest triple-disc anthology is irresistibly epic. In fact, epic falls short. This is not a stepping stone to greatness but is more like a living monument to his time-tested significance. I’m almost disappointed by his banal MySpace profile’s unapologetic confession, “Taking drugs to make music to take drugs to.” Not disappointment because of any conflict with my personal stance on such matters, but a genuine sadness for what this message might deliver to the common passerby who is uninitiated into the vastness and accomplishment of Orsi’s art. Bluntly, I think he’s selling himself short. But just give a listen to “Random Shades of Day” and you will agree that he is a seasoned artist that is still making strides and is perennially at the top of his game.
The three discs in this set are both an anthology of previously unreleased and out-of-print material and a brand new full-length. So, the first two discs are a perfect way to get your paws on some rare, hard-to-find tracks that have been gloriously unearthed and given their due on such a tremendous collection. Personally I really dig the series of five tracks on the first disc that are entitled “I’m Happy Here I-V.” This is an understatement as these tracks offer a rare sanctuary. “I’m Happy Here V” is probably my favorite with its guitar loop and piano droplets. All of his tracks are beautiful but this one stands out as exceptionally pleasing to the ear. The third disc is a four-part installation of sound that takes its name from the title, “Random Shades of Day I-IV.” I feel as though these are more concrete and palpable tracks that seem to have a greater thickness and texture than his previous work. The earlier tracks all seem to be much more weightless and ethereal, but these have a greater presence. I suppose a comparison could be the difference between a clear blue sky and a thick fog that enshrouds you. Don’t get me wrong though, this is comparing Fabio Orsi with Fabio Orsi. This is not comparing him to other artists. To most other artists even his newer material would be a far cry from heavy or truly tangible in the greater sense of the meaning. I’m fascinated to see where he’ll be in another three years.
Oh, and the packaging…the packaging is amazing. The art is appropriately minimal. And nothing is more exciting than a digipak that encases three CDs. The flip action is far too fun. You feel like you really hold something substantial. Maybe it’s because with this one you really do. 9/10 -- Dave Miller (8 September, 2010)