Orfeo’s Dreams is a musical project born in 2014 by Domenico (D_Smoker) Urso, a producer already present on the Bologna’s music scene since the early 2000s (Dubhash, Solid Crew). After a couple of Eps on the label Noisybeat, D_Smoker created a bunch of instrumental tracks in the winter of 2013, characterized by the fusion of dub, hip hop, dubstep and trip hop elements, on which he thought about recording voices. During the first months of 2014 he moved to Luxembourg, where he met Chantal Kirsch, that lent his magnificent voice and lyrics for the first Ep of Orfeo’s Dreams Unbound mixed by Ezra at NoMad Studio and published by Elastica Records. In January 2016 Domenico returned to Bologna, where in August he produced a remix compilation of the first album (Unbound remixes) which was attended by many musician friends and is avalaible on the bandcamp profile of the project.
Three years after the debut EP Unbound (Elastica Records, 2015) produced by Ezra, D_Smoker returns with his project Orfeo’s Dreams and publishes the second EP titled You, released on February 2nd for IRMA Records. Always paired with the wonderful voice of Chantal Kirsch, the Bolognese producer packs a more mature work that rests solid bases on the Bristol-based trip hop and on the old school dubstep; nonetheless, the sound reveals the soul influences of Isaac Hayes and Erikah Badu and the typical hip-hop sampling of J Dilla, Pete Rock or 9th Wonder.
You is born during the travels between Italy and Luxembourg and the sound is influenced by this contrast: the dark and cold atmospheres of the first work, here are placed in the background and mix with warmer and more enveloping melodies. Beyond the presence of Chantal Kirsch to the voices, for this EP Domenico Urso has made use of the collaboration of other musicians such as Cosimo “Cixxx j” De Amicis, Paolo “Pol Natty” Grana, Piergiuseppe “Wormhole” Collina, Davide Schipani and Carlo Altomare. Hill and Grana also took part in the mixing. The mastering is the work of Max Paparella.
You is the opening song and title track of the EP. It does not want to be a consecration of the person we have alongside or a celebration of the loved one. It is not a love song but rather the description of a relationship with his happy moments but also the darker ones. The oxymorons of the verses serve to underline the duality of each relationship.
My Thrill is the sharpest track on the album. The sounds are minimal and used with precision, as if to describe a vast and desolate oneiric soundscape. Chantal’s voice almost seems to echo on a surreal scenario cleverly created with reverberations and delays to excite the listener. The text (very personal to Chantal) is at the same time a tribute to the great Billie Holiday, a singer the group love so much.
Dust is a post-modern ballad. The electronic atmospheres are dominated by melodies and riffs of guitar and rhodes that press the listener and envelop him in a slow and psychedelic groove. The repetitive bassline guides the instruments and the voice that intersect in a sound mosaic full of psychedelic and soul.
Above the water is a track that combines electronic music with guitars and delayed dub. Return to the theme of the journey that Orfeo’s Dreams had also treated in the first EP. Man’s journey to the underworld of himself, which makes him restless and sleepless and often leads to madness. A journey like that of Orpheus.
The remix of Dust by Cixxx j closes the disc. A danceable and very Italian version of the song, which brings the listener back to the 80s pop. Lead synths and arpeggiators are accompanying this time the voice of Chantal that fits perfectly even on sounds a bit ‘more dated.