Podcast 668: Orli
Dark, body-moving grooves.
Podcast 668: Orli
Dark, body-moving grooves.
Of Romanian and Italian descent, Orli, real name Orlando Stefano Tosi, produces and DJs a slick and reduced style of music that pulls from both sides of his heritage—which is to say hypnotizing Italian techno and sleek Romanian minimal. He blends these sounds with those from the ’90s and early 2000s.
Tosi landed on XLR8R‘s radar after submitting a selection of tracks via the XLR8R+ submissions portal, but it soon became apparent that his music had been with us for much longer. And this is the case for anyone who follows the stream of videos that pop up after each edition of Sunwaves Festival in Romania. Listen carefully, and you can hear Tosi’s music across the sets of the scene’s kingpins, including Rhadoo, Vlad Caia, and Cristi Cons. If you’re a fan of minimally-inclined dance music, you’ve almost certainly danced to Orli’s music.
Last year, Tosi launched his own LORI Records with LORI001, a vinyl-only release which included “Ynmwnbnct,” a sought-after track that has been popping up in sets from Petre Inspirescu. A nameless artist EP followed on LORI sub-label IROL, before this year’s TRASMISSIONE DIGITALE, a digital album touching on everything from ’80s horror-like broken beat to dark trip-hop.
Earlier this month, Tosi released “Rexxar” via XLR8R+, showcasing his knack for crafting body-moving grooves, alongside exclusive works from Dan Andrei, Priku, Amorf, Sublee, and Cosmjn. As part of that package, Tosi compiled a mix for XLR8R and we’re now releasing it to the wider public as this week’s podcast.
Recorded last month, Orli’s XLR8R mix is characterized by a deep and surreal groove, and it follows the same trajectory as a club set. That is to say, it starts slowly and picks up pace around the midway mark. It’s lean and sophisticated, with slick transitions and a raw energy that pulls you in from the first minute. Expect 80 minutes of driving minimal that’ll transport you right back to the better times of the dancefloor.
01. What have you been up to recently?
Since our world stopped because of the pandemic, the time I’ve been spending with music hasn’t reduced. Despite being hard to find motivation, I keep trying to carry on with my musical projects. I have certainly spent more time studying and learning the spectrum of mixing and mastering. Also, thanks to the proposal of a friend of mine, I have created a trip-hop downtempo live set which I had the chance to perform in his club. It was stimulating to try something new. I am sure that live set will be something that I will propose in the near future.
02. How did you find your way into music?
My addiction to music started from an early age when I used to spend whole days watching and listening to MTV. I was really young and I can say my hunger to discover new music has never left me since. I can also say that one of my greatest fortunes has been one of my older cousins who introduced me to the world of electronic music around the early 2000s. He said to me: “What the f***! Are you still listening to this? Forget that and have a go at this!” It was a collection of micro-house tracks that were played at the first Sunwaves!
03. This pandemic has been hard on DJs. How have you been coping?
Unfortunately, my earnings with music have decreased drastically. Clubs shutting down have killed artists like me all over the world. It is needless to say that most of our income comes from there; music sales play a really small part. I currently have another source of income which came as a surprise but it is now giving me new motivations. Anyway, fear not, I am not giving up; this is just the beginning of my journey! I can’t wait for all this to come to an end and to start playing once again, and to show you my new projects.
04. What’s the focus of your label, and how do you go about finding music for it?
LORI is the heart of my work. With it, I give space to my ideas and my style but I am also always open to anyone who creates something interesting and has the same vision I have. My aim is always to create something unusual with its own character that you don’t hear every day. The second release is on the way. It was scheduled to be out last May but I decided to postpone it because of the virus. It will be available soon, and shortly after that I am planning to get release number three ready.
05. Where and when did you record this mix?
I recored the mix in September at my studio. I wanted to show my style by selecting new records that I’ve discovered recently along with pieces that I’ve been playing for some time, moving from early warmup tracks to more uplifting ones, before closing by trying to capture that feeling of the last memory you have from a set. It has this defined path that I try to capture each time I perform.
06. Can you talk about the artists and labels behind the music you’ve chosen?
For the majority of my mixes and sets, I like to make a mix of old and new tracks that come from different styles and genres. From electro to break-beat to minimal, every piece I select has a similar groove and emotion, and this creates a connection between them all. My intent is to give the listener a dark, cool, and surreal feeling and I like to do this by selecting music from the past decades to the latest releases everyone can get. I’m not into this ”I must play only the rarest thing”; I try not to be limit myself to this way of thinking. In this podcast you will find artists like Ectomorph, Mesak, DBX (Daniel Bell), O-Wells, and more, including some unreleased tracks of mine.
07. How do you spend your time out of music?
When I am not working on music, which usually takes half of my day, I like to spend my time on some other hobbies. I do sport four or five times a week because it gives me the right mental boost and balance because I am constantly in front of the computer. I read a lot too, from novels to comics.
08. What’s up next on your agenda?
My next step is the next LORI release. It will contain some tracks from myself plus a special remix. I am not going to say anything more.
Full XLR8R+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
Editor’s note: there is no tracklisting for this mix.