Includes guest appearance by Colin Edwin of iconic UK prog-rockers Porcupine Tree
Italy – Armonite, the instrumental rock collective led by composer Paolo Fosso and violinist Jacopo Bigi, have released their second album And the Stars Above on LA-based indie label Cleopatra Records.
Armonite’s instrumental music is perfectly in line with the spirit of the label, especially now that Cleopatra expanded in the movie industry.
With the film division Cleopatra Entertainment, the company has distributed, developed, and produced several films most of which have a strong horror and/or music component, including The Devil’s Domain (starring Michael Madsen), The Black Room (starring Lin Shaye), Halloween Pussy Trap Kill! Kill! (featuring the voice of Dave Mustaine from Megadeth), The 27 Club (featuring Todd Rundgren), England Is Mine (Steven Morrissey bio-pic), A Street Cat Named Bob.
“Working with Cleopatra has been great,” says Fosso, “They’re skilled and competent, I’m sure they will take Armonite to the next level. I’ve always been a great lover of movies and videogames, I was just moving forward to the composition of soundtrack music, so this collaboration comes right on cue.”
As with the previous album, And the Stars Above is an instrumental mix of electric violin, keyboards, bass, and drums with focus on the amazing and powerful electric violin, performed by Jacopo Bigi. Interpreting the music composed by keyboardist Paolo Fosso, Armonite also performs with bassists Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) and Alberto Fiorani, along with drummers Corrado Bertonazzi, Emiliano Cava, and Jasper Barendregt.
The sound of the album is more oriented to soundtrack music with textures that feel very immediate. “We consume tons of music every day, we can’t just stick to one genre”, says Fosso, “generally speaking, the album is rock, but with this idea of soundtrack music.”
Throughout the album, lingers a ghostly female voice, appearing and disappearing here and there before fully emerging in the band’s first song with lyrics, “Clouds Collide”. The track tells the story of a girl between time and memories.
And the Stars Above is a journey through 12 tracks, starting with “The March of the Stars” inspired by Dante’s Paradise and ending with “Ghosts”. The album also features two bonus tracks: a polyrhythmic piece for piano solo, “The Fire Dancer”, and the String Quartet “A Playful Day”.
“We’re confident this is going to be a great release, with a rather peculiar view,” says Fosso, “The Sun is New Each Day had a heavy compact sound… And the Stars Above is groovy, with different vibes across a bunch of genres. There’s something indie in this new sound that we’ve never explored before and it’s kind of sexy for us!”
And the Stars Above Tracklist
01. The March of the Stars
02. Next Ride
03. District Red
04. Plaza de España
05. Clouds collide
06. Blue Curaçao
07. By heart
09. By the Waters of Babylon
10. The usual drink
11. What’s the Rush?
13. [Bonus Track] A Playful Day (for Strings Quartet)
14. [Bonus Track] The Fire dancer (for Piano solo)
Original music composed and arranged by Paolo Fosso
Performed by Armonite
Jacopo Bigi – acoustic and electric violin
Paolo Fosso – piano and keyboards
Colin Edwin (The March of the Stars, District Red, Freaks, By the Waters of Babylon, What’s the Rush?, Ghosts); Alberto Fiorani (Next Ride, Blue Curaçao, By heart) – bass
Giacomo Lampugnani (Plaza de España, Freaks); Gianmarco Straniero (By the Waters of Babylon) – double bass
Corrado Bertonazzi (The March of the Stars, District Red, Blue Curaçao, Freaks, What’s the Rush?, Ghosts); Emiliano Cava (Next Ride, Plaza de España, By heart); Jasper Barendregt (By the Waters of Babylon) – drums
Maria Chiara Montagnari (The March of the Stars, Clouds collide, By the Waters of Babylon) – voice
Diletta Fosso (Ghosts) – child’s voice
Marcello Rosa (District Red); Gabriele Montanari (The March of the Stars, A Playful Day) – cello
Quartetto Indaco: Eleonora Matsuno, violin; Jamiang Santi, violin; Francesca Turcato, viola; Cosimo Carovani, cello (District Red) – string quartet
Jacopo Bigi also plays viola (District Red, Ghosts) and ukulele (By the Waters of Babylon). He whistles on “Freaks” and plays both violins and viola on “A Playful Day”.
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