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Armonite - The Sun Is New Each Day

Italian duo Armonite’s instrumental debut.

This bombastic pet project of violinist Jacopo Bigi and composer Paolo Fosso sees them pull out all the stops, with the guest list including Porcupine Tree’s Colin Edwards, Dutch drummer Jasper Barendregt and Paul Reeve (early Muse) on production duties. The eagle-eyed will have noticed that the list doesn’t include a vocalist and, aside from the occasional spoken sample, the album is entirely instrumental.

The challenge here is to keep the listener on board. Ironically, Die Grauen Herren (translation: the grey men) is one of the record’s more colourful, successful outings in this respect, with the piano and violin weaving in an exciting interchange. Le Temps Qui Fait Ta Rose (The Time That Makes Your Rose) is similarly well-considered – a quiet reflection on the duo’s constituent components. However, Insert Coin’s classic arcade‑style 8-bit tones feel gimmicky, and Sandstorm’s violin-heavy grand tour of Eastern scales grates. Slippery Slope’s sparser arrangement, rolling bass and string punctuation do a better job of conveying a sense of narrative and proves that when the duo actually have a point – rather than meandering – The Sun… really, er, rises.