On 9 April, the Reno, Nevada-based band Whatitdo Archive Group will release their debut album, The Black Stone Affair. The evocative instrumental LP was crafted as if it were the long, lost soundtrack to a Spaghetti Western of the same name—one that disappeared prior to its release and bankrupted its director. The playful story is enticing, but the music itself delivers on the dramatic vibe and demonstrates the care and craft of the musicians behind it. The album’s lead single, “Il Furto Di Africo,” further carries that spirit and even nods to the work of Italian composer Ennio Morricone.
This idea of an Italian cinematic masterpiece as the through-line allows the band members to explore genre and mood as they tell the whole story through their music. Bossa Nova and film noir elements find their way into the luscious 11-track album. In total, the group spent nine months on research and then worked with more than 24 musicians to paint the sonic landscape.
“For fans of KPM and De Wolfe Music, ‘Il Furto Di Africo’ definitely delivers a similar ‘library’ flavor, popular at the time,” bassist-percussionist Alex Korostinsky says. “Our ears are treated to an ambiguous sense of center—there almost seems to be two key centers at once and a slithering flute line blending between both. Finger-snaps and an incessant pulsing of a phased-out electric piano keep your head nodding.”
Hero image courtesy of Whatitdo Archive Group