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FLOATING STATE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Floating State biography
1. FLOATING STATE is the name of a new Progressive rock band from Italy. The sound reminds one of the best British prog of the Seventies: sudden changes, hard-rock and touching melodies (Michele Moschini can already be considered one of the best voices of the Italian progressive rock scene). Intense progressive romantic inspirations (often in suite form) of GENESIS meet the enchanting British folk-rock atmospheres of JETHRO TULL.

This debut album, "Thirteen Tolls At Noon" (2003), displays great magical Seventies sounds, enchanting folkish medieval atmospheres with piano, flute and saxophone included, reminding one of the best romantic tradition. Some hard-rock and dynamic parts through some fascinating long suite structures, featuring the 45 minutes of "Pilgrimage To Nowhere". A "must" for any progster (but not only) who enjoys wide fantastic sceneries. [ProgArchives]

2. Floating State was founded in the early 1995 by Gigi and Mimmo Ferri (guitar, keyboards) with Fabrizio Binetti (drums), who played together in another band. Gigi knew a singer, Michele Moschini, who agreed to join the band. Then started the "Calvario" in search of bass guitarists: first the good Gianfranco Aresta(volazzi), then Carlo Cavaniglia, who stayed 'til june 1996, followed by Claudio Signorile. In the mean time the band started composing and often playing live in Bari. in 1998 the band had several problems and had to split. At first chance they started it all again, but without the drummer.

This is the most recent part of Floating State experience: in 1999 Beatrice Birardi was the new drummer and the band enlarged with the saxophonist Grazia Stella, and in summer 2000 the line up finally was completed with Francesco "FunkyBlues" Antonino as bass guitarist. These are the musicians who recorded first demo-cassette and released "Thirteen Tolls at Noon" in 2003 for Lizard Records, and the tribute to King Crimson "The Letters - An unconventional italian guide to King Crimson" for Mellow Records.

In october 2004 Michele Moschini left the band and Marco Esposito, singer, flutist and guitarrist, took his place. The band soon releases the tribute to Moody Blues (Higher and Higher - 2006) for Mellow Records. In 2007 the "Treasure Island" project, the musical version of the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, is released for Musea-Colossus. In 2008 the band releases the project "Giallo! One Suite for the Murderer", musical version of the movie Profondo Rosso by Dario...
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FLOATING STATE discography


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2.88 | 29 ratings
Thirteen Tolls At Noon
2003

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FLOATING STATE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Thirteen Tolls At Noon by FLOATING STATE album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.88 | 29 ratings

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Thirteen Tolls At Noon
Floating State Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Floating State, this unknown italian band mange to create only one album named Thirteen tolls at noon in 2003 and then gone into oblivion. The sound is reminescent of seventies, a combination of folk parts, symphonic elements also present, some rock passages all under progressive atmosphere. There is also some medieval folk atmosphere with flute, piano and even sax , we might think Jethro Tull for influence. There are only 5 pieces, but two of them are very lenghty, one of them White flower is nearly 22 im while Pilgrimage to Nowhere has no more no less then 45 min a giant epic, but the music flows nicely, crescento with nice musicisnship, well developed arrangements and funny voice of Moschini, it sounds like a flower power vocalist from late '60s, not really bad but sometimes it sounds little goofy. So, a pleasent album, not great but ok most of the time, very nice is the art work and booklet, nice drawings and all. 3 stars I think it deasearves.

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 Thirteen Tolls At Noon by FLOATING STATE album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.88 | 29 ratings

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Thirteen Tolls At Noon
Floating State Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars An Italian band from Valenzano built in 1995 around brothers Mimmo and Gigi Ferri (keyboardist and guitarist respectively) and singer Michele Moschini.The several line-up changes led to a brief disbanding in 1998 but at the dawn of the millenium Floating State returned with a stable core, featuring also female drummer Beatrice Birardi, female sax player Grazia Stella and bassist Francesco Antonino and leading to the demo ''White flower''.Winners of the "Una suite per un anno" prog competition, Floating State signed a contract with Lizard and released their debut ''Thirteen Tolls at Noon'' in 2003.

Over 70 minutes long, the album is characterized by the two very ambitious epics, the 22- min. ''White Flower'' and the 44-min. (!) ''Pilgrimage to Nowhere'', containing plenty of changing climates performed in a smooth Italian Progressive Rock style with strong Folk references and a mild dose of Jazz aesthetics.These are split by three shorter tunes.''White flower'' presents a COURT-like approach of Medieval/Folk Prog with several soft moments interrupted by more intense instrumental excursions and strong lyrical content.Here the band sounds a lot like a mix of OSANNA, DALTON and DELIRIUM, where the flutes have a dominant role, sax solos come and go, but there is also a fair amount of keyboard interludes, piano lines and CAMEL-esque guitar melodies to add a trully proggy vibe to the composition.The very long ''Pilgrimage to Nowhere'' is another story.It is closer to Classic Italian Prog, the folky and jazzy tunes of the previous track are still present, but the overall approach is definitely rockier.Lots of crazy interplays, monster synth explorations (and even some Mellotron waves) and stronger guitar hooks (hints of KING CRIMSON and NUOVA ERA are evident overall) are blended with melodic passages and acoustic themes in a composition that contains many great moments, but the huge number of different moods make it rather inconsistent as a result.

Next year shows the departure of Moschini and the arrival of Marco Esposito, while the band participated in several tribute and compilation albums until 2008.In 2009 Antonino also quit to be replaced by Simona Armenise, but eventually (according to a statement by Moschini) Floating State's career came to an end in 2011.

''Thirteen Tolls at Noon'' is characterized by all the goods and the bads of Progressive Rock.The compositions are very ambitious but a bit excessive, the instrumentation is varied but the numerous shifting changes hurt its consistency, the band was talented but the talent did not transform into very tight playing.The final feeling though is positive and I can recommended this album warmly to all fans of Italian Prog or Progressive Folk.

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 Thirteen Tolls At Noon by FLOATING STATE album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.88 | 29 ratings

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Thirteen Tolls At Noon
Floating State Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Smegcake!

4 stars I have a certain attraction to long pieces of music. Which is what led me to find this strange album. It took some time, but I found myself really, truly loving 'Pilgrimage to Nowhere' off this CD. Which, I suppose was the best result I could expect from it. Seeing as the CD goes for over 70 minutes, 'Pilgrimage' takes up 44 of those - and I rank the song as one of my favorites ever, if not the most listened to. Which explains my rating of four stars for this release.

Now, about the rest of the album...

I can't see how they could create such a wonderful, catchy epic tune, and surround it with such empty, boring redunant pieces of... well, uninteresting music. I found no appeal in anything outside of the huge epic - which is unfortunate, because if I give the songs their own individual ratings, that is : Waterclock 2, White Flower 2, Fairies Inn 1, Pilgrimage to Nowhere 5- and the long titled last piece 1, I have to scale down the rating drastically. Which is a shame. I would much prefer that this have been released as a one song album with Pilgrimage to Nowhere, which has moments which hold their own with the very best of prog in my own opinion. Meandering, yes. But still filled with moments of inspiration that I just felt the rest of the album completely lacked.

So in total, I'll cautiously give this a four, rounded up from 3.5 because of the wonderful epic track - but be warned, the rest is horribly redundant for my taste. Even Pilgrimage feels a bit redundant, but it took me many listens to truly appreichiate it. And I had the time to indulge in a 44 minute song many times before I reached this conclusion; it's really good. Pity the rest isn't up to the same standard though.

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 Thirteen Tolls At Noon by FLOATING STATE album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.88 | 29 ratings

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Thirteen Tolls At Noon
Floating State Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Floating State from Italy has this album "Thirteen Tolls at Noon" that is not an easy listen, even when judged by its odd structure , two megalith tracks (21.59 for White Flower and a whopping 44.14 for Pilgrimage to Nowhere) surrounded by a trio of little ditties. Jeez, how does one begin to slice and dice this concoction? Well, I am a big vibes fan so the opener "Waterclock" is a gentle series of vibraphone musings that certainly inspire a Moerlin-era Gong but its short at 2 minutes 31 secs. "White Flower" is an altogether different animal, a certain Gryphon/Gentle Giant feel, lush with medieval intonations (a dash of harpsichord) and seriously fangled with a wide variety of wood and brass winds, elegant keyboard flourishes and some sizzling lead guitar. Then some of the negatives become apparent: the vocals are unfortunately accented English (they should have stuck with Italian, per bacco!), which is not an excitable language to start with, so the drama comes across as a bit hysteric. The normally solid drumming from a lady drummer (I love that!) is unexpectedly ruined by a rather lame mini-drum solo that is surprisingly amateurish. Edit please! Just when you get despondent, the flute gathers in the flock in a hugely successful pastoral interlude with brilliant duet vocals and a mellifluous sax passage, really nice as the piano and mellotron combine to add some elegance. This track would have needed some tweaks to become a classic. The serene and delicate "Fairies Inn" clocks in under 4 minutes and is arguably a highlight piece here, a sonic expanse where rustling piano, breathless voice that once again would have been better served in a native tongue. The monstrous Pilgrimage is next and as such, encapsulates well the weaknesses and strengths of this release, reminding us that good playing a masterpiece of prog does not make. There are snippets that veer into sheer radiance, especially when the winds are involved that are then nastily tackled by some poor singing (Sorry Michele!) and some okay electric guitar soloing that certainly could have used some more tonal feeling and less chopzilla. The keyboards and piano in particular are exhilarating though and the recorder work is stellar (such a gorgeous instrument) especially when used in unison with harpsichord and/or mandolin. The fretless bass musings are also memorable. In conclusion, the softer parts are much more seductive that the more aggressive sections, a clear indication that more attention would have been required from the production chair to blend them better. The contrasts therefore seem contrived instead of razor sharp and dramatic. But its still great music, if you hear what I mean! You just have to slalom through the gates as this is no downhill! By the time one gets to the finish line, this becomes a reliable and in a way interesting release that would have greatly benefited from a little guidance. 3.5 national balloons

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 Thirteen Tolls At Noon by FLOATING STATE album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.88 | 29 ratings

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Thirteen Tolls At Noon
Floating State Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

1 stars From the cover, instrumentation, and most reviews, one might think this is a trippy pastoral flashback with some heavy rock moments, but my attempts to connect with "Thirteen Tolls at Noon" have convinced me that this is a hard rock album, with a few gentle sequences. None of that passes judgement in and of itself, except that Floating State does not seem capable of connecting the dots, and that really does matter.

The words composition and transition do not seem to be in this band's vocabulary. This is especially important when the bulk of the album consists of a 22 minute and a 44 minute song, which come across more like musical exercises than anything approaching a logical unit of work. Even dividing them up into smaller pieces would have been an improvement, since taken on their own they sometimes make sense.

I cannot recommend this unless you enjoy that sinking feeling.

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 Thirteen Tolls At Noon by FLOATING STATE album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.88 | 29 ratings

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Thirteen Tolls At Noon
Floating State Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There are neither thrilling complexness nor headcrashing virtuosity.There's fine "Claasic Prog-like" folkish album from Italian band FLOATING STATE.It reminds me of JETHRO TULL's "Thick as a Brick" most,but surely it can't be compared with TULL's masterpiece.Good vocals (with fun accento),great songwriting (wonderful melodies!),but the main flaw is epics' length.Is this was SO necessary?While listening to "Pilgrimage..." at the first time,I use to make breaks every 10 minutes - TOO MUCH FILLER-LIKE SOLOING!!!FLOATING STATE aren't these genius to grab your attention and never let it go till the epic goes - there's nothing too important to focus on,so it gets boring.Such soloing would be great during the live show,but in the studio each of the epics should have been shorter at least on 1/4: "White Flower" 15:34 and "Pilgrimage to Nowhere" 30:22 (probably).Nevertheless,I'd like to listen to something else from these Italian guys - something more straightforward and not longer than 15 minutes!!!

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 Thirteen Tolls At Noon by FLOATING STATE album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.88 | 29 ratings

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Thirteen Tolls At Noon
Floating State Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Ruglish

3 stars Hippy-trippy Italian prog sang in bad English. The shorter songs serve as throughways to longer compositions - the 22-minute "Wild Flower" and the 44-minute "Pilgrimage to Nowhere." Both tracks, especially the longer one, tend to meander a little, but the band's overall calm, lush, symphonic sound serves up enough different sonic textures to keep the listener entertained.

The album would have benefited from a good editor - did they really need that drum solo? (and for that matter, does anyone?) - but there are some genuinely inspiring moments waiting to be discovered in this 75-minute monster of an album.

Three-and-a-half stars, really, but apparently there's no option to add a half-star.

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 Thirteen Tolls At Noon by FLOATING STATE album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.88 | 29 ratings

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Thirteen Tolls At Noon
Floating State Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Fitzcarraldo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars If you like Italian Progressive Rock, medieval folk music, the pastoral and jazz-rock fusion, and many changes in tempo and mood in a track do not scare you, this 2003 album may well be of interest. A little bizarre, I suspect this to be a polarising album: you'll either love it or detest it. Me, I love it. It repays repeated listening, that's for sure. Where would Progressive Rock be without the Italians?

'Water Clock' is two and a half minutes of nothing but pleasant vibraphone. A promising start.

'White Flower' is a 22-minute track with many disparate parts - all good, it has to be said - varying from very medieval to jazzy in feel. If you are a fan of GRYPHON you may well like this track. It starts with a rat-a-tat-tat military drum introducing keyboards ('horns', later clavinet or harpsichord) that in turn becomes a very medieval-sounding English country ditty with flute and slightly echoing vocals. Moschini's voice sounds like a court minstrel's (and sometimes a bit like Peter Hammill). About a quarter of the way through, the track rocks up nicely with some twangy guitar, bass and drums, only to then mellow into some lovely piano. The subsequent flute, sax and bass are very laid back and jazzy, and this part is a real foot-tapper. But then it rocks up again and in comes a long (and good) percussion solo. Nice. Then back to medieval with Moschini backed by Assia Polito. A very pleasant piece if you like the Baroque.

'Fairies Inn' starts with laid-back piano darting here and there, and Moschini breathes his lyrics over the top. The piano and vibraphone are superb. Very nice indeed.

The 44-minute (that's longer than some albums!) 'Pilgrimage To Nowhere' starts with some heavy guitar, keyboards and bass, a real foot-tapper. I like the synthesizer and bass, and the alto sax jazzes it up a treat. In comes Moschini's flute, and shortly after the music turns into a lengthy ramble. It really is a pilgrimage to nowhere. The playing is good and very diverse while the band meanders along on their lengthy pilgrimage. The track does border on the silly at times, although some parts are excellent (and I do mean excellent). I can easily listen to the whole track but would have preferred more of a musical thread or for it to be shorter. It's a bit ambitious really (Moschini even puts on the voices of the characters in the song, which sounds a bit odd at first), but it does get better on repeated listening, with a wide variety of instruments and moods. And the playing is superb in places.

Church bells, crunching gravel, organ and chanting introduce 'Something Has Changed In The Happy Land of Vondervatteimittiss' (say it out loud if you still haven't got the joke) with Moschini singing in a most bizarre way. The track ends in an abrupt and amusing way.

If you don't mind long tracks with disparate and meandering parts then you may well enjoy this. I find it excellent and am going to stick my neck out and award it 4 stars (Excellent addition to any progressive music collection), but I reckon many would award it less. Which is a pity as this album is like a good wine, not to quaff but to savour. The musicianship is top notch and some of the music is very pleasant indeed. These guys have captured the sound of 1970s Italian Progressive Rock bands but have progressed that sound. If you're adventurous and willing to take a gamble, give "Thirteen Tolls At Noon" a try - you may find that you, too, wonder what time it is.

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 Thirteen Tolls At Noon by FLOATING STATE album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.88 | 29 ratings

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Thirteen Tolls At Noon
Floating State Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by alagag

4 stars Base on the song posted here I will really try and grab this cd, looks to me like a very good band. Voices are great and complexity in the music does it for me. The many changes of tempo are well connected. Mix a bit of jethro tull, Chris de burgh, gentle giant and old genesis and you have a good feel of the group sound

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 Thirteen Tolls At Noon by FLOATING STATE album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.88 | 29 ratings

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Thirteen Tolls At Noon
Floating State Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Hibou
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

1 stars I've lived through the 60's and have many fond "memories of old days", as GENTLE GIANT used to sing. But FLOATING STATE ain't no GIANT. And don't expect to relive the good ol' hippy days or find yourself in a 'floating state' while listening to this cd.

Whatever possesses a group of good musicians to make such a whimpy album is beyond me. Granted, the musicianship is ok but why bother play such insipid material? The music is aimless, made up of themes that just don't connect; the concept is comical and the vocals laughable (and not just because they are so heavily accented). I mean, does the vocalist do it on purpose to sound like a ninny or does he seriously think hippies used to sound like this? Poor lamb... (I wish I were joking but I'm not). The best cut is perhaps the first, a short vibraphone intro that puts the listener in a pastoral kind of mood. The rest has no rhyme nor reason except for a couple of moments of quiet flute and acoustic guitar. By the way, if you hear some snoring during the last track, it's not you: there's actually the sound of someone snoring in the background while Mr. Whimpy's lament is slowly winding down.

I reserve my 0-star ranking for albums that are truly annoying. This guys are just boring, so I'll grant them one. Oh, where's the fly swatter when you need one...

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