ASTARTA/EDWIN is the unlikely, intriguing and productive combination of female Ukrainian vocal duo Astarta and UK musician Colin Edwin.

Their collaborative, eponymous Debut album was born out of a chance encounter whilst Colin Edwin was visiting Kiev to perform with his duo Ex-Wise Heads in early 2012.

Given free reign to place the powerful, emotive and distinctive vocals of Astarta’s Yulia Malyarenko and Inna Kovtun in any context, Colin Edwin's musical input and distinctive style of playing bass has highlighted a unique but also highly accessible slant on the duo's earthy Ukrainian folk influences. Colin explains “Whilst working on the Astarta/Edwin material, I purposely stayed away from attempting any sort of interpretation of the lyrics, instead remaining in wilful ignorance of the actual lyrical content.  The Ukrainian language remains a mystery to me, so my focus was always on supporting the twin vocals and trying to create a sympathetic musical content to wrap around and highlight them.”

Astarta/Edwin developed their sound throughout the recording process which has also been aided by input from some remarkable and gifted musicians, namely US experimental/ambient guitarist Jon Durant, UK violin phenom Steve Bingham and legendary US drummer Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson).

Kicking off with the jaunty, propulsive “Pid Yalinoyu” Astarta/Edwin travel through an inviting collection of songs, ranging from the uplifting “Orel”, (aided by particularly inventive guitar work from Durant), via the mysterious atmospheric dub of “Oy U Lisi”,  to the fragile, haunting acoustic ballad “Kolisanka”.

The creation of the album has been a mutually rewarding process for all concerned, allowing for unexpected new interpretations, for example in the reworking of traditional song “Skripka” lends it a more melancholic undertone to it’s usual cheery mood.

There have been challenges, as Colin explains, “The situation which unfolded in Ukraine as we were working together meant it went from being a little reported country in the West, to somewhere in the headlines daily with tragic news; Revolution, Violence, War, instability......it put a stop to our live work immediately, but we have all been determined to finish what we started.”

“In a small way I hope we are able to present something positive, energizing and beautiful to balance the negatives slightly, after all, this album would not exist without the generosity, warmth, energy, creativity and humour from all the Ukrainian people I have met, and the rich culture we have drawn from and shaped together in our own way.”

About Colin Edwin

Colin Edwin is best known as bassist of the internationally successful, long time cult favourite progressive rock band Porcupine Tree.

Colin’s imaginative bass playing and sympathetic musical viewpoint have lead him to numerous sessions and guest appearances and also to collaborate frequently with many like minded and inventive musicians, including (former Henry Cow) multi - instrumentalist and reed player Geoff Leigh (as Ex-Wise Heads), Boston based ambient guitarist Jon Durant (as Burnt Belief), fellow bassist Lorenzo Feliciati in the critically acclaimed bass duo Twinscapes, and the cinematic instrumental project Endless Tapes alongside drummer Alessandro Pedretti.

Colin also plays and records alongside experimental musician Eraldo Bernocchi in the intense and genre defying Metallic Taste of Blood, releasing two highly regarded albums to date on Rarenoise Records, and he also tours and records with UK singer songwriter Tim Bowness.

Most recently, Colin formed the band O.R.k. in partnership with King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto, vocalist Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari and guitarist Carmelo Pipitone from Italy’s cult “anti-folk” band Marta Sui Tubi, releasing their debut album “Inflamed Rides” in late 2015

About Astarta

Formed around the powerful and beguiling dual vocals of Yulia Malyarenko and Inna Kovtun, Kiev based Astarta have, since inception in 2009, built up a solid repertoire drawing from ancient Slavic and Ukrainian folk songs, re-interpreted and adapted to the here and now.

Developing their sound and identity with regular club and festival performances throughout their own country,  Astarta released their well received debut album “The First National” on EMI-Ukraine/Comp music in 2012, with assistance of Ukrainian producer Eduard Prystupa.

Astarta continue to assimilate and explore their own traditions and represent, not only a mix of ancient and modern, but moreover, a bridge between generations.



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