Past the Mark is a transatlantic collaboration between Vince Pastano (guitar player, singer, composer producer and arranger based in Italy) and Marc Urselli (New York-based 3-time Grammy award winning producer/engineer/composer). The project started as long-distance collaborative-composing experiment back in 2003, but unfortunately due to their insanely busy schedules, it took a little over 7 years for them to write enough material for a full album. However, in the meantime, Pastano released at least 5 other records of his own and Urselli recorded and/or mixed around 100 records in that timeframe.
Musically, Past the Mark is a mixture of the composers' backgrounds in electronic music and rock. The production is entirely electronic-based and mixes drum'n bass, ambient, world music and downtempo into a unique blend of sampled acoustic and electronic sounds. All the melodies, riffs and counterparts are played by the electric guitar, which is turn is treated, effected, sliced and diced digitally. The compositional process always started with an idea of either one of the musicians, who then would send it to the other to continue writing on and around the original idea. The result is an eclectic mix of influences, styles and moods with deep roots in the rock traditions and the evolutions of electronic music. If you need a frame of reference, imagine what would happen if Jeff Beck, Trent Reznor and Brian Eno got together and wrote some music, and if in turn they were influenced by David Bowie, David Torn, Aphex Twin, Tom Waits, Autechre, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that in spite of all those influences and the fact that they've been writing together for 7 years, the songs on the album sound quite homogeneous. There is not a disconnect between songs written in 2003 and songs written in 2010, in fact the different influences and musical evolutions complement each other quite well and even the musicians themselves still like the earlier compositions as much as they like the latest.
Past the Mark will leave a mark, and will go past it!