Green Isac — Passengers
(Spotted Peccary SPM-1303, 2014, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-06-02
As I’ve dropped in on the work of this Norwegian duo through the years, trying to follow their trajectory through a delicate balance of electronica, ethnic percussion and folk, and their progressive approach to melodic mostly-instrumental sounds has been a bit of a challenging process, and not always to my liking. On Passengers, a compilation of three previously released EP downloads, it seems they got everything right and the result is their most satisfying release since their debut Strings and Pottery, way back in 1990. The two principals are composers ans multi-instrumentalists Morten Lund and Andreas Eriksen, who produce nearly all the sounds here, although in a live setting they expand to the five-piece Green Isac Orchestra. The fact that this is only their fifth CD release in almost 25 years, and their first in 10 years has made it additionally difficult to connect the dots, but this time out everything seems to have converged. Their sound takes a film soundtrack approach, constructing colorful melodic and rhythmic pieces from keyboards, electronics, and guitars with looping, repetition, and fragmentary brushes with dark and light, all over an ever-present bed of ethnic percussive rhythms, sometimes seemingly purely of acoustic origin, other times electronic or heavily processed. One will find a fair amount of variety across the twelve cuts herein, yet in that is a surprising stylistic consistency. Guest players have been brought in to cover additional instruments on certain tracks, but for the most part this is purely the work of Eriksen and Lund. As electronic music goes, this tends toward the gentler side, even with its rhythmic drive and exotic ethnic fusions. Trying to come up with comparisons isn’t an easy task, but the listener will find plenty in Passengers to challenge the senses.
Related artist(s): Green Isac
Mastermind Titles Available Online – Back in the 90s, we wrote a lot about an American band called Mastermind, which started as a trio of brothers Bill and Rich Barends with Phil Antolino, and later expanded to a five-piece. The group's first six studio albums, along with three live sets, are now available on their Bandcamp site. » Read more
Brand X Hits the Road, North America 2016 Edition – I can still remember the first time I heard Unorthodox Behaviour back in the mid-70s, and how wonderful I found the combination of impressive technical playing and light-hearted humor. Over the years, an impressive number of incredible musicians participated in the band, and several of them are taking it out on the road in October. » Read more
RosFest 2017 Artists Announced – The Rites of Spring Festival has been going since 2004, and the 2017 edition is set for May 5-7, 2017 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The lineup features Änglagård, Neal Morse, The Aaron Clift Experiment, Unified Past, and The Fierce and the Dead, with more announcements to come as the schedule is filled out. » Read more