Green Isac — Passengers
(Spotted Peccary SPM-1303, 2014, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-06-02As 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
Sonic Voyage Fest fall dates for New York and Michigan – North America's traveling progressive music festival, Sonic Voyage, will carry on their journey this fall with a series of events in New York and Michigan from October 16 through November 28. Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius will be familiar to our readers, and they feature on most of the dates. A number of other artists will fill out the bills for a chance to hear some new music. » Read more
Modern Sky brings their festival to the US – Modern Sky Entertainment, one of China's most prominent labels for creative music, has expanded their operations to include a kind of touring festival in North America, billing some of their Chinese artists with international artists. New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle will host events next month. » Read more
Is mainstream recognition of prog rock a good thing? – The esteemed (by whom we know not) Official Charts Company, who have appointed themselves keepers of valid chart information for music, have decided it's time for prog to have its own category with separate charts. What gaping need this is supposed to fill is an unanswered question. » Read more
ProgDay 2015 pre-show and updates – The ProgDay organizers have announced the lineup for their pre-show event at Local 506, Friday night September 4. Bruteus, The Falling Sky, and Trev Wignall will perform an all-ages show for a separate admission charge, and the festival proper will kick off the following day. » Read more