GREEN ISAC: Passengers (2014)
“Different but rather interesting, the music of Passengers invites us to an ethnic fiesta filled by unpredictable rhythms wrapped of ethereal ambiences”
1 Ormen Lange 3:52 2 Particle Talk 4:35 3 Commandante 3:52 4 Passengers 3:45 5 Palomatronics 4:08 6 CSA 4:22 7 Gepra 5:48 8 Fisher 4:41 9 Zakopane 4:33 10 Na Tariko 2:57 11 Recycle 4:39 12 1034 4:42
(CD/DDL 51:00) (V.F.)
(World Beat Music)
We know it at once when we fall on something different. Very different. And it's a bit much what is happening when our loudspeakers release the ethnic rhythms of this last album of Green Isac. I say the last one because the band from Norway already has some albums to its repertoire, but PASSENGERS is the very first one on a major label. It is an album built on the last 3 EP of the eclectic duet which mixes deliciously the electronic art to tribal rhythms skilfully fed by highly contagious percussions. It is thus more than 10 years after the very applauded, but how much always unknown, Etnotronica that the Morten Lund and Andreas Eriksen duet gets out of his dumbness and proposes another mixture of rhythms to the ethnic colors and with electronic moods very near the meditative psalms. Rhythms of the world to others very near contemporary dance music in which live some meditative atmospheres, PASSENGERS is the best example of a music without borders.
And as soon as the first ringings of percussions are opening Ormen Lange we are besieged by an ethereal ambience where the lonely singings of a charming flute are floating along lines of synth which coil up in a sonic horizon to the colors of desert. The manual percussions and impulses full of restraints of a secret bass are shaping a rhythm which remains ambient, as a little bit all around PASSENGERS. Particle Talk is a silky piece of music well sat on a pattern of tribal percussions with tints and hits as much effective than bewitching while the subjugated guitar of Morten Lund floats with fragments of ethereal airs. But nothing is molded in the ease with Green Isac. The very evasive melody and the African rhythm of Particle Talk are coated by heterogeneous noises which give a fascinating ectoplasmic approach to the track. I like and it is melting quite well in the ears. The guitar which opens Commandante reminds me of a U2 mislaid in mists of ether. The riffs flow like lost chords whereas that quite slowly a more incisive rhythm bites a mood where a kind of paranoia circulates at the same time as the death-agonies of the six strings. Except that the title eventually burst with a very poignant guitar. The title-track offers a beautiful rhythmic wealth where some fragile arpeggios are dancing with hesitation on a great bed of percussions and beneath a sonic sky painted of resounding dark lines. A slight drawback however! When the rhythm is getting spicier and turns into a beautiful lunar down-tempo, the music stops abruptly. It seems like the end is missing. That, I have to say, annoyed me! Palomatronics is a rather meditative track with a guitar/sitar fusion among which the harmonies and solos are eventually floating on a delicate clanic beat. Each track here lives under a pattern of percussions with rhythms as wild as balanced, if it is not both at the same time, dragging the structures in intractable rhythms to unforeseen outcomes. Like CSA and its wave-like approach, caressed by a soft guitar, which battles along some very lively percussions, bringing harmonies and ambiences in a tumult equivalent to the fury of Andreas Eriksen's percussions. Soft and ambient, with its delicate ethereal ballad, Gepra reminds me as much Erik Wollo as Darsha Ambient. Moreover, the moods of solitary nomad and his tears of spectral guitars as well as his notes of piano froze in cold are haunting a lot of tracks on PASSENGERS. Like in Fisher and Na Tariko and their musical structures sounding like African documentaries à la Vangelis tempered with a touch of madness. Zakopane and Recycles stand out with wild rhythms forged by some great and furious manual percussions and a mix of guitar/synth layers which sing, otherwise scrape, in almost boosted moods. The percussions are very good. 1034 ends the albumwith a good down-tempo full of emotions. I would tell you that it is a mixture of Patrick O'Hearn and Erik Wollo that I will be right on the nose. Piano and guitars are striking while, always so indomitable, the percussions weave a base of rhythm which the ethereal visions of melodies.
Different but rather interesting, the music of PASSENGERS invites us to an ethnic fiesta filled by unpredictable rhythms and wrapped of ethereal ambiences.
Green Isac likes playing with its short structures by injecting in it a small cacophonous dose with outer elements, in particular whispers and totally wild percussions, on ethnic rhythms and ethereal melodies. This sounds quite like a nice mixture of Vangelis (for the ethnic percussions) and Erik Wollo (for the evanescent melodies) that will undoubtedly find a special place for those who love something else than usual. Me? I actually well liked even if we are far enough from the sequence based or floating EM.
Sylvain Lupari (June 1st, 2014) ***½**
Available at Spotted Peccary Bandcamp