Green Isac Orchestra

Green Isac Orchestra

Green Isac Orchestra

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About Green Isac Orchestra

Tracks:

1   Emmesity

2   Thón

3   Algebra

4   Dr. One

5   Hapi

6   Madar

7   57 Varieties

After an adventurous twenty-five year career artfully blurring the lines between traditional ethnic acoustic and contemporary electronica, the duo known as Green Isac have expanded their sound to include three additional artists, leading to the latest project titled the Green Isac Orchestra.

For those who have followed Andreas Eriksen and Morten Lund since the beginning and have enjoyed the wide net they’ve cast masterfully over multiple styles and genres, the same delicious fusions are present, only this time there’s an immediacy to the recording suggesting it erupted spontaneously as one inspired live performance.

Both diehard fans and those discovering Green Isac for the first time are in for a treat. This album promises to be an engaging eclectic journey as it carries the listener deep into the heart of an exotic musical setting of shifting moods and regional hues, stylistically melding elements of mellow jazz, Steve Reich minimalism, and ambient atmospheres into a Fourth World fusion. The range of instruments used by Green Isac Orchestra is equally impressive: piano, mellotron, synthesizers, samplers, and electronic drums; ethno-acoustic beats from the djembe, tumbadora, shekere, ghatam; plaintive melodies from electric cello, Variax guitar, shahi baaja, kalimba, and Chinese hammered dulcimer – all masterfully crafted and interwoven into an authoritatively expressive presentation.

This new Green Isac release is an unforgettable odyssey far removed from the mundane — a place of serene tributaries and unexplored villages of sound that climax into an enchanting jubilant festivity of melody and harmony.

Reviews

No matter how much music I listen to or write about, it seems that I am constantly introduced to acts and artists who’ve been turning out music for X years without my ever hearing of them. Case in point: Green Isac. From what I read on the Spotted Peccary web site, Andreas Eriksen and Morten Lund have been going strong for 25 years. And yet it’s only now, when they’ve expanded their roster and added the word “Orchestra” to their name that I get to experience this excellent blend of world styles, jazz-informed structures, and cinematic New Age sensibilities. The array of instruments brought into play here is impressively global, and the styles, although most have a bit of Middle Eastern flair, cover pretty fair ground as well. The jazz influence shows up nicely in the piano-fronted “Algebra,” accented with smooth strings and a bit of a Latin feel to the drums. “Hapi” catches me with its chugging rhythm, collection of percussion, and the way in which it slithers along. The guitar work here — or at least I think it’s guitar —adds to that feel, the sneaky way the notes slip out and rise up. I like the dark edge to this track, particularly in the very beginning. It’s got power. “Dr. One” is another mildly dark track that also offers up touches of tribal — strong drums and the sharp ceramic snap of a ghatam (yes, I looked it up). A growl like didgeridoo slips into the mix, which is always a bonus point for me. There is an exhilarating break in “57 Varieties” that blows me away each time it comes around. It’s this sudden rock surge that throws out the crunchy world feel that you’ve been enjoying, and it comes so fully exuberant and loaded with energy that it just sweeps you up. Pure joy.

I don’t know how long-time fans of Green Isac will greet this new direction, but as someone who has just discovered them via this release, it’s made me want to hear what I’ve been missing all these years. This has taken its place as a wind-down, end-of-day listen for me, soothing enough in its rich world-music organics to take the edge off, but with just enough vibrancy and vivacity to not simply slip into the background. Listening close reaps some nice rewards as the production work, as always the case with Spotted Peccary releases, is impeccable. Great, refreshing work from Green Isac Orchestra.

- John Shanahan, Hypnagogue

STYLE
Ethno-electronic fusion.
Gentle and relaxing, rich and heady; Green Isac Orchestra soothes and stimulates the senses with a deft blend of electronic individuality and acoustic passion. The ensemble manages to produce music of great serenity and melodic warmth without ever falling into new-age cheesiness. The themes are gracefully understated; the beats languid, tribal; the colours deep and saturated. There are elements here to please fans of entho-ambient music whilst at the same time perhaps appealing to downtempo lovers that enjoy global sounds. The list of sound sources is broad: with electric cello, Variax guitar, shahi baaja, kalimba and Chinese hammered dulcimer interwoven with piano, mellotron, synthesisers and samplers. Beats bring together electronic drums, djembe, tumbadora, shekere and ghatam. This sprawling diversity of sound, however, is masterfully combined and performed with such elegance that there is a great sense of authenticity about Green Isac Orchestra. This is not cut-and-paste sampler music.

ARTWORK
Green Isac Orchestra is delivered in a pale gatefold card wallet with something of a minimal approach: colours are simple, pastel hues of limited palette; fonts are unfussy and fine; information restricted to the necessary details of personnel, recording credits and Internet addresses. The frontal image has a lone figure on an endless plane gazing ahead into eternity - only a shadow for company. Track titles appear with running times on the rear cover.

OVERALL
Green Isac have been producing music for around a quarter of a century now; Morten Lund and Andreas Eriksen working as a duo focussing on instrumentation and percussion respectively. Green Isac Orchestra sees the addition of three more players: Frode Larsen on percussion and bells; Tov Ramstad on cello, ukulele, saw and bass and Jo Wang on keyboards. The resultant recordings are engrossing, meditative affairs that do so much more than throw ethnic sounds into the mix as flavours or just for effect. The combination feels very 'right' as if transcending ethnic origins; very 'natural' since expression and performance are clearly central features.

- Paul Jury, Morpheus Music Reviews

Those who have followed Green Isac from ther very beginnings – the Strings & Pottery album from 1991 – have witnessed plenty of growth and evolution over the last 25 years, beginning as the duo of Morten Lund (guitars, bass, keyboards, flute, etc.) and Andreas Eriksen (world percussion, keyboards, electronics) with a simple concept of creating an ethnic stew fusing rhythms and electronics, later adding more ideas and instruments to that concept, along with additional guest players as needed to realize the development in progress over the course of five studio albums. Last year the group officially expanded to a five-piece, now including longtime collaborator Tov Ramstad (electric cello), and relative newcomes – since 2014 release Passengers – additional percussionist Frode Larsen and keyboardist Jo Wang, allowing Lund to concentrate on guitars. And with that change, they became Green Isac Orchestra. The three newest members also participate in the group compositions, adding a whole new dimension to the group concept, with new melodic richness and exotic trancelike rhythms. The shaded hues and brilliant colors of their melodies are underpinned by innovative rhythmic play borne of world percussion, the standard drum kit, and electronics, bringing together elements of minimalism, jazz, and global fusion. Having a second percussionist in the group further underscores their vision and brings new dynamics and expressive power to the group’s otherworldly instrumental sound. There’s plenty here in these seven tracks to satisfy the tastes of the discriminating and adventurous listener.

- Peter Thelen, Exposé

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