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Copal / Press

“Into the Shadow Garden is filled with subtle tinges – an array of influences that combine to make sultry and vibrant sounds. The album hinges on Copal’s ability to transport listeners to a different time and place in its history-sensitive compositions.”

“Winding flowing violin and cello are strung into a steam punk fantasy of exotic interwoven Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Nordic nuances while propelled by subtle percussion. Artistically beautiful yet darkly tantalizing, serene and sedate they manage to evoke a contemporary spectacle through romanticized passages from a global past.”

Maximum Ink

“This is undoubtedly a record that delivers in terms of its slick sound, crisp, world class playing and competent improvisation. It is quite evocative in the sense that the harmonic structures being used are instantly recognizable by even the least educated of listeners as ‘ethnic’ in its sound.”

“Hypnotic string band Copal’s brand-new second album Into the Shadow Garden is for dancing in the dark. Alternately lush and stark, vibrant and mysterious, bouncy and sultry, their violin-fueled grooves mix elements of Middle Eastern, Celtic, Nordic and Mediterranean styles. Violinist Hannah Thiem leads the group alongside cellists Isabel Castellvi and Robin Ryczek, bassist Chris Brown, drummer Karl Grohmann and percussionist Engin Gunaydin (of the NY Gypsy All-Stars). Right off the bat, it starts hypnotically with a drone that gradually fades up – then the drums come in, then a plaintive, Middle Eastern-tinged violin melody and the first of Thiem’s many gripping, suspense-building solos that will recur throughout the album. About halfway through, it becomes clear that this is a one-chord jam... It’s music that sets a mood, gets your body moving and keeps it going – it’s awfully easy to get lost in this.”

“Call it genre splicing, call it a steam punk amalgam of a contemporary vibed take on Oregon's debut, this world wide world beat set just concerns itself with turning out compelling sounds above all else. With so many sounds and vibes thrown into the mixmaster, all to good effect, this is belly dance music for a Turkish strip club on Mars, and yet, it's not for weirdoes. Everybody on board here knows their stuff and the chops keep it all on an even keel. Just what you are looking for when you need a sonic travelogue to uncharted places.”

“Add them to the list of bands we want to see again. Ditto Copal, whose lusciously hypnotic, Middle Eastern-tinged string-band instrumentals made any plan B an afterthought, drawing us to the steps of Galapagos from blocks away. Their bass player set a record for discipline: he’d hang patiently in the same key, keeping the groove pulsing along for minutes at a clip, once in awhile going up an octave and swooping down when the moment called for it. Their violinist started several songs with taqsims (improvisations), joined by their cellist (whose soulful washes are more responsible for this band’s mesmerizing vibe than anything else) on one later number. Their drummer played slinky, devious trip-hop beats with his brushes, joined by an ecstatic dumbek (goblet drum) player. The Middle Eastern vibe was sometimes matched by a dark Brazilian forro feel; at the end of their last number, they finally took it into overdrive and wailed, hard, on the outro.”

“Electronica outfit Copal will provide the tunes in between the acts, playing a dark string fusion, while Vagabond Opera will entertain with bohemian cabaret in 13 different languages. Transforming the space into a dusty circus will be an art installation by Molly Crabapple and Kathleen Green.”

“Take a Tim Burton film. Now make it darker (if possible) and sexier (yes, please). If you like the sound of that, you'll love The Lost Circus, a lavish party thrown by Gemini and Scorpio...They've also hired a fire thrower for your viewing pleasure as well as the NYC fusion band Copal, who are described as being inspired by Middle Eastern rhythms, dark Nordic melodies, Hungarian riffs, and Spanish-flavored cadences and harmonies. If this circus/dance/cabaret/freak-show party doesn't pique your interest, then nothing will.”