Artist: Okan Ersan

Album: Nibiru

Label: Self-Produced

Street Date: August 15, 2019

Masterful fusion guitarist Okan Ersan takes listeners on a musical journey through outer space on Nibiru.

Ersan’s quartet with keyboardist Serkan Özyilmaz, bassist Eylem Pelit, and drummer Volkan Öktem performs an original seven-part suite full of electronic excitement, colorful ensembles, and individual heroics.

Okan Ersan, a powerful guitarist, and an imaginative composer, debuts a seven-piece work on Nibiru inspired by a signal received in 1977 that is believed to be the first ever transmission from outer space. The most suitable music to depict a journey through the galaxies and the vastness of space is futuristic jazz fusion, an area that the guitarist explores with keyboardist Serkan Özyilmaz, bassist Eylem Pelit, and drummer Volkan Öktem during the ambitious project.

Named after the mythical planet Nibiru, the program gives listeners an uncharted perspective of the universe along with some dazzling music. Each of its seven chapters tells a different outer space story.

The opening “6EQUJ5 (Wow Signal)” starts with Morse code which seeks to translate the legendary outer space transmission from 1977. The rhythm is soon emulated by Ersan on guitar and the tight quartet which engages in intense interplay. Here, as on several of the pieces, the music is blended with recordings of space captured by NASA.

“As Far Away As Possible” tells the story of light in space (which is used to calculate light years) on a piece that is both brooding and beautiful while conveying the endless nature of space. “Deep Field,” which begins with some furious drumming from Öktem, has a mysterious feel and some raging guitar. “Gravitational Waves” features a catchy rhythmic pattern and wild guitar playing. In contrast, “Transcending” is a quiet piece with a lyrical statement from Ersan. “Nibiru” is an imagined greeting from the fictional outer planet to Earth. Its music, which is topped off by an attractive closing groove, is celebratory and welcoming. The suite concludes with “Space Jungle – Anunnaki” which uses some otherworldly sounds to depict the natives of Nibiru on a desperate journey to save their planet.

Okan Ersan was born and raised in Cyprus, earning a music degree from the Marmara University in Istanbul in 1994. Inspired by such guitarists as Al DiMeola, Scott Henderson, Robben Ford, and Mike Stern, Ersan has developed his own individual style within classic fusion. In 2005 he made his recording debut as a leader with To Whom It May Concern, touring the United States and appearing at the Kansas City Jazz Festival. Over the next few years, he opened for such luminaries as DiMeola, Ford, Chick Corea and John McLaughlin in addition to performing with Dave Weckl. In 2011, Ersan recorded A Reborn Journey which included Weckl and Ernie Watts in the supporting cast.

Okan Ersan has since headlined at many international festivals, continued to grow as a musician and now, with the release of Nibiru, he has released his most adventurous and colorful work.