DEBORAH MARTIN & ERIK WOLLO: Between Worlds (2009)
“Between Worlds is an audacious opus which melts nicely the voices and instruments of the Native Americans to synths and tones of today”
1 Between Worlds 5:38 2 Spirit Song 6:36 3 Anasazi 6:55 4 The Thunder and the Water 6:11 5 Ancestral Whispers 5:17 6 Canyonland 5:52 7 A Healing Way 3:37 8 Gathering at Sunrise 4:11 9 Distant Voices 5:35 10 From Earth to the Sky 4:33 11 Sunrise at Whiteriver 4:53 12 Winds of Time 3:57 Spotted Peccary SPM9062
(CD/DDL 63:14) (V.F.)
Sometimes we want to hear something different. Something that looks nothing like what we are used to hear. Here's an astonishing work with the mythical and very tribal approach of the First Nations' peoples of North America. BETWEEN WORLDS is a pleasant surprise that breathes the fall legends of the American West. An album with sounds that amaze and surprise in a meeting point where two paradoxical universes, with a certain level of parallelism, mate with the instruments of yesteryear and the technology of today. With the participation of Steve Roach in electronic effects, Deborah Martin and Erik Wøllo (two artists known for bringing very emotional nuances to their creations) have concocted a fabulous musical epic full of ingenious sound effects that can be heard like the wind sings to across the plains, dunes and mountains. An American story told with a sparkling musical dexterity.
A dark wind, torn by tribal tones, opens the title-track. Clan percussions and a good bass line adopt the languorous rhythm which goes out of there which is seized by a nice flute which undulates with wandering on astonishing chants of a disappeared nation and of which the reconstruction in tones is completely astonishing. And that's the strength of this album; the taste to believe in it. Throughout this journey, the duo Martin & Wøllo leaves a superb place for the tribal elements that we hear with wonder in movies of times and stories. Titles like Between World and The Thunder and the Water feed on these hypnotic cadences which initiated the dances and spiritual trances of the great wizards. From the depths of the woods rise a strange voice in which we believe one can guess breaths of spirits. Incantations are drawn on heavy dragging reverberations while a hypnotic drum sounds the charge of Spirit Song on a bewitching cadence. Murmurs of rattlesnake are hovering over dark winds whereas Native American spiritual chants abound around a soft ethereal guitar. A title with a strong tribal essence such as we find on A Healing Way and From Earth to the Sky. The eclectic aspect at the tribal level is present throughout the album with heterogeneous elements that intermingle with the heavy reverberations of the Steve Roach genre, like on titles such as Anasazi and Canyonland which flirt with dark ambient tribal. Ancestral Whispers, Gathering at Sunrise, Distant Voices and Sunrise at Whiteriver are more lifeless titles where the duality between the elements of a hovering space, seized by soft synth strata, collide with chants, incantations and narrations of a people with thousand legends.
For me who doesn't really like the genre, I found that this BETWEEN WORLDS, from Deborah Martin and Erik Wøllo, is a nice surprise. A fascinating and daring opus for a New Age label and for the ambient tribal which pleasantly unites the voices and instruments of the Amerindians with the contemporary electronic tones of the synths in harmonious, bewitching and even cosmic contexts. For those who want to hear something else…!
Sylvain Lupari (August 31st, 2012) ***¼**
Available at Spotted Peccary Music