ERIK WOLLO: Airborne (2012)
Updated: Oct 21, 2020
“Drawing from the rhythms and ambiences which made the bouquets of his last releases, Erik Wollo offers an inspired and inspiring work”
1 Spring Equinox (Prelude) 4:10
2 The Drift 5:17
3 Red Earth 6:59
4 Airborne I 5:39
5 Circle Lake 4:30
6 Lost and Found 6:40
7 Airborne II 5:30
8 The Longest Day 6:02
9 Time River 6:36
10 North of the Mountains 5:13
11 The Magic Spot 6:00
12 Airborne III 5:07
(CD/DDL 67:52) (V.F.)
Always subjugated we will be by this guitar with long spectral curves and meditative nocturnal laments which are lost in the breaths of absent synth. Welcome to the unique musical universe of Erik Wollo. After a detour into the more atmospheric and experimental musical territories of Silent Currents: Live At Star's End, the nomadic poetic of the Nordic lands returns to us with an album where the rhythms and ambiences torture fine melodies sometimes playful, contemplative or lunar on short escapades minimalist.
A fine stream of scintillating arpeggios awakens the sleepy breaths of Spring Equinox (Prelude) which deploys the floating and contemplative portion of AIRBORNE. Slow and oblong layers of synth-guitars spread their dark melancholic breezes which undulate like floating spectra, raising prism particles which shimmer under intense layers with heavy vaporous modulations. A guitar rises. It feels like being at the crossroads of Pink Floyd (Shine on You Crazy Diamond) and Steve Roach (Desert Solitaire) with this guitar which embraces morphic phases with languid solos torn by immobility, guiding the first breaths of AIRBORNE towards the delicate rhythm of The Drift. This soft vampiric rhythm is based on nervous riffs which quiver on a good linear movement from aboriginal percussions and under the layers of an obscure synth which mixes its cavernous breaths with the fine distortions of a guitar which remains quite angelic. With its guitar riffs that roll in loops à la U2, Red Earth plunges into an ethnic rhythm that breathes the American West. Fine guitar tears obstruct this red sky which makes reflect its clay rays on a rhythm that has become more compressed by percussions whose strikes as slamming as they are felted are oversizing a rhythmic approach always maintained in its pacifying role by this fusion of synth and guitars with layers and lamentations which get intersect in an unreal canvas of psychotronic morphic rock. After a silky intro which announced an ambient phase, Airborne I gets awaken to the sinuous and sensual bites of a bass line à la Patrick O'Hearn to finally succumb to the obscure charms of a piano whose melodic pattern slides towards a charming and exhilarating electronic ballad. This melodic structure will be the spearhead of Airborne II which offers a more fluid rhythmic melody. Softness and meditative poetry in a gloomy atmosphere, Circle Lake is another pearl with its acoustic guitar which spreads its melancholic chords on a cloud of ethereal mist. It's incredibly beautiful and as lonely as The Longest Day.
Lost and Found begins with an atmospheric intro tortured by lamentations of a lonely guitar that layers of synth envelop in a soporific veil. Soft percussions are drumming in the distance, bringing a feverish rhythmic structure which pulsates with an ethnic aura which is similar to the nervous rhythm of Red Earth. Time River is a splendid electronic ballad which flies on fine tabla percussions and soft layers of a synth which breaths ether. Discreet, the guitar traces nice morphic lines and shapes delicate solos that waltz with oblivion on a melodic theme that Erik Wollo has developed on works such as Between Worlds and Gateway. The intros shaped in ambiences of lost horizons are legion on AIRBORNE. They serve as a pretext for fragile rhythms which frame delicate melodies that are sometimes innocent, such as North of the Mountains which is also based on a delicate hybrid rhythm with enchantment as much tribal as morphic, especially with these piano notes which whisper a sweet nostalgia to our sleeping ears. The Magic Spot explores these tribal rhythms in a darker vibe with strata of guitar tearing apart the darkness, throwing subdued veils over weighted palpitations and murky breaths of an absent Didge. The dark ambiences create a climate of discomfort with this cloud of palpitations with different sonic forms which outline the arid rhythms of the album. A guitar with screaming and metallic tears sprinkles The Magic Spot with a veil of bitterness, an element as dark as melodic which surrounds the rhythms and ambiences of Erik Wollo's last effort that Airborne III would conclude in the same way as it began, except that the sighs of violins replace the prose odes of a guitar that we would still like to be present.
AIRBORNE is what we call a very nice album. Drawing on the rhythms and ambiences that made the bouquets of Arcadia Borealis, Frontiers and of the superb The Road Eternal, Erik Wollo offers an inspired and inspiring work where his heartbreaking and floating guitar tears embrace a fine foray into a universe as tribal as Between Worlds and as desert as Stream of Thought. An ideal mixture which enchants and shows all the propensity of Erik Wollo to work in a mysticism with enchanting lights. It's a perfect musical album for souls who seek tranquility in a universe of contrasts where beauty is often insidious.
Sylvain Lupari (July 31st, 2012) *****
Available at Projekt Records Bandcamp