Erik Wollo: Blue Radiance (2015)
Updated: Sep 20
“With its mosaic of soft rhythms and ballads which are near New Age, Blue Radiance is what is made of more musical in the field of EM”
1 Terra Novus 1 5:50
2 Terra Novus 2 7:25
3 Blue Radiance 5:06
4 Pathway 6:30
5 Osmosis 5:30
6 Moon Above 4:04
7 Revealed in Time 7:02
8 Crystal Orbits 6:27
9 Sepia 5:19
10 Timemorph 8:02
11 Earth Sky 5:57
(CD/DDL 67:77) (V.F.)
(Ambient beats, ethereal tribal)
I never grow tired of hearing Erik Wollo's music! From album to another one, the Scandinavian sonic bard always manages to seduce in a musical genre where the lack of imagination, of passion led inevitably to boredom. Faithful to his repertoire, Erik Wollo entails us in his soundscapes tinted with romance and poetry. There where the ethereal moments are easily next to moments of passion with rhythms which belong to the antipode of these meditative atmospheres which always find their way through our quest of charm. BLUE RADIANCE is his 19th solo album since Where it all Begins issued in 1983. Once again, Wollo criss-crosses the road of rhythms and of seraphic moods with 11 tracks which shall seduce you, both for their meditative approaches than a tiny bit savage.
Like a ray of sunshine warming up a morning cheered up by the noises of nature, the introduction of Terra Novus 1 warms the edge of the eardrums of the impatient persons who look forward to approaching this very last album from Erik Wollo. We are on known territory with this rivulet which sparkles such as a cloud of prisms in the caresses of those soft e-winds. Chirping or fragile sparkling sequences, the waves of this fusion of synth/guitar transports the tearful spectral harmonies of Terra Novus 1 towards a delicate structure of rhythm. Ethereal sequences and percussions weld this ambient rhythm which swirls weakly, like these winds and these lamentations which feed the enigmatic sonic panorama of the Scandinavian bard. An immense fall of noises joins both parts of Terra Novus, while a slow tribal rhythm, livened up by rich percussions and caressed by the blue rays of an ambient and exotic guitar, excites the rhythm a bit trance of Terra Novus 2. Soft rhythms, well sat on sequences and percussions a bit clanic and/or rather spiritual, these first 13 are very forewarning of the 50 next ones of BLUE RADIANCE. To begin with the title-track, of which the synth rays and the guitar groans lead us toward a very introspective place. It sounds very Eno on his sublime An Ending that we find on the Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks album. That goes in my Ipod; section night music or music to cry on! And it won't be the only one! Musical pieces such as the very melancholic Moon Above or the very mysterious Crystal Orbits, which sounds quite like the title-track, as well as Earth Sky are jewels of meditative tenderness where the tears of guitars are whipping gently the panoramic layers drawn in the soothing colors of blue radiance. These are nice ambient and very musical tracks. Way to go Erik! Pathway offers a delicate structure of rhythm with pinched arpeggios which parade like in a spiral figure in a ballet chorography. Fluid and jerky, the rhythm binds itself in a kind of ride in the Scandinavian lands where delicate notes of piano fall like stars in a sky blurred of auroras borealis. These piano notes forge a melodious ambient lullaby that we also find on the rhythm knotted in the gurglings of Osmosis, where guitar chords forge a series of sequenced riffs which gallop on sober percussions. Here like all over the album the winds and the ethereal breezes outline the anchor point of those melancholic poetic visions which lull the music of Wollo. It's beautiful, delicate and almost New Age like with the very acoustic Sepia where the meditative acoustic guitar and piano are signing a very beautiful ballad filled by the soft fragrances of deep melancholic harmonies. The lamentations of the synth add a spectral weight to this very beautiful and very meditative track by the way. Revealed in Time, as well as Timemorph, offer structures of very electronic rhythms. That of Revealed in Time grows like a ride in Steve Roach's universe. The rhythm is soft and well sat on a sober play of sequences and percussions which spreads a soft latent crescendo. The notes of guitar form some harmonious loops which roll into a vertical spiral, catching at the passage some fine strummed arpeggios. It's rather lively, while Timemorph leans on layers of sequences which flicker such as multiple reflections of prism. The movement is rather motionless and made us strum our fingers, amplifying its pace with livelier sequences of which the fate is knotted around muffled and furtive pulsations. It's a good electronic rhythm, as Erik Wollo can sign on each of his albums.
With its mosaic of soft rhythms soft scattered in good meditative phases and ballads which are near New Age, BLUE RADIANCE is what is made of more musical in the field of EM. Each track puts a smile to ears while, very nostalgic, Erik Wollo hammers his keys in order to weave some delicious musical itches. This is Wollo! It's melancholic and dreamlike. And yes, we can literally see his music taking the shape of these enchanting Scandinavian landscapes that he has the gift to put in relief on a music which is very personal to him.
Sylvain Lupari (April 18th,2015) *****
Available at Projekt Records Bandcamp