ERIK WOLLO: Gateway (2010)
“Gateway is a stunning work where the rhythm crosses and measures an ethereal and poignant depth on a wonderful mixture of guitar/synth and sequences/percussions”
1 Land Of Myths (4:50) 2 First Arrival (7:08) 3 The Crossing (8:25) 4 A Sublime Place (3:16) 5 Gateway (5:36) 6 Blue Universe (3:57) 7 The Traveler (6:12) 8 There Will Be Snow (5:20) 9 The Mental Trail (5:16) 10 Full Circle (6:15) 11 Wetlands (5:22) 12 Thule (8:35) PROJEKT| PRO00244
(CD/DDL 70:17) (V.F.)
(New Age, Melodious EM)
The only Erik Wollo album I listened too was his 2007's Elevation. Since then I discovered a bit more the musical world of this artist with Bernhard Wöstheinrich (Arcadia Borealis) and Deborah Martin (Between Worlds). Two nice albums released in 2009 that show how this brilliant Norwegian guitarist is at ease with approaches and musical structures as audacious as slowly harmonious. I quite enjoyed Elevation. An album that has opened the doors towards new musical horizons for me and where the magnetism of Wollo enchanted with his art to merge good melodies into musical landscapes. And GATEWAY is another nice collection of these kind of tracks that charms and makes us travel without leaving our body. It's a musical journey where the rhythms and the structures differ one from another, according to Erik Wollo's imagination and passion for aboriginal tendencies which liven up his creativity.
Fuzzy rhythms where guitars layers are biting ancestral specters with an introspective and oneiric approach such as on Land of Myths and The Traveller to rhythms with more nervous sequences as on the wonderful titles that are First Arrival, The Crossing, Gateway and the great Thule, this 16th opus of the Norwegian multi-instrumentalist is drawn straight from whimsies and visions that Erik Wollo has of a hybrid world where the harmony reigns above disorder. Alternated the rhythm to ambient sequences has no secrets anymore to Wollo. Tracks like A Sublime Place, Blue Universe, and the superb hallucinating The Mental Trail where strange mesmerizing pulsations draw a hypnotic rhythmic arc. Full House Circle and the dramatic Wetlands are pure jewels of cinematographic ambiances. Musical landscapes that parade according to our fantasies with spectacular guitars and synths layers that transport us at bird's eyes to seize all of Wollo's imagination. If these ambient passages are of an incredible beauty (The Mental Trail and Wetlands), more lively tracks offer a structural variety that gives pure musical jewels. I think in particular of Land of the Myths with its guitars chords which drag in loops on a synth to slightly fluty waves. These loops become more mordant and intermingle to superb stratums of a gliding guitar, deviating Land of Myths towards a spectral side, while leaving place to the beauty of a morphic dream. First Arrival is simply superb with its aboriginal percussions which draw a soft rhythm of submission wrapped with a guitar from which solos transcend the depth of emotions. Gateway is a skillful journey where the rhythm is wiggling as an Amerindian trance on a background of an exotic guitar, like on The Traveller and its hypnotic rhythm and its stratums from an incisive and morphic guitar. And what can we say about Thule with its heavy aboriginal trance which hypnotize and bewitch on discreet layers from a ghostly guitar and a caustic synth from which sinuous waves draw a tragic world in perdition.
In brief, GATEWAY is a stunning musical box where the rhythm crosses and measures an ethereal and poignant depth on a wonderful mixture of guitar/synth and sequences/percussions. A wonderful album filled with jewels which melt in the ear and of small diamonds that the listenings will polish, such as the wind sculpting superb rocks and crisscrossing strange plains that Wøllo shows us at ear's flight. GATEWAY is a very nice album of a deep musicality which is much more than simply EM.
Sylvain Lupari (September 11th, 2010) ***½**
Available at Projekt Bandcamp