• Sylvain Lupari

ERIK WOLLO: North Star (2021)

Updated: Jun 16

What a wonderful, quiet and poetic album my friends!

1 Arkipel 6:26

2 Viewpoint 6:49

3 All the Way 6:44

4 Stillness 5:04

5 Towards the Blue Horizon 8:08

6 Nightscape 5:32

7 Light Among Shadows 4:54

8 North Star 7:14

Projekt Records PRO384

(CD/DDL 51:11) (V.F.)

(Tribal, Neo-Folk Ambient)

What a wonderful, quiet and poetic album my friends! After a 2021 that gave us two solid albums, the Norwegian bard gets back with a formula that served him so well in the early 2010' with a smooth acoustic vision. Still textured from his guitar strings that tangle and articulate that only his E-Bow technique allows, the music of Erik Wollo flows like poems put into music. Available in manufactured CD and DDL on Projekt Records, NORTH STAR takes us back to these days of Airborne and those E.P.'s suite that followed up to the Timelines album. Barely over 50 minutes long, this a bouquet of musical flowers that EW offers us with his unique texture of ambient neo-folk woven from his guitar and ancient rhythms that also flirt with the origins of Mike Oldfield's revered Ommadawn album and in more acoustic versions of those found on album Convergence, I'm thinking of The Way Ahead 1 and 2.

After a slow introduction depicting a thawing stream, the hollow breezes and torments of prismatic winds bring Arkipel out of its silence. Erik Wollo gives a glimpse of his E-Bow's possibilities with layers of guitar sustained between two firmaments as an initial melody plucked on his six-string is sequenced into a musical canon form. There is shimmer and electricity in this ambient folk. Erik uses his guitar as a synth, and even a sequencer, creating sequences of melodies that are perpetuated by varying the strength of the volume that varies the level of our emotions. After this soft meditative caress, Viewpoint offers a very catchy rhythm tied by a series of sequenced riffs. The guitar sounds like Manuel Göttsching here with beautiful attempts for short solos that drown in this soundscape filled to the brim with streaks with colors as romantic as intriguing. The rhythm turns into a tribal trance with good aboriginal hand percussions and a beautiful bass with elastic percussive chords. The moans of the six-string crisscross a sky delimited by the prismatic striations of the guitar. All the Way offers an ambient opening with a nice melody evoking melancholy sculpted into the guitar. Orchestrations add a cinematic color which is concretized with the addition of sound effects towards the finale. Stillness is a superb track with a melancholic music where the orchestrated striations make us run the hairs on our arms. They groan in an ambient tumult proposed by these layers which pile up with an overwhelming heaviness, imaging this lover wounded by the departure of his beloved whom he looks by the window without the words, lost in the tears, coming to him.