ERIK WOLLO: Threshold Point (2018)
"Erik Wollo has this gift to surpass himself from an album to another one and this Threshold Point is no exceptions. It's this kind of opus that you will play tirelessly"
1 Behind the Clouds 4:18 2 Traverse 8:45 3 Arches 6:08 4 Mosaic of Time I; Route Diverge 7:14 5 Mosaic of Time II; Threshold Point 8:42 6 Ravel Peak 4:09 7 Mosaic of Time III; Hidden Path 8:09 8 Eon 6:27 9 Mosaic of Time IV; Bridge Crossing 6:42 Projekt – PROJEKT351
(CD-DDL 60:39) (VF) (Mix of Berlin School & World Beats)
An album from Erik Wollo is like a story painted in different paintings where the emotions of the Norwegian are transposed on cinematographic and/or panoramic textures. The one who has accustomed us to a music of atmospheres, and its delicate floating rhythms, proposes here an album in two shades with textures of rhythms which amaze, especially coming from his side. THRESHOLD POINT is a title which means a new beginning. A kind of reflection (some passages here were composed while he was at the bedside of his dying sister in New York) on the metamorphosis of a soul to another form of life. It's a bit like changing of cosmic address, such as Edgar Froese liked to think. Anyway, the Norwegian electronic bard offers on this last album a delightful and enticing balance between his ambiences, always at the paroxysm of the ethereal, and beats of the world as well as some rhythms well put on Berlin School's style of sequenced ritornellos.
It's in a state of mind well-thought that Behind the Clouds carves a place deep inside the motor of our emotions. Breezes tinged of black, almost pious, float with floating banks of clouds blown in a shady sky. It's a very nice ambient music with a distinct line which sings sadly in this mass of cavernous breezes. Traverse is the first rhythmic surprise of THRESHOLD POINT. If Erik Wollo had accustomed us to a timid universe of rhythm, like in Arches with his very intrusive guitar, here he exploits a good zigzagging movement with a clever mix of sequences and percussions of which the flow is as fluid as jerky. A layer of voices surrounds this rhythm which adopts an oblong sinusoidal curve. This layer trades its place with a guitar and his solos which transpierce us. Solos unique to the musical poetry of Wollo, even in those percussive moments and others frankly moving. Despite the flow of the beat, we can turn our thoughts into dreams with this beautiful piece of EM. Mosaic of Time I; Route Diverge is also a very pleasant surprise. The introduction offers a rhythmic structure and its frantic hundred little steps running in circles and without any specific purpose, whereas synth-trumpet pads attempt to propel winds from a colony of lost trumpeters. Drums and bass pulsations add to the depth of the initial rhythm while the trumpet chants make up the atmospheres with eurhythmies a little frayed. The rhythm is superb with its small nuances in percussions and the remodeling of the sequences whose flow became more fluid and more harmonized.
We jump from surprise to surprise with the frantic tribal rhythm of Mosaic of Time II, Threshold Point. Nervous, the structure unleashes the spasms of manual percussions under a sky shaded by layers of a darker synth, while other layers bring a cryptic vision. Piano notes and tears of guitar adorn this rhythmic decor which continues to grow fat with the additions of sequences, percussive elements, synth riffs and others of a guitar and its spasmodic loops. Delicious and highly emotional at times, as in the golden age of Ashra. Ravel Peak is a rather solemn panoramic and cinematographic movement. It's an ascent described in music of a mountain of the same name in Antarctica. An in-between, I would add, which brings us to Mosaic of Time III, Hidden Path which, once after having conquered its moments of ambiances, bursts with a rhythm of tribal trance animated by good shamanic percussions which are joining nervous sequences. A piano crumbles its dreams while erecting chills between our ears. Another remarkable title which evolves with strength and passion. Eon also acts as a panoramic interlude. Except that its atmospheres are intense with a mesh of lines and voices whose contrasting tones throw a sibylline veil to dreams and sighs carved in the Gardens of Melancholy. It's very intense and powerful for a title of ambiences. Different but as beautiful as the first three parts, Mosaic of Time IV, Bridge Crossing offers a fusion between electronics and the acoustics of a music and its rhythms of the world. The voices of the mermaids from the Gardens of Melancholy are superb with their chants as acuities as very penetrating, while the world of the sequencer makes shimmer its keys and their silver songs which shine on a bed of nervous sequences and clan percussion. And it's already ended!
Very good from start to end to another and flawless, even moments of ambiences are offered on a tray of temptations, THRESHOLD POINT is a powerful album, both in terms of rhythms and ambiences. Erik Wollo imposes a new vision in his career with a metamorphosis which responds very well to the meaning, to the dimension of the album title. Available on a limited CD Digipack edition, and also in download, the lyricism of Erik Wollo is striking and extremely powerful. Indispensable to his fans, it's also the best way for others to break into a world where wonders are wisely waiting to be discovered. Enjoy yourself!
Sylvain Lupari (June 12th, 2018) ****½*
Available on Projekt Bandcamp