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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Erik Wollo: Tundra E.P. (2014)

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

Tundra offers a very beautiful musical diversity by presenting the great changeability of Erik Wollo's electronic genres

1 Tundra 7:07

2 Perma 5:43

3 Taiga 5:43

4 The Native Chant 5:16

5 Swirled Lights 5:14

(CD/DDL 29:06) (V.F.)

(Ambient beats, Ethnic)

The surprising, and fascinating I have to admit, synth voice that opens the first measures of Tundra mystifies as much as it gives a smile. One would say a Berber priest who, up from his minaret, shouts in a voice filled of helium. But it isn't that! In fact, its samplings of Inuit throat singings whose poetic tribal vision gets lost in an electronic rhythm fed by fine and fluid sequences. They swirl in jerky spirals in the vapors of the sibylline singings of a guitar musing but still nebulous. A cloud of mist widens the ambient-dramatic part of the title-track from Erik Wollo's last E.P. while percussions, quite timid at the beginning, are peppering these ambiences with orderly strikes which eventually forge a structure of rhythm swaying between a morphic techno and a lunar-tribal down-tempo. And this soft rhythm lets itself desire by these dreamy strata of a guitar unique to the musical signature of the Norwegian musician. TUNDRA is the last musical rendezvous that Erik Wollo offers to his fans. Following the parameters of Timelines, this E.P. of nearly thirty minutes surfs on the tribal approaches of peoples from the deserts of ice so dear to the Wollo repertory by proposing this musical diversity which makes all the charm of the Scandinavian bard.

Perma follows with a slow down-tempo. The percussions are soft and are surrounded by synth loops of which the cooing is getting lost in the watered drizzle coming from the bank of mist. There is a perfume of melancholy floating all over the track. A scent accentuated by soft orchestrations with the veils saddened by tears as well as by delicate and dreamy chords of guitar. They fall like tears of piano on a track which flees into our ears like mist in the wind. Effective and very beautiful! And the synth strata remind me the moods and vibes of Steve Roach's American deserts. Taiga is the liveliest track here. The percussions drag a slow rhythm which bumps in the bursts of chords a bit funky. It sounds like an ethereal tribal groove which get decorate by soft ambient elements, like these cottony synth pads which enclose twisted cooing. These electronic chants accentuate the effect of pleasant earworms and a series of sequences of which the aerial spirals form bank of twinkling stars which break out like in a cosmic aurora borealis. With its Inuit chants which roll in loops, the introduction of The Native Chant is fascinating like the title-track. The percussions which roll and thunder in the shade of these chants, and which haunt the brain some minutes later, are shaping a static spiritual rhythm and a seducing tribal hymn. The effect is rather spectacular at high volume level. Swirled Lights ends this last musical episode of Erik Wollo by plunging us into his very esoteric vibes with tears of guitar which moan in the cold winds of the Arctic Regions' ice floes.

TUNDRA offers a very nice musical diversity for an album of its length by presenting the great range of Erik Wollo's electronic genres. From a very lunar down-tempo to some fiery and static rhythms, by passing by his very stylized ambient music, the Norwegian musician manages to maintain the interest with his very lyrical vision of a universe forgotten in this race for life. This is very good...Really!

Sylvain Lupari (August 2nd, 2014) *****

Available at Projekt Records Bandcamp

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