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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Erik Wollo: Winter Tide (Live at SoundQuest Fest 2021)

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

The E-Bow dominates a music more ambient than catchy with a well though vision of E-rock...

1 Winter Tide, Part 1 9:41

2 Winter Tide, Part 2 8:42

3 Winter Tide, Part 3 9:21

4 Winter Tide, Part 4 4:25

5 Winter Tide, Part 5 4:20

6 Winter Tide, Part 6 4:54

7 Winter Tide, Part 7 10:59

8 Winter Tide, Part 8 7:52

(DDL 60:15) (V.F.)

(Mix of Ambient and beats)

It's quite a gift from Projekt Records! It's in the name-your-price category that we find this very nice recording of Erik Wollo's show in the framework of SoundQuest Fest 2021. WINTER TIDE offers a palette of 8 tracks composed only for this concert. Concert that you can see in its entirety by clicking on this LINK.

A rumbling and growing shadow mobilizes our attention from the first seconds of Winter Tide, Part 1. The lapping of a thawing river counterbalances this by predicting that the sky is bright, while the guitar tears, that are Erik Wollo's signature, weep at the top. A sequenced rhythmic box enlivens this opening with ambient tchick-a-tchouk that ask for guitar solos. The Norwegian bard accepts the challenge and delivers them with a reverb effect surrounding the anesthetizing chants of his solos. Parasitic filaments are sizzling and forming sharper lines, a sign that the guitar is texturing diversified sounds on a static rhythm. Part 1 reaches with pain and misery at its 7th minute. A form of tonal chaos sets in to melt into a drizzling torrent of winds that leads us to Part II. Each track of WINTER TIDE fits together to form a 60-minute mosaic. But if you prefer to download the album as an MP3, the management of Projekt Records also offers you a long continuous track without the annoying blank spots. Back to Part II and its organic texture in its slightly more dynamic rhythm. The airy solos whine. Except that Erik is able to make rock his solos paired with riffs when the beat increases its voracity for a few seconds. For those who like comparisons, EW's playing sounds strangely like Pink Floyd's guitarist, David Gilmour. The gigantic breaths that suck in its finale are found on the opening of Part III and its Caribbean Island tribal rhythm more dominated by the enveloping synth layers than the guitar's jazz texture. A good track with good rhythm! Winter Tide, Part 4 is a slow track, like I like them. A sparkling arpeggio structures a staircase going up to the heights of our emotions with just enough to keep us in a morphic state.

The gust of muffled wind rises to Part V. A metronomic rhythm swings like a big timeless needle. EW throws solos dominated by a rock spirit on this hypnotic structure. Part VI opens in anonymity! Quieter winds allow the shimmering of rivers to be heard as vampiric layers rise to a spiritual height, in symbiosis with our feelings. The drones replace the winds to invade and engulf the ambiences under the mocking laughter of small chthonian creatures. WINTER TIDE's longest track, Part VII gets activating on good percussions and a translucent bass line that structures a down-tempo in an atmosphere that flirts with psybient. The track changes direction with a livelier ascending rhythm to join the ethereal solos of a guitar with evasive thoughts. Part VII reaches its mutation zone shortly after the 5th minute. The spirit of the ambient rhythm coos in a rhythmless phase where the guitar abandons its charms well before this illusion of sequenced rhythm which evaporates in its turn when Part VII sinks into a mysterious eerie phase. It's from this essence that springs out Part VIII. Its rhythm gallops with this melody weaver of earworm by an incredibly invasive guitar. The rhythm becomes more rock with sober percussions which second these sequenced galloping loops, whereas the guitar, the melody sequenced in the background, also goes for a more rock presence. In short, a splendid title from which will spring intense guitar solos in a pre-final where the misty vestiges of the synth layers appear nearly 90 seconds before the end, trying to bewitch again with this melody eater of eardrums.

Offered according to the generosity of his fans and those of EM in general, WINTER TIDE is faithful to this change of direction felt on North Star. The guitar dominates a music that is more ambient than catchy with a vision of E-rock well spread out over the 60 minutes of a good recording, both audio and video, that shows Erik Wollo's art and skill at his best in a too sober decor.

Sylvain Lupari (August 26th ,2021) ***½**

Available at Projekt Records Bandcamp

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