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Gateway was Echoes Radio’s June 2010 Pick of the Month.
“Wøllo’s work is the musical equivalent of crossing a majestic landscape, over the earth and beneath the stars.” – Chuck van Zyl / StarsEnd, WXPN Radio
Projekt announces the signing of noted Norwegian electronic / ambient guitarist, synthesist and composer Erik Wøllo with the release of Gateway. Since the mid-80s, Wøllo has released a string of mesmerizingly melodic and original albums culminating in Gateway, his 14th solo release. His recent collaboration with Steve Roach, Stream of Thought (Projekt, 2009), introduced a new audience to his personal signature of introspective atmospherics. Working over two years creating Gateway, Wøllo presents a fine-tuned collection of carefully crafted compositions; electro-symphonies morph through a wide variety of moods, guitar expositions and crescendos. With a minimalist’s restrained elegance, Wøllo creates evocative passage through imaginary landscapes by blending dark and light elements. The resulting music is visual, kindling the feeling of nature inspired by the Nordic landscapes of Wøllo’s homeland. These epic dimensions are reflected in the beautiful album cover images created by Polish artist Michal Karcz; dramatic, vast, and untouched landscapes symbolize purity and beauty.
“Celestial evocations inspired by the night skies in the land of the midnight sun. It’s hard to resist picking an Erik Wøllo album as a CD of the Month.”
– John Diliberto, Echoes syndicated radio, about Erik’s last release
Gateway is both lyrical and rhythmic, emphasizing melodic and structural formations; modern electronic music explores vast panoramas and limitless horizons. Graceful chiming themes ring out against ambient textures and delicate chord structures with a highly listenable appeal. It is a gentle musical journey through soundscapes of synthesizers and electric guitars. Orchestrated layers of sounds make this a deep listening experience where new details are discovered on each successive listening.
“There is always a meditative attitude,” Erik reflects, “recollections from dreams and reality suggesting the mysterious. Every artist has their own unique inner landscape that emulates where they were born and raised, influencing the creative expression. By reflecting all the different kinds of music that you have been hearing through your lifetime, Gateway is a mirror of time.”
Gateway has 12 tracks carefully sequenced like parts in a symphony or as the soundtrack to a film exploring new undiscovered places. The cinematic songs have unique moods from piece to piece beginning with gentle “Land of Myths,” a slow introduction to the story. Wøllo continues with the more rhythmic “First Arrival,” launching elements later refined as separate songs. The titles all describe the journey: “A Sublime Place,” “The Mental Trail” and “Wetlands.” The album ends with a long and sustaining piece, “Thule,” suggesting a trip even further north into the future. An open end to a sonic journey.
This album is a new era of Wøllo’s music where emotional atmospheres flow into expansive ambient textures. An album that combines intense and serene passages with masterful performances. It is New Instrumental Music with both symphonic qualities and more sublime, varied dynamic structures. Soar in abstract space elements with the unmistakable style of this critically acclaimed artist.
“Erik Wøllo is one of the most consistent artists recording today. He continues to impress me with his composing and performing talent. His music comes across as being both stimulating from an intellectual standpoint yet emotionally satisfying as well.”
– Bill Binkelman, Zone Music Reporter