Erik Wøllo: Blue Radiance (CD)


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Product Description

1 Terra Novus 1
2 Terra Novus 2
3 Blue Radiance
4 Pathway
5 Osmosis
6 Moon Above
7 Revealed in Time
8 Crystal Orbits
9 Sepia
10 Timemorph
11 Earth Sky

As a bridge leading to a new uncharted continent, Erik Wøllo’s Blue Radiance transports the listener along innovative, shimmering and sonorous musical pathways. The nineteenth solo album from this renowned Norwegian ambient/electronic artist continues to develop and refine his masterfully crafted soundworld into an intensely detailed fusion of elegant compositions and deep atmospherics.

Built around catchy and accessible melodies and rhythms, Blue Radiance‘s eleven new compositions feature sophisticated and engaging waves of Wøllo’s trademark processed electric guitar, occasional acoustic guitars, synthesizers and percussion. Striking, varied, and deeply emotional, the tracks open up when the guitar surfaces out of the swirls, revealing soul-stirring themes rich with melancholy and hope. It’s that interplay – the contrast of the lead lines with the washes of sound and minimal piano – which make for an intensely powerful listening experience.

John Diliberto of Echoes Radio wrote of Wøllo’s previous album Timelines: “Recording since 1983, releasing 18 solo albums in that span plus collaborations with musicians like Steve Roach, Ian Boddy and Kouame Sereba, Wøllo shows a command of detailed orchestrations and dramatic melodies… (this) could be a gentle walk through a Norwegian forest and easily devolve into New Age prettiness. But throughout the walk, Wøllo has ambient atmospheres swirling at the edges, leaving them unfocused and mysterious. There’s a darkness that balances the light, a dark undertow that serves to put his melodies in beautiful bas relief. And then of course, there’s the thudding percussion and spiraling EBow solos that reveals this is no country walk.”

The album’s most active pieces are built upon arcs of rhythm and layers of sequencer patterns – with Wøllo’s lead lines setting the pace. “Revealed in Time,” “Pathway” and “Osmosis” all have dramatic percussive punctuations with pulsating arpeggios and deep analog bass. The etheral tracks “Blue Radiance,” “Moon Above” and “Crystal Orbits” soar and dive in open, airy sections that stretch through time. These quiet, introspective and slowly unfolding pieces have a musical vastness of space, highly lush and expansive washes, powerfully evocative and soothing translucence. “Sepia” is more acoustic, featuring guitars and piano which evoke a warm nostalgia: an organic sonic texture contrasted with long and elegant guitar EBow lines. “Earth Sky” closes this journey with beautifully hazy synth swells added with distant soaring guitar voices. An utterly suspended, lyrical and sublime outro.

Hypnagogue wrote about Timelines: “…as always it’s a very pleasant place to visit. Emotional and filled with sonic imagery, it absolutely demands repeat listens. Superb work from a true master of the craft.”

The album title Blue Radiance suggests music from the blue and icy tone spectrum: from the darker blue to the almost snowy white. The striking album cover image by Michał Klimczak depicts a bridge headed into another land, a metaphor for the music which carries the listener to the unknown. Blue Radiance is an album highlighting Wøllo’s extraordinary luminous mastery.

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First edition release date: April 14 2015

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Weight .3 lbs


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  1. Reviews Editor

    From Comarcas Na Rede

    Erik Wøllo es un compositor noruego que lleva muchos años deleitandonos con sus composiciones, aún me recuerdo de los primeros programas de “A Ultima Fronteira” dónde conocímos a éste noruego y su guitarra, pero con los transcursos de los años, su música ha ido evolucionando y alcanzando unas cuotas de sofisticación impresionante. Sus últimos trabajos, están uniendo su capacidad compositiva y sus ideas a la escuela del gran Steve Roach consiguiendo obras magistrales cómo ésta que hoy presentamos.

    Es un trabajo del año 2015 divido en once cortes, cada cual más interesante, en los que el compositor nos va introduciendo con su música en el infinito, cómo ése que parece mostrarnos en la portada dónde esa radiación azul nos parece querer enseñar un camino hacia nuestro futuro, un camino sin principio ni fin pero que debemos de recorrer y ése camino, lo recorremos gracias a la música de Erik.

    Músia profunda, subterránea, cavernosa, ambient, todo ésto nos ofrece el compositor en éste trabajo que simplemente podemos decir, que hay que disfrutar desde el primero hasta el último tema, dejando llevar a nuestra mente por ese cielo azul hasta el infinito y más allá. -Roberto Vales

  2. Reviews Editor

    From Sonic Curiosity

    This 2015 release features 67 minutes of pleasantly peppy electronic ambience.

    While he also plays synthesizers, Wollo is mainly a guitarist-but the sounds he gets from his instruments are extremely un-guitarlike. Through processing and treatments, he crafts sounds of ethereal beauty, tonalities that seethe with celestial majesty.

    These sounds waft like glittering breezes through clouds generated by additional electronics, each element embellishing the other, forming a streaming flow of golden resonance. Often the tunes display a mild pep with jaunty pulsations and periodic guitar notes of a natural sort. There’s a nice balance of spry and ambient pieces.

    The presence of some obvious keyboards contributes an organic warmth to the melodies with their sensual flow.

    There is no percussion, although on occasion staccato electronic notes are employed to inject a rhythmic presence into some tunes.

    The compositions are crafted to mesmerize the listener. Pleasant tuneage of a shimmering nature, these songs explore realms of vaporous splendor. The melodies are rich and charismatic. They possess a sense of drama, but in a relaxed manner. -Matt Howarth

  3. Reviews Editor

    From Ambient Music Guide

    A seductive, melodic blend of processed electric guitar, synths, percussion and occasional acoustic guitars. Blue Radiance is Norwegian composer Erik Wollo’s 18th album and the work of a confident and mature artist. His sonorous and polished sound has “a darkness that balances the light, a dark undertow that serves to put his melodies in beautiful bas relief”, in the words of broadcaster John Diliberto. Stunning cover art, too.

  4. Reviews Editor

    From Stars End

    A top-level fantasist, Erik Wøllo provides the song – while his audience provides the story. Blue Radiance (67’17”) is made up of 11 expertly delivered, immaculately produced instrumentals. Leaving the listener drenched in wistfulness for air castles or a misty fantasy realm, this music advances along an intriguing dynamic arc. The listener follows Wøllo’s composed currents through introspective still states, then to the focused charge of building rhythms – found amidst a highly listenable melodic and harmonic interplay. With synth strings keening through cavernous reverberation, and mounting percussion loops steadily energizing the listening space, authoritative guitar leads course ahead – and then take us back to the slow motion of more fragile forms. The purring energy of Blue Radiance comes out of Wøllo in his convincing guitar craft. Whether in clean plucked lines, fuzzed out tones, or completely synthesized structures, he brings forth an uncommonly expressive intonation. While possessing a certain command of his instrument, Wøllo always remembers to share its space with each track’s tempo ornaments. It is this disciplined aesthetic that imbues Wøllo’s work with its unique atmosphere, and allows us the freedom to drift off into easy dreams and pleasant mental wandering. This moving music seeks to transport us to a higher place. Not just above the clouds, but somewhere whither we will be left with some hope for the future.
    – Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END 17 September 2015

  5. Reviews Editor

    From Musid

    Le Norvégien livre avec Blue Radiance son dix-neuvième album solo, et nous pouvons dire d’emblée que cet infatigable explorateur sonore nous a encore gâté ! Blue Radiance se découpe en onze pièces délicates, au charme aérien. L’ambient qui a fait le succès de Wøllo s’accorde ici avec la rondeur de la musique électronique progressive. Cet opus à la délicatesse suave nous invite à une contemplation béate. Wøllo nous emmène vers un ailleurs céleste grâce à des nappes cristallines. Mais cette plénitude absolue est tout de même agrémentée d’éléments plus terrestres lorsque le rythme apparaît (« Terra Novus 2 », « Pathway », « Osmosis », « Revealed In Time », « Timemorph »). Ce dernier peut prendre des reliefs épiques (« Terra Novus 2 », « Pathway »), voire tribaux (« Terra Novus 2 »). L’auditeur est alors confronté à une forme de chaleur, de sensation d’être projeté dans un monde organique pleinement vivant et bienveillant. Car Wøllo est un guide, nous poussant à explorer le monde à la recherche de l’apaisement. On se rapproche parfois du New Age (« Terra Novus 1 », « Blue Radiance », « Revealed In Time ») et la nature est invoquée (on entend des cris d’oiseaux sur « Terra Novus 1 »).

    Face à cette joie générale, on découvre aussi de la solennité (« Moon Above », « Crystal Orbits », « Sepia »). Le compositeur semble plonger en lui-même, ces titres étant empreints d’un parfum subtil de nostalgie. Sur « Sepia », la guitare et le piano introduisent le morceau et en constituent la charpente, avant que les synthés ne prennent le relais pour nous envelopper de leurs sonorités féeriques. Ainsi, tout l’art du natif de Hemsedal vient de cette maîtrise constante des schémas oniriques, qu’il parvient à faire progresser astucieusement. Cette musique ne doit rien au hasard, Wøllo construit savamment son expression musicale. Bien que les variations soient ténues, il parvient toujours à capter notre attention en ne négligeant pas les moments de suspens ou en incorporant des mélodies soyeuses. Entre ambient pure et musique électronique narrative, Wøllo ne fait pas un choix définitif et préfère mélanger les styles avec toujours la volonté farouche d’éclairer notre esprit. « Earth Sky » clôture le disque de façon épurée. Fin du voyage semble nous dire le musicien, il fait alors la part belle aux aplats sonores bienheureux. Le temps et l’eau s’écoulent… Un instant de grâce qui aura duré un peu plus d’une heure. Il y aura eu des moments particulièrement forts (« Revealed In Time ») et on se sépare au bout de l’écoute avec des regrets mais surtout de l’allégresse. Rating: 5/5

  6. Reviews Editor

    From Sound Contest

    Il lessico ambient del norvegese Erik Wøllo non ha mai lesinato in melodia. In Blue Radiance tale elemento si espande e contrae nelle radianti armonie della sua chitarra elettrica (spesso accarezzata con l’e-bow), punto di fuga prospettico di suggestivi pattern ritmici, effetti digitali e synth luminescenti. Dopo tanti bei dischi, spesso simili tra loro e sempre quasi fedeli ad una concezione lirica e cinematica, Wøllo affida adesso la propria arte e ispirazione al prisma bluastro di oceani e cieli che sfumano gli uni negli altri, a cristalli di luce orbitanti nello spazio e conturbanti spettacoli lunari. Un percorso altalenante tra realtà e immaginazione, luoghi terreni e alieni, che la musica di queste undici tracce suggerisce insieme a un profondo piacere aurale.

    Blue Radiance è un memorabile risultato di eleganza ed equilibrio, gusto e ricerca. I due capitoli di Terra Novus intercettano una “new age” in sintonia con l’attualità, romantica ma avveniristica. La title track strizza l’occhio al Vangelis di “Blade Runner” mentre Osmosis, Reavealed In Time e Timemorph edificano nel ritmo di beat e sintetizzatori un allure pop a cui è difficile resistere. La chitarra acustica di Sepia s’inerpica, con i suoi fiabeschi arpeggi, sul crinale dei ricordi, rianimati da tenui rintocchi di piano. In fondo a tutto ci aspetta invece la lancinante e seducente poesia di Earth Sky, quasi un richiamo all’incontaminata purezza di selvagge lande artiche. -Olindo Fortino

  7. Reviews Editor

    From Exposé

    Since I last encountered him around the time of Emotional Landscapes (2003), Norwegian musician and composer Erik Wøllo has continued to expand his mastery of ambient soundscapes and electronic music into some interesting — and modern — realms.

    Working out of a generously equipped studio, Wøllo serves up a feast of ear candy that is on equal footing with peers like Steve Roach and Robert Rich. The opener, “Terra Novus 1,” is as finely engineered and produced an example of chill-out music as you’ll hear anywhere. The looped synths and sequenced electronica float along effortlessly and are at times both seductive as well as enigmatic, which has always been Wøllo’s trademark. Some tracks (“Osmosis”) delve into the rhythmic electronica of folks like Robert Schroeder, while others (“Pathway”) echo the melodic moodiness of Patrick O’Hearn. This is somewhat surprising, given that Wøllo has a reputation for relatively minimalist soundscapes that lean on foreboding and bleak atmospherics. That side of his musical persona isn’t ignored, with songs like “Moon Above” and the title track evoking frosty somnambulist auras via e-bowed electric guitar and ghostly, hushed strings.

    Songs like “Sepia” dig even further into Wøllo’s past, offering loops of meditative acoustic and e-bowed guitar. If I had to characterize this collection I’d say there’s a noticeable buoyancy and vitality to the pieces. Maybe he’s just in a happier place in his life, but whatever the reason this outing should extend Wøllo’s renown — and commercial potential — beyond the admirable reputation he already enjoys. -Paul Hightower

  8. Reviews Editor

    From Hypnagogue

    Let me open with two connected thoughts. One, that if I put all the Erik Wøllo music I own into one playlist and shuffled it, I am not sure I could honestly say that I could tell you which song came from which album. Two, I wouldn’t care as long as I was listening to Erik Wøllo. There are certain artists whose signature sounds never get old for me. A good Steve Roach tribal riff. A Mike Oldfield guitar solo. Erik Wøllo’s processed guitars and e-bow work. Blue Radiance gives us a fresh batch of realms that mix long sighs from the e-bow with piano melodies spooled out a single note at a time, tasty sequencer riffs, and cloudy ambient pads, and it is yet again another album that I want to put on, turn up, and let play. Does it sound familiar? Yes, but Wøllo’s music has an exuberance, an energy, that shoots straight through me. It’s the way the e-bow pulls notes out of the guitar and off into the far horizon, rising the whole time. It’s the analog bliss of those sharp sequencer lines bouncing out a rhythm. It’s the points where things dial down to an edge-of-ambient quiet that’s still loaded with kinetic potential. I like the mechanical rhythm underscores “Osmosis,” and the way it plays off against the keys. I like the guitar in “Revealed in Time” when it rings out in short solos over a chugging bass line electronic accents that would do Tangerine Dream proud. I like the earthy acoustic guitar that opens “Sepia” and the way it falls into an easy duet with keys. I like the rich depth of pads on “Crystal Orbits,” their sound putting me in mind of a very light but quite sacred church organ. Have I heard it from Wøllo before? Sure, if my previous reviews can be trusted. And, honestly, I’m happy to hear it again.

    This genre is often marked—some might say negatively—by large dollops of sameness. It’s no sin to say that Erik Wøllo sounds like Erik Wøllo; the quality of the music is there. It affects the listener, which is the goal. You will groove along to his beats and rhythms, you will fall into the quiet valleys, and perhaps like me, something in you will stir a bit when that e-bow makes another note stretch and reach. As a reviewer, maybe I need to note that Blue Radiance does not waver from the Wøllo equation. As someone who enjoys his music, this album continues a very pleasant ride. Your appreciation of it may depend somewhat on how you feel about an artist sticking closely to a signature. Regardless, let this one in for a while because the voyage is cool, smooth and pleasant.

  9. Reviews Editor

    From Guts of Darkness

    Je ne me lasse jamais d’entendre du Erik Wollo! D’album en album, le barde sonique scandinave réussit toujours à séduire dans un genre musical où le manque d’imagination, de passion conduit inévitablement à l’ennui. Fidèle à son répertoire, Erik Wollo nous entraîne dans ses paysages soniques teintés de romance et de poésie où les moments éthérés côtoient aisément les moments de passion avec des rythmes qui sont à l’antipode de ces ambiances méditatives qui trouvent toujours leur chemin à travers notre quête de charme. Blue Radiance est un 19ième album solo depuis Where it all Begins paru en 1983. Encore une fois, Wollo sillonne la route des rythmes et des ambiances séraphiques avec 11 titres qui vous séduirons, tant pour leurs approches méditatives qu’un brin sauvages.

    Comme un rayon de soleil réchauffant un matin égayé par les bruits de la nature, l’introduction de “Terra Novus 1” réchauffe l’orée des tympans des impatients qui ont hâte d’aborder la toute dernière œuvre d’Erik Wollo. Nous sommes en territoire connu avec ce ruisselet qui scintille comme un nuage de prismes dans les caresses des doux vents électroniques. Pépiements ou fragiles séquences chatoyantes, les ondes de cette fusion de synthé/guitare transportent les larmoyantes harmonies spectrales de “Terra Novus 1” vers une délicate structure de rythme. Les séquences et des percussions éthérées soudent ce rythme ambiant qui tournoie mollement, comme ces vents et ces lamentations qui nourrissent l’énigmatique panorama sonique du barde Scandinave. Une immense chute de bruits joint les deux parties de “Terra Novus”, alors qu’un lent rythme tribal, animé par de riches percussions et caressé par les rayons bleus d’une guitare ambiante et exotique, anime le rythme un brin transe de “Terra Novus 2”. Rythmes doux, arqués sur des séquences et percussions un brin claniques et/ou assez spirituelles, ces 13 premières minutes sont très annonciatrices des 50 prochaines de Blue Radiance.

    À commencer par la pièce-titre dont les rayons des synthé et les gémissements de la guitare nous amène dans un endroit très introspectif. C’est très Eno sur son sublime An Ending que l’on trouve sur l’album Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks. Ça va dans un Ipod; section musique de nuit ou musique pour pleurer! Et il ne sera pas tout seul! Des titres comme le très mélancolique “Moon Above” et le très mystérieux “Crystal Orbits”, qui sonne énormément comme la pièce-titre, ainsi que “Earth Sky” sont des bijoux de tendresse méditative où les larmes de guitares serpentent des nappes panoramiques aux apaisantes couleurs du bleu radiance. “Pathway” offre une délicate structure de rythme avec des arpèges pincés qui défilent comme dans une figure de spirale dans un ballet. Fluide et saccadé, le rythme s’arrime à un genre de chevauché dans les terres scandinaves où de délicates notes de piano tombent comme des étoiles dans un ciel brouillé d’aurores boréales.

    Ces notes de piano forgent une mélodieuse berceuse ambiante que l’on retrouve aussi sur le rythme noué dans les gargouillis de “Osmosis” où des accords de guitare forgent une série de riffs séquencés qui galopent sur des percussions sobres. Ici comme ailleurs, les vents et brises éthérées forment le point d’ancrage à la mélancolique vision poétique de Wollo. C’est beau, délicat et quasiment New Age comme avec le très acoustique “Sepia” où guitare acoustique et piano méditatifs signent une très belle ballade aux doux parfums d’harmonies mélancoliques. Les lamentations du synthé ajoutent un poids spectral à ce très beau titre très méditatif en passant. “Revealed in Time”, de même que “Timemorph”, offrent des figures de rythmes très électroniques. Celle de “Revealed in Time” croisse comme une chevauchée dans l’univers de Steve Roach. Le rythme est mou et arqué sur un sobre jeu de séquences/percussions qui déploie un doux crescendo latent. Les notes de guitare forment des boucles harmoniques qui roulent en une spirale verticale, attrapant au passage de fins arpèges pianotés.

    C’est assez entraînant alors que “Timemorph” s’appuie sur des couches de séquences qui papillonnent comme des multiples reflets de prisme. Le mouvement est stationnaire et fait pianoter nos doigts, amplifiant sa cadence avec des séquences plus agitées dont le destin est noué autour de sourdes et furtives pulsations. Un bon rythme électronique comme Erik Wollo est capable de signer sur chacun de ses albums. Avec sa mosaïque de rythmes doux éparpillés dans de bonnes phases méditatives et des ballades qui sont aux portes du New Age, Blue Radiance est ce qui se fait de plus musical dans le domaine de la MÉ. Chaque titre fait sourire l’oreille alors que, très nostalgique, Erik Wollo martèle ses clefs afin de tisser de savoureux vers d’oreille. C’est du Wollo! C’est mélancolique et onirique. Et oui on peut littéralement voir sa musique prendre la forme des ces inénarrables paysages scandinaves qu’il a le don de mettre en relief sur une musique qui lui est très personnelle. -Phaedream

  10. Reviews Editor

    From Onda Rock

    Nell’intervista concessaci qualche mese fa, Erik Wøllo ci aveva anticipato dell’imminente uscita di un suo nuovo lavoro, centrato nuovamente – a suo dire – su quel sound che da “Gateway” in poi è divenuto suo marchio di fabbrica. Chitarra in delay più synth, dunque, e va detto che l’ultima volta la bellezza estetica aveva superato di gran carriera la sostanza compositiva. Differenza quasi impossibile da percepire perché ancora minima, ma ipotetico campanello d’allarme su primi possibili segni di cedimento della miscela.

    Quando si dice “mai dire mai”, ecco che Blue Radiance è esattamente tutto il contrario di quanto si era temuto. È il disco più completo e splendido che il norvegese abbia dato alle stampe negli ultimi anni – il confronto con l’inarrivabile “Gateway” per ora è di poco perso, ma chissà che non sia questione di tempo. Quella stessa poetica ambientale che sembrava aver preso la strada del Parnaso torna qui a farsi sostanza pura, portatrice di un’intima e blanda seduzione, che conquista lentamente e progressivamente fra una sfumatura di blu e l’altra.

    Già dalla partenza (e dal suo titolo) quanto detto risulta evidente: se i cinque minuti della prima “Terra Novus” sembrano salutare con nostalgia le terre descritte nei dettagli in “Gateway” e “Timelines”, la seconda mantiene i legami solo con il ritmo già esplorato in quest’ultimo. Ma non c’è più interesse per il tempo, qui protagonista unico è lo spazio: un mare aperto, sconfinato, splendidamente riprodotto in copertina, a diretto contatto col cielo, suggellato nell’alba a tinte tenui della title track quanto nel tramonto della conclusiva “Earth Sky”.

    Se “Gateway” era l’album fotografico di Wøllo e “Timelines” il suo compimento riflessivo, Blue Radiance fa rima con impressione: sono le emozioni primarie a essere evocate facendo leva su una miriade di percezioni sensoriali. E se il parapiglia sintetico di “Osmosis” rivela un animo melodico estroverso e accattivante, nelle contemplazioni notturne di “Moon Above” e “Crystal Orbits” si riscopre quella squisita introversione in cui la sua sensibilità interiore si dispiega sicura. Ancor più indicativa in tal senso è “Sepia”, dove il dialogo tra arpeggi e melodie raggiunge l’epos.

    “Timemorph” è l’unico frammento nostalgico a tendere i ponti con il Jean-Michel Jarre più ispirato, fra cavalcate di sequencer e le note della chitarra trasformate in segmenti melodici. A completare il puzzle vi sono però due capolavori destinati a entrare dritti nel novero dei momenti più alti della sua carriera: da un lato il rasserenante cammino piano-percussioni di “Pathway”, semplicemente il pezzo più commovente della sua carriera; dall’altra il lungo cammino di “Revealed In Time”, con la chitarra stavolta a erigersi a voce-guida fra scenari onirici e frammenti di malinconia.

    Il compimento ultimo (e massimo) di un’intera parabola sonora, costantemente in ascesa. L’ennesima lezione su come rendere l’ambient autentica poesia. Inesauribile. Rating: 7.5 (very good) -Matteo Meda

  11. Reviews Editor

    From Synth & Sequences

    I never grow tired of hearing Erik Wollo’s music! From album to another one, the Scandinavian sonic bard always manages to seduce in a musical genre where the lack of imagination,of passion led inevitably to boredom. Faithful to his repertoire, Erik Wollo entails us in his soundscapes tinted with romance and poetry. There where the ethereal moments are easily next to moments of passion with rhythms which belong to the antipode of these meditative atmospheres which always find their way through our quest of charm. Blue Radiance is his 19th solo album since Where it all Begins published in 1983. Once again, Wollo criss-crosses the road of rhythms and of seraphic moods with 11 tracks which shall seduce you, both for their meditative approaches than a tiny bit savage.

    As a ray of sunshine warming up a morning cheered up by the noises of nature, the introduction of “Terra Novus 1” warms the edge of the eardrums of the impatient persons who look forward to approaching this very last album from Erik Wollo. We are on known territory with this rivulet which sparkles such as a cloud of prisms in the caresses of those soft e-winds. Chirping or fragile sparkling sequences, the waves of this fusion of synth/guitar transports the tearful spectral harmonies of “Terra Novus 1” towards a delicate structure of rhythm. Ethereal sequences and percussions weld this ambient rhythm which swirls weakly, like these winds and these lamentations which feed the enigmatic sonic panorama of the Scandinavian bard. An immense fall of noises joins both parts of “Terra Novus”, while a slow tribal rhythm, livened up by rich percussions and caressed by the blue rays of an ambient and exotic guitar, excites the rhythm a bit trance of “Terra Novus 2”. Soft rhythms, well sat on sequences and percussions a bit clanic and/or rather spiritual, these first 13 are very forewarning of the 50 next ones of Blue Radiance. To begin with the title-track, of which the synth rays and the guitar groans lead us toward a very introspective place. It sounds very Eno on his sublime An Ending which we find on the Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks album. That goes in my Ipod; section night music or music to cry on! And it won’t be the only one! Musical pieces such as the very melancholic “Moon Above” or the very mysterious “Crystal Orbits”, which sounds quite like the title-track, as well as “Earth Sky” are jewels of meditative tenderness where the tears of guitars are whipping gently the panoramic layers drawn in the soothing colors of blue radiance. These are nice ambient and very musical tracks. Way to go Erik!

    “Pathway” offers a delicate structure of rhythm with pinched arpeggios which parade like in a spiral figure in a ballet chorography. Fluid and jerky, the rhythm binds itself in a kind of ride in the Scandinavian lands where delicate notes of piano fall like stars in a sky blurred of auroras borealis. These piano notes forge a melodious ambient lullaby that we also find on the rhythm knotted in the gurglings of “Osmosis”, where guitar chords forge a series of sequenced riffs which gallop on sober percussions. Here as all over Blue Radiance the winds and the ethereal breezes outline the anchor point of those melancholic poetic visions which lull the music of Wollo. It’s beautiful, delicate and almost New Age like with the very acoustic “Sepia” where the meditative acoustic guitar and piano are signing a very beautiful ballad filled by the soft fragrances of deep melancholic harmonies. The lamentations of the synth add a spectral weight to this very beautiful and very meditative track by the way. “Revealed in Time”, as well as “Timemorph”, offer structures of very electronic rhythms. That of “Revealed in Time” grows like a ride in Steve Roach’s universe. The rhythm is soft and well sat on a sober play of sequences / percussions which spreads a soft latent crescendo. The notes of guitar form some harmonious loops which roll into a vertical spiral, catching at the passage some fine strummed arpeggios. It’s rather lively, while “Timemorph” leans on layers of sequences which flicker such as multiple reflections of prism. The movement is rather motionless and made us strumming our fingers, amplifying its pace with livelier sequences of which the fate is knotted around muffled and furtive pulsations. It’s a good electronic rhythm, as Erik Wollo is capable of signing on each of his albums.

    With its mosaic of soft rhythms soft scattered in good meditative phases and ballads which are near New Age, Blue Radiance is what is made of more musical in the field of EM. Each track puts a smile to ears while, very nostalgic, Erik Wollo hammers his keys in order to weave some delicious musical itches. It’s Wollo! It’s melancholic and dreamlike. And yes we can literally see his music taking the shape of these enchanting Scandinavian landscapes that he has the gift to put in relief on a music which is very personal to him. -Sylvain Lupari

  12. Reviews Editor

    From Sonic Immersion

    From the first notes on this recording it’s clear Erik’s characteristic sound design has stayed the same, lining up easily next to the emotive instrumental music of e-guitars, assorted rhythms and synths we’ve accustomed to in previous years.

    Imaginative, sparkling and with an eye to detail are keywords for his sonorous journey-oriented music. Meanwhile, the unhurried sonic scenery is still infused by that distinct vibe found in Arctic ambient music and comes up with a melancholic (under)current shimmering through.

    I keep a weak spot for Wøllo’s textural, non-rhythmic outings, such as the soft glowing “Moon Above”, the pastoral “Crystal Orbits” and the immersive guitar/piano/synth composition “Sepia”. These would all do very well as music for nature documentaries.

    Blue Radiance offers no surprises, just straightforward and solid musicianship from a Norwegian multi-instrumentalist who knows his ways into lush, meticulously crafted soundworlds. -Bert Strolenberg

  13. Reviews Editor

    From Sequencer Welten

    Es ist jedesmal eine Wohltat, Erik´s Musik zu hören! Erik Wollo scheint auch nach dem Motto “In der Ruhe liegt die Kraft” zu arbeiten. Seine Coverbilder liefern viele Ansätze zu der Frage : wie wird die Musik sein? Sie könnte genauso kühl klingen, aber auch warm …..mystisch und ein wenig Geheimnisvoll …..

    Und genau da liegt Erik Wollo´s Stärke : seine Musik vereint alles. Er schafft es ohne Mühe, kühlere Athmosphären warm klingen zu lassen. Selbst da fühlt man sich wohl. Aber wie auch immer. In seiner Musik sind alle Gefühlszustände vereint. Sein Sound ist und bleibt unverwechselbar und : Richtig Klasse!

    Meiner Meinung nach geht Erik Wollo mit der Blue Radiance ein wenig in Richtung “Back to the Roots”, was mir sehr, sehr gut gefällt. Selbst bei den Stücken, wo durch das Schlagzeug einiges an Rhythmus hinzukommt, bleibt dieses typische “Wollo-Feeling” erhalten.

    Ich bin mir sicher, dass auch die Blue Radiance sehr gut angenommen wird und ist daher sehr zu empfehlen.

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