- Crystal Bells 1
- Crystal Bells 2
- Crystal Bells 3
- Crystal Bells 4
Crystal Bells is a mini-album of instrumental atmospheric electronic music formed as a suite in 4 parts, inspired by the chilly nordic midwinter season. Parts 1 and 2 (remixed) were featured on Projekt’s 2012 sampler album Ornamental, a holiday 2-CD set of Yuletide moments. Those two holiday originals are complemented by two additional previously unreleased tracks creating a wonderful excursion into Erik’s unique soundworld.
The digital-only mini-album is a mix of sequenced passages with quiet and slow ambient moments, performed on electric guitars and synthesizers. Erik’s typical signature melodies hover over contrasting sections of eerie, blurred cluster-chords and dark floating backgrounds drones. The use of bell sounds are noticeable on these pieces adding to the seasonal moods. These four short pieces form a unique suite with beautiful arrangements and a wide spectrum of colors in harmony. Crystal Bells is an ethereal wintery and seasonal sonic experience, music with a highly cinematic and imaginative quality.
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Reviews Editor –
From Sonic Curiosity
This release from 2012 offers 21 minutes of melodic ambient music. This music’s emphasis is on luscious melodic pieces whose emotional content shines through the subtle stylings of dreamy electronics and tender guitar The electronics are not confined to just atmospheric backdrops. Keyboard flows establish a mood of languid alertness, while what texturals do exist are actually generated by processed guitar.
But not all the guitarwork masquerades as drones. On several occasions the instrument shines with string luminosity. Strummed chords unfurl with stately posture, generating vistas of attractive radiance. These gregarious riffs have a way of touching the listener’s soul. And yes, some bells do feature in this tuneage, but in a meticulously remote manner.
These compositions stream together to establish a continual flow of superb delicacy. Their ethereal power is vivid, captivating in their relaxed structure. The melodies are quite engaging in their shimmering fashion. -Matt Howarth
Reviews Editor –
From Synth & Synquences
Ah..! The joys and delights of internet and of its download platforms; a tool which is going to fulfill the gluttonous appetite of the fans. And Erik Wollo has his fans’ legion. And the latter will be delighted to hear this 2nd mini album that the Norwegian synthesist/guitarist is sliding in the clouds of the WWW by the means of the Projekt Records label. Surfing a little on the ambiospherical rhythms and melodies of The Nocturnes, Crystal Bells shells its 20 minutes in four structures always so contemplative which interlace in some fragrances of mystery where the poetry of Wollo floats as shadows of tenderness.
“Crystal Bells 1” is a small jewel of ambient rhythm. The onset is done by a synth which frees lines of solitude of which the musical light beams get through some crystal bells ringing within winds swollen by emotions. The melodious approach perspires the one that we find on The Nocturnes with chords finely hammered on a shagreen. Soft manual percussions rock this delicate rhythm which, strangely, feeds on a symbiosis of instruments without rhythm while the solos of guitar are flooding this ode to solitude from which the rhythm increases finely, faithful to the passion that devours it. After the ambient winds and the absent voices of “Crystal Bells 2”, “Crystal Bells 3” awakes to life with this fusion of bells which ring such as ballets of prism. These silvered reflections dance beneath slow and sinuous layers of synth/guitar which float like a melody singing between two spaces. Then an acoustic guitar comes to feed the rhythm of its subdivided presence. And it’s a nice fusion of guitars which is melt in the shady harmony of “Crystal Bells 3”.
Under a sky darkened by absent voices and gloomy synth layers, the lines of electric guitars cry of heart-rending tones on a harmonious union of two acoustic guitars which are in confrontation in a duel rhythm and melody. It’s meditative (layers of floating guitars) and slightly lively (chords of acoustic guitar) and it depicts all the oniric environment of Crystal Bells which dips back into a black ambient passage with “Crystal Bells 4”. A short final fed by the hybrid breaths of guitars and synths which weave an ambiospherical abyss where the boreal poetry of Wollo remains in an ambience of blackness immensely Scandinavian. -Sylvain Lupari
Reviews Editor –
Herrlich, diese Musik liebe ich richtig!! Crystal Bells und The Nocturnes sind zwar mit Abstand die kürzesten Werke von Erik, gehören aber mit zu den Besten. Dazu stelle ich mir eine vereiste Winterlandschaft vor, alles ist von einem Eismantel umgeben und aus der Ferne ist langsam die Musik zu hören …….. eine schöne Vorstellung, wie ich gerade merke. Die Musik macht es aber auch einem leicht. Wirklich tolle Musik, Ihr werdet den Download sicher nicht bereuen! Sie sind leider nicht als CD zu bekommen, werden aber z.B. bei Amazon und iTunes als Download angeboten und das auch noch sehr günstig. Es sind wie schon erwähnt kurze, aber dafür sehr schöne Momente, in denen Erik Wollo uns wieder in seine typische, musikalische Welt entführt. Ich bin immer wieder aufs neue fasziniert, wie Erik es mit seiner Gitarre schafft, solch Intensität und Wärme in kühlere Stimmungen einzubauen. -Uwe Saße