01 Tellus Mater 05:43
02 Abeona 07:13
03 Revolve 06:44
04 Terra Incognito 05:33
05 Turnabout 05:10
06 The Winding Path 06:26
07 Apogee 07:13
08 Adiona 07:36
“Revolve” is the fourth collaborative project between DiN label boss Ian Boddy and the acclaimed Norwegian composer and guitarist Erik Wøllo. Their previous two studio albums “Frontiers” (DiN39) and “Meridian” (DiN54) were both very well received. They also played live together at the Electronic Circus Festival V and released this performance as the digital album “EC12” (DiNDDL16).
As with their other work together “Revolve” is a continuous sonic journey, with the tracks joined together by slices of sonic ambience and field recordings. Whereas their previous two albums seemed to inhabit the frozen landscapes of the North, this time the duo seem to be exploring warmer climes. The combination of Boddy’s Moog and modular sequencing with Wøllo’s ostinato guitar patterns creates sections that ebb and flow structurally with a beguiling sense of space and freedom. Beautifully ethereal textures give way to pulsing rhythmic sequencers underpinned by solid bass lines and shimmering percussion lines, as evidenced most succinctly on the title track. Over these structures Wøllo’s guitar motifs soar and glide, especially when he uses the EBow to produce a haunting, legato tone colour. The final track “Adiona” sees Boddy joining Wøllo by playing his Ondes Martenot style French Connection keyboard for a stunning duet to close the album.
Certainly cinematic, “Revolve” is a stunning musical travelogue that cries out to be listened to as a whole album and shows the mastery both these composers have in their craft.
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With new technology comes the promise of styles and expressions that we have never heard before. Under the name Cosmic Ground Electric Orange keyboardist Dirk Jan Müller has for over a decade been amassing and deploying synthesizers beneath the beacon first lit over 50 years ago during the Berlin-School era of EM. Supplementing our sense of the possible this style of music, and the gear used to produce it, offers the potential for a remarkable range of revelations. With a strange beauty that borders on the forboding Müller submits his seventh studio album Isolate (73’14”). The depth of each of the six electronic journeys is striking – with each realization providing a spellbinding sense of a place in space. In this full-speed ahead trip behind the beautiful forever of Kosmische Musik the listener encounters all that Spacemusic can be. Energizing and invigorating, emotionally piercing yet thrillingly alien, Isolate will exhaust those who cannot surrender to it. In the headlong drive of spiraling sequencer runs patterns of notes ascend in an echoing motor-motion. Settling into a careful clockwork, saturated Mellotron strings bestow a heightened sensitivity to the cosmic covenant. As creative energy moves from the musician’s interior to that of the audience, bold dissonances ring and spark across an outburst of dramatic imagination. From desolate soundscapes of darkening drones and chilled fallout fields, to the brooding sweep of sustaining sci-fi zones, Isolate easily pulls listeners into its specific sonic realm. This genre was, in ages past, all about the future. These days it is about survival. Synthesists dream about tones, and wake up thinking about them – which connects the artist to the story of the sound, and to what their music should be. But among us fans the act of listening is an act of trust. Along the upward arc of such resolute works of perpetual becoming we rely on Cosmic Ground, our keeper of mysteries, to lead us further – and to not displace too many of us during our drifting, dreaming voyage of the mind.
Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END – 22 September 2022