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2. The Drift 05:17
3. Red Earth 06:59
4. Airborne 1 05:39
5. Circle Lake 04:30
6. Lost and Found 06:40
7. Airborne 2 05:30
8. The Longest Day 06:02
9. Time River 06:36
10. North of the Mountains 05:13
11. The Magic Spot 06:00
12. Airborne 3 05:07
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“Erik Wøllo manages to synthesize influences from Tangerine Dream and Pink Floyd to Steve Reich and modern electronica. But as one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary instrumental music, he’s truly morphed these sounds into a image-evoking modality that is wholly his own.” – John Diliberto/Echoes Radio
On his 16th solo album, Airborne, Norwegian guitarist/synthesist Erik Wollo’s unique musical imagination creates passionate and reflective electronic/ambient passages that bridge his melodic moving musicality with tranquil atmospheric altitudes. The album’s twelve sculptured compositions reveal a fine eye for form and detail with smooth and gentle flights through intriguing and sensitive environments. This is a musical voyage conjuring images of floating horizons and new unexplored worlds.
Erik says, “Imagine you are sitting on an airplane. The power of the engine moves you forward over the landscape and everything you know passes below. You have the perfect overview; you see your life and your existence more clearly, with a continuous flow of thoughts. The journey becomes more of a travel in psychic time, rather than just taking you from place A to B, using hours and minutes. I explored this sense of an Airborne feeling while working on these tracks. It’s music that is both adventurous and uplifting.”
After his successful Gateway release (PRO244, 2010), Erik takes things to a more introspective height offering a grand breathing space of expansive warm electronics and sparkling guitars. At the same time, electronic beats course in and out of the tracks with a potent mix of melodic electric guitar weaving through the electronic sequencer grooves on tracks such as “Airborne 2,” “North of the Mountain” and “Time River.” There are also wonderful forays into ambient soundscapes on beatless songs like “Lost and Found,” “The Longest Day” and “Airborne 3,” with a hazy flow of guitars, layered swirling synths and vivid airy effects. This is new age music that plunges the listener into an exotic dream, gently guiding the emotions via the masterfully conceived flow of the material.
“A blend of light and dark, alien and familiar. Flowing ambient sounds are punctuated by moments of drama and rhythmic intensity, melding the ambient, electronica, and progressive fusion genres.” – Bill Binkelman/New Age Retailer.
Erik’s two milestone collaborative albums with Steve Roach – Stream of Thought (PRO224, 2009) and The Road Eternal (PRO259, 2011) – influenced his musical path on Airborne, inspiring the exploration of the terrain between melodic electronic and modern minimalism.
For all lovers of evocative, floating ambience and lush electronic sound painting, Airborne represents an inviting musical journey. The lavish layered soundscapes take the listener to ethereal and soaring heights that produce textural vistas of delicate grandeur and shimmering eternal elegance.
Reviews Editor –
Attention, luxury car makers. Please start including a copy of Erik Wøllo’s new release, Airborne, with every purchase. Because this disc is the musical equivalent of a fast, smooth and comfortable ride through lush vistas, motion bordering on flying, images bordering on dreamscapes. It’s got high velocity and it’s got cruise control in equal proportions. While tonally it is very much a signature Wøllo disc, replete with familiar phrase, tones and structures, nothing can detract from the upbeat, pleasant cruise of Airborne. As always, the artist finds a sweet spot that blends cinematic New Age with classic electronic-music elements. Straight out of the gate, however, you might also pick up a hint of Pink Floyd. The first track, “Spring Prelude (Equinox),” carries a little echo of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” between its long-held pads and David-Gilmour-style guitar wails. Wøllo’s own guitar style takes over soon enough, a rich sound that’s somewhere between sighing and singing as he floats out his chords. This is a wonderfully varied disc; a thoughtful, guitar-based track like “Circle Lake” is balanced by a bouncing, lounge-tempo sequencer-driven ride like “North of the Mountain” or “Time River,” at the end of which Wøllo works in some quiet but effective guitar wails like a distant call, and everything’s offset by the occasional easy drift–“The Longest Day,” for example, where Wøllo builds a drone-like base of plucked guitar phrases and accents them with soaring, hawk-circle synthesizer pads. “Airborne 1” is one of the best moments here thanks to the round tones of a fretless bass trading the lead with piano. Hand percussion taps along underneath, and the whole piece is infused with a laid-back certainty. Throughout Airborne, Wøllo maintains the feel of watching the landscape pass beneath you and around you, a constant and comforting sense of motion, lulling you into an easy mindset while giving you plenty to see. This is a flight to take more than once.
Reviews Editor –
From Relaxed Machinery
Norwegian ambient guitar virtuoso Erik Wøllo has released Airborne album during the end of August, 2012, on Projekt as his, if I am counting correctly, 16th solo work. Of course Erik’s extensive discography features also several other outstanding collaborations with artists such as Steve Roach, Ian Boddy, Deborah Martin, Bernhard Wöstheinrich and Frank Van Bogaert. The album, which follows the footsteps of Erik’s triumphant debut on Projekt, Gateway, comes in elegant 4-panel digipak leaded by graceful dreamy cover image by Karsten Wall and panoramic inside photo by Erik.
“Spring Equinox (Prelude)” ignites the journey with lushly swirling embellishments, while balmy scenic washes are guarding above. Then sighing string magic steal the show and guides this opening piece into utterly evocative realms. “The Drift” unfolds with gentle percussive rhythm, warmly spiraling aerials follow shortly backed by soaring strings. A quite absorbing high-tech/tribal/groove-infused adventure!!! “Red Earth”, with 7 minutes the longest piece on album, starts with quiet intro, but soon sparse, but strongly evocative strings with desert Southwest flavorings take the lead. Then swiftly shimmering percussions join this amazingly panoramic trip through these grandiose landscapes. A true masterpiece, bravo, Erik!!! Aerial meandering opens “Airborne 1”, soon followed by expressive guitar shadings. But it’s hauntingly poignant piano that later steals the show together with wonderfully gladdening downtempos. “Circle Lake” quickly turns into gorgeously nostalgic and expansive terrains enriched by pristine strings and organic samples. This composition showcases absolutely flawless harmony between electronics and acoustics. “Lost And Found” remains in wonderfully evocative skyline realms, which later transform into richly luminous, rhythm-induced mesmerizing trip. Sparkling melodies dominate “Airborne 2”, while catchy locomoting vibes floats throughout. “The Longest Day” delves into strongly melancholic terrains, where leading acoustic string magic is masterfully coupled with soaring dreamy blankets. Another outstandingly evocative composition!!! “Time River” reveals with serenely embracing ambience, which gently evolves and drifts into catchy percussive-driven melodies, sparkily picturesque and exquisitely enriched by poignantly nostalgic stings. Another stunner!!! “North Of The Mountains” quickly attracts with its fragile touch and charmingly translucent harmony of all ingredients, a headphone listening reveals all the magic of this piece (so it does with all other tracks)!!! “The Magic Spot” melts precisely primordial essences of didgeridoo and tribal drumming with large dose of modern sonic alchemy. A highly quivering trancescape infused by Erik’s trademarking guitar mastery. What a journey!!! And a very tough competitor for “Red Earth”!!! “Airborne 3” closes the album with gorgeously celestial washes strengthened by wistful violin-like cries. Majestically immersing!!!
Airborne is blazingly flavored masterwork offering a truly essential listening experience for all connoisseurs of shimmeringly expansive ambience bridged with filigreeing guitar brilliance. Erik Wøllo is an ambient icon and Airborne is his magnum opus!!! Now the question is, what he will to do to follow this up? Well, the answer is getting closer and closer, because Erik’s newest album Timelines is hitting the streets in two days, at February 4th, 2014… -Richard Gürtler