2. The Presence of Future 08:41
3. Oblivion 05:54
4. Clouds Forever 08:07
5. Way of no return 09:15
6. Umbra 06:36
7. Dream River 1 06:51
8. Stargazers 08:22
9. Cloud Circles 08:48
10. Chime Rain 05:21
11. Afterprints 05:37
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🔵 Erik’s first solo album since January 2019’s Infinite Moments (PRO357 $7)
🔵 Digital includes 3 bonus tracks
🔵 Limited edition of 500
Following his acclaimed 2020 collaboration with American synthesist Michael Stearns (Convergence, PRO371) renowned Norwegian ambient / electronic artist Erik Wøllo returns with 2021’s Recurrence. An intensely detailed fusion of elegant compositions and deep atmospherics, it’s a gleaming sonic journey — a timeless dreamlike pilgrimage revisiting the sound and feel of past moments with an essence of eternal renewal.
Delicately evocative synthesizer atmospheres are skillfully balanced with pulsating rhythmic passages. Wøllo’s trademark processed electric guitars, synthesizers, occasional acoustic guitars and percussion create a cohesive structure that bonds the pieces into a warm, breathing continuum. Conceived to unfold as one unit, the tracks are movements drawing the listener into a deep, adventurous flow.
“I chose the title Recurrence,” Erik reflects, “because much of the music is built upon the idea of presenting a theme or a melodic element at the beginning of each song. This element is repeated later but within a new musical environment that evolved during the progress of the composition. It is a simple idea I’ve used on previous albums, though it’s more defined this time around. Compare it to a place you revisit and a new occurrence of something that happened or appeared before are revealed. On the revisit you explore new angles, seeing and feeling new aspects of the same experience.”
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. “The Way of no Return” and “Umbra” both have dramatic percussive punctuations with pulsating arpeggios and deep analog bass. The ethereal tracks “Oblivion” and “Dream River” 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.
“Stargazers” features acoustic guitars which evoke a warm aerial nostalgia: an organic sonic texture contrasted with long and elegant synthesizer lines. Digital-only bonus tracks “Cloud Circles,” “Chime Rain” and “Afterprints” close this journey with beautifully hazy synth swells added with distant soaring guitar voices. Peaceful and tranquil, this trilogy of tracks completes this enterprising and panoramic travelogue. An utterly suspended, lyrical and sublime outro.
Recurrence highlights Wøllo’s extraordinary luminous mastery. With elements reminiscent of previous releases like Gateway and Different Places, it also sees impulses from Wøllo’s renowned collaborations with electronic music pioneers Steve Roach and Michael Stearns. Emotional and filled with sonic imagery, Recurrence will entice the listener to repeated listens.
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From Ver Sacrum
Il genere dell’ambient music col tempo è diventato inflazionato. Le felici intuizioni dei grandi Steve Roach, Robert Rich e Michael Stearns hanno progressivamente lasciato spazio a una sfilza di epigoni non sempre all’altezza. E loro stessi si sono ripetuti, come è possibile ascoltare nella produzione di Steve Roach, con soluzioni di maniera. Anche se ormai sono 40 anni che è sulla breccia il norvegese Erik Wøllo è sicuramente uno degli artisti della musica ambientale che ha saputo mantenersi integro avendo sempre qualcosa da dire. Ne è una conferma il recente Recurrence uscito per l’etichetta americana Projekt, una garanzia quando si parla di certi suoni (nella sua scuderia troviamo anche il citato Steve Roach).
In quest’album troviamo un’alternanza fra una musica elettronica, quieta e meditativa e atmosfere tribali. L’iniziale title-track inizia in maniera evanescente per poi avventurarsi in territori cari ai Tangerine Dream del periodo Virgin. La successiva “The Presence Of Future” ci avvolge invece in spirali sciamaniche che evocano il “tempo de sogno” descritto da Steve Roach in “Dreamtime Return”. “Oblivion” è un gioiello unico, di una raffinatezza irreale mentre “Clouds Forever” ha qualcosa del Michael Stearns più spaziale. “Dream River “ è a mio avviso uno dei momenti migliori di questo disco con le sue armonie che sembrano provenire da un altro mondo. Le ultime 3 tracce ovvero “Cloud Circles”, “Chime Rain” e “Afterprints” non compaiono nella versione in cd ma soltanto, abbastanza inspiegabilmente, in quella digitale. Peccato anche perché la musica rimane più che mai ispirata senza subire cali di tensione ed anzi prolungando l’esperienza dell’ascolto. Se amate la synth-music più eterea troverete qui pane per i vostri denti.
From Onda Rock
Lo spazio lucido che esiste tra le comete e il soffio del cielo. La vibrazione opalescente della terra e le zolle vibranti delle emozioni. Evocare sentimenti, per Erik Wøllo, è un talento naturale. L’artista norvegese, dopo la bella collaborazione con Michael Stearns dell’anno scorso, Convergence, torna con un nuovo album pubblicato ancora una volta dalla Projekt di Sam Rosenthal.
Recurrence è un portale ardito in cui alterna tracce meditative scintillanti a ritmi cadenzati quasi sciamanici. Non sono solo atmosfere, profonde quanto una galassia, le sue, sono cosmogonie della musica elettronica. Parole di pietra siderale. Ha un dialetto tutto suo. Una lingua aborigena. Talvolta meccanica e industriale, talvolta estatica, fatata, rovente. Wøllo suda armonie. Al posto dei punti e delle virgole, utilizza sintetizzatori, percussioni, magnetiche e incisive chitarre. Suoni ancestrali, profondità eteree, luminose carvenosità, occulte vie che fanno riemergere sinapsi dormienti. In una danza circolare che celebra caratteristiche di ritmo a lui congeniali, seguendo i sentieri percorsi in trent’anni di carriera.
Lo stesso artista rivela che il titolo Recurrence poggia sul concetto che “nella rivisitazione si esplorano nuove angolazioni, vedendo e sentendo nuovi aspetti della stessa esperienza”. Un frattale che emana riflessi differenti di un vissuto già sperimentato. “Oblivion” e “Dream River” sono echi magici, soavi equilibri di armonie che rapiscono e strappano alla realtà. E a chiudere la sequenza di questa apertura alare, tra sogni, visioni, cordoni sotterranei, appaiono: “Cloud Circles”, “Chime Rain” e “Afterprints”, bonus track della versione digitale dell’album, incredibilmente non incluse nel cd.
Recurrence è l’ennesima sequenza che consegna Erik Wøllo al firmamento dei pionieri della synth-music più lirica. Commovente. Impeccabile. Il talento norvegese di questo diamante fa oltrepassare il proprio livello di coscienza e ci fa sentire, inequivocabilmente, un frammento di un disegno a matita, simile ai geroglifici rupestri. -Roberto Mandolini
From Star’s End
Erik Wøllo occupies a special place in the space-time continuum. Realizing music that shifts between contemplation and intimacy, impulse and wonder, he seems to turn each moment of listening into something more vivid than is possible in any earthly spell of time. His Recurrence (64’14”) displays an impressive command of the sound-space. In tightly worked performances of rare focus Wøllo draws on an apparent in-born mastery. Mingling rich tones, rhapsodic gestures and silken textures with bristling guitar lines and shimmering synth notes he creates harmonious landscapes – where our mind will find some peace. Wøllo’s work always extends in a vast world embracing scope, and Recurrence moves outward amidst his distinctive design.
Its eleven tracks (eight on the CD) fluctuate between restless sonic states and the more refined and elegant frequencies. The darkening then brightening of notes and chords repeat, then resist soft sequencer patterns. An alive atmosphere provides an area through which each piece may move. With generous applications of reverb and echo an airy halo seems to surround each note. Synthesizer voices blur one into the other, forming sonorous colors of striking beauty, as Wøllo aims for the high horizons of the spirit. From a crisply articulated and confident control of the musical flow, to the singing sadness of electronic choirs and strings, Recurrence offers a wealth of serious, inviting complexity. Spacemusic has no higher aspiration than to rise the listener above their worldly concerns to a place where beauty speaks for itself. Erik Wøllo’s advanced magic aims to provide this sense of renewal – as it transforms the knower in the living movement of music. -Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END 4 March 2021
With forty-plus releases to his credit since his 1983 debut, this Norwegian guitarist continues his evolution as a composer and arranger on a number of different instruments (mainly guitar and synthesizers) and offers new surprises on each of his sonic endeavors. Recurrence is Wøllo’s first new release since his mid-2020 collaboration with Michael Stearns, Convergence. One might be surprised to find a grand sense of majesty and variety within these grooves, offering a powerful and delicately balanced set of compositions that give the listener a keen sense of atmospherics, bursts of tonal color, shimmering rhythms and sequences, and a fortifying sense of beauty throughout all of the album’s eight tracks. Some pieces are soft, gentle and delicate, some are more forceful and deliberately powerful — and others, like the ten minute opening title track, move effortlessly from one pole to the other, morphing with subtlety.
Here, Wøllo goes it alone, credited with electric guitar, guitar synthesizer, keyboard synthesizers and sequencers, percussion, programming, and some very occasional acoustic guitars; as such one (perhaps one who hasn’t heard Wøllo before) might get the idea that the sound here is very electronic based, and so it is, but it encompasses much more than your standard Berlin School routines. Wøllo coaxes many unusual and often breathtaking sounds out of his instruments throughout, like the sonic subtleties on “Oblivion” where numerous layers of shimmering sounds interact gently as the piece unfolds and proceeds. “Dream River 1” stretches out in an introspective display of beautiful colorations like a breeze over the water at sunset. Listeners who download the album will get three additional tracks (twenty minutes worth) as opposed to what’s available on compact disc, but either way Recurrence stands strong as one of Wøllo’s finest achievements to date. -Peter Thelen
From The Electro Review
The Norwegian ambient electronic music master returns in 2021 after much success with his collaboration in the company of America’s Michael Stearns. Convergence played into all the right courts as synthesiser and atmosphere combined to produce a unique and splendid journey. Now, with a new breed of his own music, Erik Wøllo provides a dosing of digital clarity and intrigue as Recurrence marks the latest chapter.
With an epic whistling melody that builds across expanses of potential, a soundscape is built note by note. Shifting tones roll like hills and cloud shapes as light bounces from the progressive tangents. Harmonising pangs coil and stretch within the moment of sound, a draughty progression gently lifts the composition with pushes of atmosphere. Title-track Recurrence sways like a towering pillar, gazing out upon rivers and landscapes that shimmer in the language of music.
The Presence Of Future opens with a quiet humming that gracefully grows into a sonic sea of moving sounds. Waves begin to crest and create lines of sound that streak in patterns dictated by many subtle forces. As the amalgam projects onward, choral feelings merge with symphonic tone in slowly dancing couplets that drift in anfractuous harmonics. A plucky synthesiser then flows in like ice-cubes in water and the fragments of rhythm within its rill splash with adaptive cymbals. Spectral and serpentine tones cast shadows and glimmers with bipolar intensity as a churning of sound distorts into beautiful patterns.
Smooth chiming tones build like underwater reflections growing nearer. Abstract harmony defines an air of intrigue and fascination, as the amplitude rises a bubbling light spills into new areas to explore. Melody describes shapes and textures that shine with a dreamy and timeless presence. Oblivion takes a portion of infinity and describes it in vivid detail. Fractals of intention and potential sprinkle like flour on a surface before the kneading of bread. The moments of creation captured in dynamic and resolute form are explained in this wash of pleasant and interesting sounds.
A swift and tenuous tone breaks through the quietness with roomy gusts that coil behind. Bass rises in synthesiser harmony as the winding melody slowly drifts through spacious portals. A guitar finds its way into the mix, plucked chord fractions create melodious formations of current that combine with the flow of the digital predisposition. Drums then snake in with high end snare and a rattling bass kick which thunders in tampered sections. A post-rock style progression lends its energy to the way this is panning out, melody that repeats on naked drumming and harmonies which span and evolve over the bars bring out a momentous journey. This is Clouds Forever and it’s the perfect soundtrack for gazing into the upper blue beyond.
Way Of No Return is next. The music begins with an orchestration of string sound which is soon joined by raindrop like notes. An atmosphere of cosmic expanse and astronomical energies forms around a settled and calm sensation. As bubbles of shifting tone froth and flow, new shapes of clarity begin to create themselves under invisible instruction. Bass and drums then pulse in, a stabbing tone pushes the rhythm into a defined structure as melodious undercurrents continue to reveal the tempo.
This is followed by a starry effect of points of light which coalesce into a globular luminous form. Throbbing bass twangs like plucked thick strings as tonal percussion begins to spread intention from left to right. More melodic elements are added, layers of harmony skim the surface and glide along the sheen of its edge. Splatterings of drum and cymbal cast ripples into the otherwise tranquil zone that vibrates and sings according to its own design. Umbra breaks into a piano melody as the hypnotic rhythm crafts its sleepy journey. Slow and meaningful notes clamber along neat and well-worn facias and paths.
They lead to a magical place. As we approach Dream River 1, speckled lanterns of distant hope flutter in breezy harmonies. The riverbank is adorned with braces of bulb flowers and tangles of tall grass. As the magical waters glide effortlessly across the refracting bed, alive with wishes like fling like fish scampering under pygmy woods and rocks. Watery landscapes form in bubble of vision as new lights shine upon distinct and characterful testaments to terrain.
It’s time to turn our eyes skyward as we enter the world of Stargazers. Moving tones scale in neat stairways as an escalation gradually takes hold. High-pitched composition then skates across the top, leading us further up. As we stretch and climb, the sky reveals itself with astronomical majesty. The slow and mixing synthesiser sounds form small vortices that rise piece by piece into the night sky. An acoustic guitar melody then plunges a new dimension into the picture. Slow and emotional notes in a pentatonic scale glide and sing as warbling synthesiser buffets and carries it away in the wind.
A shaking hum with static infusion brings out a dank and cavernous sensation. Throaty rumbles and mindful whisks of moving air join forces as the passageway blusters with timeless movement. Dreamy melody casts a magical projection through a shimmering scene of natural rock and crystalline etchings. In the remnants of what a giant once scooped from the earth and from where jewels of geology grow like trees over aeons of time, we sit and dwell on the sound inside. Cloud Circles ring the opening like lenticular patterns over mountain peaks. In our throne, excavated from some previous tor, the sky opens and calls to us, insisting our minds extend beyond the flesh and into infinity.
After all this cloud-building it’s no surprise that we find ourselves in the rain. Chime Rain uses bells and horns to pull together a semblance of storm while dreamy melody plays out through the energy thick and slow moving body of power. Bellows of tone call out with depth and reach while twinkling lights bounce and fall as arpeggios of bell coalesce within torrents of sound. Sweeping air then moves freely through the film as the weight of an atmosphere provides ample activity. A slow and powerful lunge through the geography of time leans in on gusty sails that catch and continue the vision into beyond.
It finishes on track eleven and Afterprints. This finale breathes itself into life as angelic voices sing in choral-like prayers to the sky. We’ve witnessed the dynamic of nature in many forms, as the hidden dimension contains processes which appear in synchronous co-incidence across the pains of existence and understanding. Here, we sit in though while the images of the story rerun through our mind and new levels of calm continue to adjust our ability to perceive the greater picture. These fruits of hindsight are destined to be the foundation for tomorrow’s deep thought. -Rowan Blair Colver