Erik Wøllo: the Shape of Time (CD/Digital)

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Product Description

01: The Shape of Time 1 (4:18)
02: Nebula (4:26)
03: Le Paysage (5:37)
04: Earth Trek (6:48)
05: Midnight Sun (6:39)
06: Transformation (7:15)
07: The Shape of Time 2 (5:34)
08: Runestones (6:46)
09: Blue Epilogue (7:05)
10: Slow Swirl (7:43)
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Time shapes our world and our concepts. From earth’s erosion to patterns in nature — fossils, stone formations, crystalline ice, glaciers, or delicate shells — all visual images of forms show us the linear time which passed across them. Simultaneously, there is the quite personal psychological time that shapes our life and memories; it’s how we perceive the progress of our consciousness. Within both, time remains an abstract term with no shape. It can only be explained as a rate and duration of observed change.


Together, these ideas inspired Erik Wøllo in the creation of his latest album.


With The Shape of Time, Norwegian composer Wøllo transforms the abstract into nine compositions of thoughtful and seductive ambient electronic music with melodic soaring themes, vast slow-moving drones and rhythmic patterns drifting in cycles of transmutable harmonies. These hushed and endless moments present an exquisite collection of moods and emotions. Ranging from the vigorous and earthy to mesmerizing, evocative and wistful late-night Nordic light-scenes. All created on synthesizers, samplers, electric and acoustic guitars.


The opening title track choir floats between a few simple but lush chords, an almost neoclassical sound-painting of a vivid panoramic picture. The track returns in a second movement later in the program as a sonic meditation of introspective longing combing the mind and memories; it bears resemblance to the first track via the same virtual sampled choir. The spacious “Nebula”, the instantly appealing and memorable “Le Paysage” and “Earth Trek” carry on from where the opener leaves off: colorful soaring sounds exist within a backdrop of swirling textural sequences and light percussion offering a positive experience. “Midnight Sun” has a melodic form based on the Norwegian lullaby tradition, almost unreal picturing the golden night-times in a Scandinavian summer. Gently sweeping sonic clouds surround the repeating notes that ring out in the memorable “Transformation.” “Runestones” finds its way through a rhythmic drive with a web of mysterious cavernous floating drifts. A sense of peace, calm, and diffusion imbues the listener along the ending path on “Blue Epilogue” and “Slow Swirl.”


The Shape of Time invites one to the procession; it’s a sonic jewel for connoisseurs of shimmeringly expansive ambience traversed with filigreed instrumental intensity.

Projekt release: January 20 2023

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Reviews

  1. Reviews Editor

    From Darkroom Magazine

    The first release of 2023 for the renowned and prolific Norwegian composer is The Shape Of Time, yet another Projekt release in a partnership between the label and the long-lived musician that has lasted since 2009. Made in the usual essential digipack, the new work gives display of all the typical characteristics of Wøllo’s writing, ranging from ambient to electronic with the usual wide range of guitars (acoustic, electric, synth, Ebow…) and machines, from analogue to digital, taking advantage of when in which percussive patterns that complement the various passages properly. Never really dark, the ambient prefers ethereal and luminous forms (the two parts of the title track, with the second almost messianic), ranging from the mysterious and rarefied (“Transformation”) to the purest tenuity (“Slow Swirl”) and to the drone sadness (“Nebula”). The moments in which the guitar becomes the real protagonist (“Le Paysage” and, above all, “Midnight Sun”) are good, just as those episodes in which the subtle ambient textures evolve towards an always absolutely measured electronics prove to be largely functional to the cause, in which the rhythms prefer chillout movements. Wøllo doesn’t go off the rails, continuing quickly towards a well-defined path that always gives high-quality rehearsals in every sense, even when they don’t shift any balance: a certainty, especially for fans of the most radiant and wide-ranging ambient sounds. -Roberto Alessandro Filippozzi

    La prima uscita del 2023 per il rinomato e prolifico compositore norvegese è The Shape Of Time, ennesima pubblicazione targata Projekt in un sodalizio fra l’etichetta ed il longevo musicista che dura dal 2009. Realizzato nel consueto essenziale digipack, il nuovo lavoro dà sfoggio di tutte le caratteristiche tipiche della scrittura di Wøllo, spaziando fra l’ambient e l’elettronica col solito ampio corredo di chitarre (acustiche, elettriche, synth, Ebow…) e macchine, dall’analogico al digitale, sfruttando di quando in quando pattern percussivi che completano a dovere i vari passaggi. Mai realmente oscura, l’ambient del Nostro predilige forme eteree e luminose (le due parti della title-track, con la seconda quasi messianica), spaziando dal misterico e rarefatto (“Transformation”) alla più pura tenuità (“Slow Swirl”) ed alla mestizia dronica (“Nebula”). Bene i momenti in cui la chitarra diventa reale protagonista (“Le Paysage” e, soprattutto, “Midnight Sun”), così come si rivelano ampiamente funzionali alla causa quegli episodi in cui le sottili trame ambientali evolvono verso un’elettronica sempre assolutamente misurata, in cui i ritmi prediligono movenze chillout. Wøllo non esce dal seminato, proseguendo spedito verso una strada ben definita che regala sempre prove di alta qualità in ogni senso, anche quando queste non spostano alcun equilibrio: una certezza, specialmente per i patiti delle sonorità ambientali più radiose e di ampio raggio. -Roberto Alessandro Filippozzi

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