Exposé Online banner

Erik Wøllo — Blue Radiance
(Projekt 314, 2015, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2015-07-01

Blue Radiance Cover art

Since I last encountered him around the time of Emotional Landscapes (2003), Norwegian musician and composer Erik Wøllo has continued to expand his mastery of ambient soundscapes and electronic music into some interesting — and modern — realms. Working out of a generously equipped studio, Wøllo serves up a feast of ear candy that is on equal footing with peers like Steve Roach and Robert Rich. The opener, “Terra Novus 1,” is as finely engineered and produced an example of chill-out music as you’ll hear anywhere. The looped synths and sequenced electronica float along effortlessly and are at times both seductive as well as enigmatic, which has always been Wøllo’s trademark. Some tracks (“Osmosis”) delve into the rhythmic electronica of folks like Robert Schroeder, while others (“Pathway”) echo the melodic moodiness of Patrick O’Hearn. This is somewhat surprising, given that Wøllo has a reputation for relatively minimalist soundscapes that lean on foreboding and bleak atmospherics. That side of his musical persona isn’t ignored, with songs like “Moon Above” and the title track evoking frosty somnambulist auras via e-bowed electric guitar and ghostly, hushed strings. Songs like “Sepia” dig even further into Wøllo’s past, offering loops of meditative acoustic and e-bowed guitar. If I had to characterize this collection I’d say there’s a noticeable buoyancy and vitality to the pieces. Maybe he’s just in a happier place in his life, but whatever the reason this outing should extend Wøllo’s renown — and commercial potential — beyond the admirable reputation he already enjoys.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Erik Wøllo

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Yochk'o Seffer / Neffesh Music - Ghilgoul – For those who read Exposé, sax genius Yochk'o Seffer should be well known. Practically the John Coltrane of French fusion and new music, Seffer's touch has graced many classics from early Magma,...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues