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

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bone Cave Ballet - The Echo of Entropy – "Bone Cave Ballet" — what an evocative name. So many possible interpretations, all of them intriguing. The music itself has a similar quality, with lyrics that catch your imagination without lending...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues