Erik Wøllo & Byron Metcalf — Earth Luminous
(Projekt 328, 2016, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2016-09-07
Erik Wøllo is has had a long career that started out as a jazz guitarist and over time has come to favor electronics, using effected guitar, guitar synthesizer and keyboard synths and sequencers. He is now the masterful commander of ambient textural sounds that shimmer with light, shadows and tonal colors, evoking powerful images and a variety of emotions in slow evolving forms. Byron Metcalf is quite the opposite, a master percussionist using various hand drums, shakers, and shamanic percussion, a totally non-electronic musician and composer, and well known for his many collaborations with Steve Roach, Mark Seelig, and numerous others, and a fair number of solo releases. This is the first ever collaboration between Wøllo and Metcalf, and the chemistry between them is positively magical. Both performed separate sets at Roach’s SoundQuestFest in Tucson in 2010, and each was taken by the others’ performance, and discussed the possibility of a collaboration at that time, though it took five years to find an opportunity to make it happen. The eight long tracks here present beautiful electronic textures and dronescapes, unfolding slowly as parcels of tonal beauty, cyclical, expansive, and other-worldly, underscored by fluid, animated lines of earthbound percussion propelling the sound forward. Sometimes it’s the floating and colorful ethereal textures and melodies that jump out and embrace the listener, other times it’s the driving percussive grooves, but a perfect balance between heaven and earth is always to be found.
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