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Erik Wøllo — North Star
(Projekt 384, 2021, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-06-19

North Star Cover art

The Norwegian guitarist, composer, and ambient electronic artist offers his second album of 2021, following February’s Recurrence and his virtual appearance at SoundQuest Fest at the end of March. The eight tracks herein fulfill a calming, relaxing, yet melodically beautiful function, built upon numerous reflective layers of expansive eBow washes, contemplative melodic elements that drive a rich and sparkling intimacy that shimmers with colorful beauty, evoking deep forest and night sky imagery, pulling the listener’s imagination skyward. That said, the music of North Star is powerfully introspective, full of stillness and reflection as each piece moves slowly along its trajectory, painting with a magical palette in multiple dimensions. The mechanics of his infinite sustaining sounds are created with a variety of electric guitars and effects, guitar synthesizer, aforementioned eBow, and on some of the tracks, loops of percussion, real and programmed, but never imposing on the ambient beauty of the spellbinding sound textures and melodic imagery. Curious travellers may want to view Wøllo’s performance at SoundQuest Fest (it’s an easy find on the internet), though I have to say that his music is best experienced in darkness with headphones without any visual stimulus other than the far reaches of the listener’s imagination. Standouts include the opener “Arkipel,” the powerful and imaginative “Nightscape,” the looping magic of “Stillness,” the gently lilting “Viewpoint” with its unforgettable melody and prcussive elements, and the expansive title track which comes all the way at the end of the set. Another powerful set from Wøllo. Listen for yourself at the bandcamp link below.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Erik Wøllo

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