Erik Wøllo — Threshold Point
(Projekt 351, 2018, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-06-22
Across Wøllo’s nearly two dozen albums going back to the early 80s, and even more when one counts all the collaborations, the Norwegian guitarist's explorative sounds have evolved from jazzy beginnings into a far more electronic presentation, rife with floating ambience and sequences evoking dreamlike states. Threshold Point is the latest, and for longtime fans this will not disappoint, blending dreamy textures over gentle sequenced backdrops, injected with bursts of beautiful melodic imagery. The general feel of the nine tracks herein is an exploration of contemplative solitude, but with enough kinetic energy to keep it interesting over its sixty minute duration, and enough strong melodies to give each piece its own character and emotional structure as it evolves. The overtly sequenced “Mosaic of Time I – Route Diverge” takes the listener through many layers of colorful patterns, eventually giving way to a powerful percussive bottom end with scorching textural guitar overlays, and a more menacing feel, yet still follows an energetic flow that continuously morphs over its seven minute duration. The title track evolves from dreamy beginnings crossing a bridge into a region of solid percussion with floating patterns of color all punctuated by beautiful synth piano sprites, changing slowly as it unfolds over its nine minute journey. “Traverse” embodies a slow unfolding sequenced pattern as colorful solar breezes intersperse the musical fabric and bright synth melodies swarm within. Wøllo builds up each of the pieces layer by layer, playing all the instrumentation himself, which icludes keyboards, electric guitars and guitar synths, with electronic and acoustic percussion, and programming. Evoking even more calm and stillness, “Eon” takes the listener through a dreamy portal of shimmering emotion, always moving forward and never looking back, as the musical vision unfolds before you, the sounds perfectly complimenting the album’s beautiful cover art by Rodrigo Adolfo. There’s enough variation across this vast and expansive journey to keep it interesting all the way through. If you’ve followed his recent endeavors like Blue Radiance and 2017’s Different Spaces, this latest set will be right on the expected trajectory, blending intensity with cinematic atmospherics.
Related artist(s): Erik Wøllo
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