jeudi 15 septembre 2011

ERIK WOLLO: Silent Currents (2011)

1) Silent Currents CD 1: Live At Star's End April 27th, 2002 Part I to XII (52:28)
2) Silent Currents CD 2: Live At Star's End October 28th, 2007 Part I to XIV (51:43)

Do I like the music of Erik Wøllo. I learnt of this very good Norwegian guitarist through his collaborations with Steve Roach and with his album Gateway. He is a fine guitarist who succeeds to harmonize his guitar layers and pads to synths or sequenced impulsions of Steve Roach, Deborah Martin's tribal harmonies and the very experimental music of Bernhard Wöstheinrich. On Silent Currents Wøllo presents 2 live recordings performed in 2002 and 2007, on Chuck Van Zyl’s cult EM radio broadcast shows; Star’s End. Two concerts of an average length of 52 minutes, divided into about 26 segments. Live performances with enchanting musical textures which depict the dexterity, both in guitars and synths, of this brilliant musician where the maturity and ingenuity can be heard on this very nice 2 CD box-set where 7 years separate the concerts.
Recorded during the broadcast of April 27th, 2002, Silent Currents 1 begins its long musical journey with a fine linear movement from where subtle riffs emerge which link in delicate loops under a sky sieved by layers and strata of a synth/guitar fusion. The beginning of the movement is softly ambient and atonal with delicate modulations tinted by heterogeneous sound effects, emerging from Arizonian caverns, and surrounded by sweet layers of a spectral guitar which float beneath fine reverberations and which are criss-crossing among some elongated morphic pulsations, whereas that Silent Currents 1 embraces its first sequences at around the 17th minute. It’s a fine sequential movement with chords alternating in a suave succession, while some languishing lamentations from a melancholic six strings guides us towards a gleaming movement sparkling with guitar notes touching lightly the surface of tranquillity under the ghostly effect of undulate and sinuous guitar's waves. Silent Currents 1 becomes darker and heavier. "Part 7" floats in an abyssal heaviness with of tremulous line of a syncretic fusion which sway in a heavy metallic atmosphere before ending on a limpid movement where fine crystalline chords and delicate synth solos dance in a cosmic spiral. It’s a nice melodious moment before that heterogeneous pulsations of "Part 9" hop of a jerky movement, plunging us into a fusion of tribal and soundscape universes of Steve Roach; a delicious eclectic world surrounded by metallic hoops which collide in the shade of synth strata with choirs as discreet as notes of the guitar.
This seething dark passage diverts towards the oniric sweetnesses of "Part 10 "and its nice and soft guitar layers which roar with tenderness in a solitary desert, permuting into heavy synth layers which glide over a smooth linear movement. The first percussions are audible on "Part 11". They resonate with an arrhythmic movement on a sinuous metallic line filled of increasing white noises, to embrace the soporific sweetnesses of "Part 12" and its synth to sluggish angelic layers, sounding the hour of sleep with fists and eyes closed.
A long synth wind fragments its tones of glasses to draw a fine hatched line of which the echo is melting to loud reverberations and suave melodious choirs. Recorded during the broadcast of October 28th, 2007, Silent Currents 2 starts this concert with more emotionalism and warm breaths of synth which are sidling among twinkling arpeggios and layers of a static guitar. There is quite a whole sound wealth on this concert with a better fusion synth/guitar which multiplies the dreamlike layers into morphic structures filled with delicate sparkling. The first pulsations of a surrealist world appear on "Part 3". They hop of their echoes, shaping a surprising arrhythmia in a heavy atmosphere fed by brief guitar solos and heavy strata of a dark and captivating synth. Mixing stillness and harmony, with notes of guitar which roll in loops and brief solos which float in hybrids ambient movements, Silent Currents 2 criss-crosses its 14 segments with more fluidity and an intense musical fauna which was lacking on the 2002 concert. Erik Wøllo has ripened and has acquired a bigger dexterity, allowing him to interlace his segments with a bigger musical wealth. If the somber synth layers always draw spectral waves there is always a harmonious transparency which gets loose from it, juxtaposing two very different entities on the same movement as on "Part 6". The synth wanderings abound, weaving superb ambient movements which are often surprised by sudden pulsations as we can hear on "Part 7" and "Part 9" with its pleasant fluty chant in a universe to multiple sound dimensions. There are good passages where the guitar sprinkles its notes into soft echoing structure, embroidering surrealists but catchy melodies within dense synthesized incantations ("Part 8") or solitary movements shared with morphic synth layers in a desert of rattlers ("Part 10"). The universe of Silent Currents 2 is rich in sequential passages, "Part 11" and "Part 13", or oddly livened up of eclectic pulsations which make capsize the musical universes between the ambient, light rhythm and melancholic as on "Part 12".
In short, 2 worlds and 7 years separate both Erik Wøllo's performances and it shows. If Silent Currents 1 is more ambient and atonal, Silent Currents 2 is more lively and musical. We hear in it a Erik Wøllo with more maturity and assurance who isn’t afraid of rhythms and challenges to mastered several instruments in one concert. Silent Currents is a nice album which appeals mainly to fans of Wøllo, although the 2nd CD is of a stunning musicality and could please lovers of ambient music and diversified universes with rich soundscapes and landscapes tones. Notice the great artwork which wraps this very nice digipak box set and which is a nice work of art. Artworks which abound in the releases of Sam Rosenthal's label, Projekt.


Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

Erik'swebsite is here:

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