jeudi 30 avril 2015

RUDOLF HEIMANN: Perpetuum Mobile (2015)

“Perpetuum Mobile is an honest compilation which makes a fair glimpse of Rudolf Heimann's career”
1 Up & Down the Waves 6:26
2 Is not Easy to Fly 6:04
3 Two Ships 6:02
4 Several Thousand Questions 6:23
5 Brain Flight 6:16
6 Smurfs in Space 12:57
7 Coral Iceland Memories 7:04
8 The Search 7:56
9 Heaven's Gate 6:22
10 Moonshadow 10:48

SynGate | CD-r RH02 (CD-r/DDL 76:23) ***½
(Mix of New Berlin School and dance EM)
Rhythms! Lot of them. The very lively rhythm of "Up and Down the Waves" will remind to some of you a kind of mix between Somekind of Wonderful, from Grand Funk Railroad, and It's only Rock'n'Roll to Me, from Billy Joel. And for those who know a little the repertoire of Rudolf Heimann, we remember having vaguely heard this music on his Tide album in 2010. Normal! After a career of 25 years, including a thin discography of 7 albums and following the good response among fans regarding the album Into the Unknown in 2013, Rudolf Heimann proposes in “Perpetuum Mobile” a compilation of 10 tracks of EM where its sometimes noisy rhythms moves the senses and charms the ears with all their nuances.
If "Up and Down the Waves" bites our feet immediately with a steady and very electronic rock rhythm, "Is not Easy to Fly" proposes a very New Berlin School track where the kind of ambient Space Rock a la 
Software floods our ears of some beautiful memories of the 80's. The rhythm is ambient and upward. Perch on a delicate meshing of sequences and percussions, which trace a slow delicately jerky ambient spiral, and adorned with harmonies weaved in the riffs of a sort of e-guitar and nice floating fluty voices of mist, this track is an ambient bouquet which caress our senses up until the solos of Morpheus embrace them. This is a great piece of music, just as the too wonderful "Moonshadow" which was the highlight of Into the Unknown in 2013. "Two Ships" is lively, a bit wild and extirpates us from the arms of Morpheus. The track swarms on hopping sequences and on percussions which hammer them. Only the synth solos, which are quite well sculpted, and the organic language remind us that we are in the spheres of EM, the New Berlin School style, instead of a synth-pop fed of spasms and artifices. The same goes for "Several Thousand Questions" which is a techno, rather original I might add, which would easily compete for the genre of Element 4. It's quite musical for a rhythm so furious and the harmonies of the piano bring back debate to know if Rudolf Heimann does in New Age or in the dance music without filters. I may have tried, but I did not hooked on the very old-fashioned sound of "Brain Flight" which awakens in me some painful memories of a Tangerine Dream mutating of skin to please an American audience. "Smurfs in Space" is a long synth-pop splits in a cosmic envelope. There are small things here which please the hearing and which weave some tireless earworms. The same goes for "The Search", here the musical itch lays on the play of sequences and percussions, which is, on the other hand, more in a mood for dancing. "Coral Iceland Memories" plunges us in the golden years of the Innovative Communication label. These years when Software has reinvented the kind of electronic dance music with some Chill out approaches on rhythms a bit groovy which hop in cosmic atmospheres. The track breathes of an interesting approach a bit Reggae. Well done! "Heaven's Gate" reveals a slow, heavy and languishing rhythm always perfumed of these cosmic moods and these intuitive melodies which mark out the music, sometimes a little too much dance, of Rudolf Heimann who offers in “Perpetuum Mobile” an honest compilation which makes a fair glimpse of his career. There are small jewels in there, as there is some music inspired for those who like dancing, those who like caressing the floors of kicks with robotics tap-dancing.
Sylvain Lupari (April 29th, 2015) &
You will find this album on the SynGate web shop here
You can also watch a video trailer here

mardi 28 avril 2015

RUDZ & HERTEL: At the Horizon's Edge (2015)

“At the Horizon's Edge is yet another very audacious collaboration of P. Rudz with, this time, merges skillfully two styles, two visions and two eras in a solid electronic blend”

1 Mysteries of an Old Attic 13:41
2 Letter for an Unknown Woman 6:08
3 At the Horizon's Edge 12:12
4 Autumn's Last Moment's 5:17
5 Kaleidoscope of the Past 16:21
6 Lullaby for the Righteous 5:31
7 Goodbye, Edgar... 2:38

Generator Pl. | GEN CD 036 (CD 61:30) ****
(Mix of vintage and contemporary EM)
Imagine Snowflakes are Dancing (Children's Corner, No.4) by Isao Tomita, but interpreted with more spirit! It's a little bit this sensation that is going to orient your senses as soon as the synth will spread this melodious minimalist loop which opens "Mysteries of an Old Attic". Cosmic elements come to kiss this melodic pattern which undulates like a rivulet shaken by its submarine countercurrents, while a heavy bass line hammers a kind of techno for Aliens with muffled and resonant pulsations. A shower of adjacent harmonies tumble down on this intro with a chirping and charming synth which is going to take good care to put a delicate earworm at the bottom of our eardrums. Light and surprisingly musical for an album which offers pieces of music in constant movement, “At the Horizon's Edge” is the meeting point between Przemyslaw Rudz and Mikolaj Hertel; a legendary Polish composer and musician recognized for his so very romantic and very melodious approach who wrote a lot of music in the 70's to the 90's. The idea behind this collaboration is to allow Przemyslaw Rudz to re-arrange the music of Hertel by affixing on it his seal and his boldness in a very contemporary approach. And both extremes live very well.
Percussions of a Bongo kind are watering the vibes of "Mysteries of an Old Attic" while the synth embellishes them of some very harmonious solos. A bass line binds itself to this rhythm all the same rather static, propelling the music towards a more livened up approach where solos abound with an attractive acuteness. The track kisses then a pre- ambiospherical phase where the percussions and the bass line scatter a passive disorder while the synth always coos of its solos as much attractive as the singings of a nightingale at the top of its art. We dive a little farther into full ambiospherical gaps at around the 6th minute when a nervous line of bass is pounding in cosmic winds and industrial jingles. A long cosmic phase follows and separates both movements of "Mysteries of an Old Attic" which will find its almost identical rhythm of origin, rhythm and melody which will also be heard on the title-track, a little after the bar of 10 minutes. The soloing is simply delicious throughout this surprising duel between two styles and two eras.
Przemyslaw Rudz takes up the challenge gallantly by giving to the entire of “At the Horizon's Edge” a progressive and contemporary approach while protecting the innocence of the dreamy melodies of the 70's. And the following track shows it amply. A spherical movement of fluid sequences pours on another movement where sequences wander and cavort without a precise structure of rhythm. A delicate piano comes to cover this movement of ambivalent rhythm with a surprising meditative caress. Soft, romantic and very cosmic, "Letter for an Unknown Woman" is like these instants of nostalgia when we look through a window multicolored by rain tracks at moments of a past that we would like to relive. The piano, just like the synth and its solos to hybrid tones, is magical and draws a superb melody on a bed of shady sequences. The introduction of "At the Horizon's Edge" is ambio-cosmic, ambio-sonic before revisiting the part of the light rhythm in "Mysteries of an Old Attic". The approach is even tinted a little bit with a jazz and lounge touch. "Autumn's Last Moment's" is an ambient and melancholic track where rhythm and uncertain melody are bickering in a storm of synth solos. The piano mislays fragments of melodies here which are buried by the agile fingers of Przemyslaw Rudz. This is music for Love Story kind of movies. "Kaleidoscope of the Past" opens with a mi funk, mi hip-hop approach, and the synth is messing around with a very nasal harmonious tone on a rhythm which cavorts in cosmic mists. There also the envelope makes very cinema of the 70's. The harmonies are a little cherub with a synth which caws like a cybernetic duck. The introduction develops slowly, it's a little bit long, with a dense cosmic fog which covers a slow rhythmic raised up on a line of very vampiric bass which spreads its slow sneaky shadows. Little by little, "Kaleidoscope of the Past" mislays its introduction into a long ambiospherical phase which is of use for anchoring to a new start for a more lively rhythm. The percussions set the tone and forge a rhythm skipping like a graceful hip-hop and the bass line blows its long whoomz whoomz. It's very catchy, lively. The synth unwinds a mysterious wave while the percussions are doubling of enthusiasm in the furrows of sequences, as harmonious as rhythmic. "Kaleidoscope of the Past" drags us in its seductive structure of rhythm while the unknotted fingers of Rudz will draw chiseled solos which will make cabrioles on a deliciously funky rhythm. This fusion of rock and electronic cosmic dance ends on a wonderful slow dance in "Lullaby for the Righteous" and its synth as much suggestive as a saxophone ready to charm a beautiful unknown. The bass goes deep into the body with its languishing, almost erotic, palpitations. I liked it good! As much the effect of surprise as the slow and rather vicious melody. "Goodbye, Edgar..." is for you know who. It's soft, sober and very melancholic. The piano sheds its tears at the same time as we do. The most beautiful goodbye to Edgar that I heard. Thank you Edgar!
Thank you
Przemyslaw Rudz and Mikolaj Hertel for a so beautiful album. Thank you for this audacious idea to unite two styles, two eras and two visions in an approach where everything melt and gets entangled without ever denying the right of the one on the other. It's by far the biggest strength of “At the Horizon's Edge” where the romanticism of Hertel serves admirably well the sometimes very audacious vision, in particular for 3 long tracks, of Przemyslaw Rudz who restores to EM its letters of respectability by exploiting marvelously the synths with splendid solos which are real sonic fireworks in a universe where the rhythm is not made of banalities.
Sylvain Lupari (April 28th, 2015) &
You will find this album on the shop here

dimanche 26 avril 2015

FRORE & SHANE MORRIS: Blood Moon (2015)

“This Blood Moon is a great ambient tribal album which opens the doors for new perspectives in the genre”

1 Lichen Patterns 13:00
2 Ritual Sequence 9:58
3 Orison 9:34
4 Unfolding 13:04
5 Night Rapture 16:22

Spotted Peccary | SPM-9083 (CD/DDL 61:58) ****
(Tribal trance ambient)
A little as the reflections of the moon which wrap a too quiet evening in a Jurassic jungle, the introduction of "Lichen Patterns" rises between our ears with an ochred lamentation which is about to reveal the intense nocturnal activities of “Blood Moon”. A mixture of opalescent and blackened synth waves, where some shamanic hoarse  grumbles are joining, the opening of "Lichen Patterns" proposes a very sibylline sound shroud before being delicately shaken by a meshing of manual percussions. Then we plunge into the charms of this first collaboration between the designer by excellence of suffocating prehistoric ambiences, Shane Morris, and Frore; a musician whom I don't really know and whose name is in reality Paul Casper. The aboriginal tom-toms and the knocks of the very metronomic bass percussions are sculpturing a kind of slow trance dance whereas the multiplicity of the synth lines, and their tones so full of particles of prisms than as of perfumes of graphite, exhale ambiences where spectres hum in a sonic fauna to the thousand ambiospherical delights. Divided between rhythms of spiritual trance, sculptured by a wide range of ancestral percussions, and rich meditative moods, fed by an impressive pallet of sounds, “Blood Moon” offers an interesting sonic journey where the comparisons between some of Steve Roach's pilgrimages into the aboriginal lands cannot simply be avoided. If the percussions seduce, the sonic decorations and the synth soundscapes are not outdone with a plenty of synths lines painted of seductive colors which will capture a hearing in need of adornment and with effects which plunge the same listener into territories bordering virgin appearances. Organic or psychic, electronic or acoustic, esoteric or exoteric; these effects give more brilliances to the percussions which peck nervously at the 5 soundscapes of “Blood Moon”.
If "Lichen Patterns" offers a rather relaxing structure, "Ritual Sequence" raises the level of intensity with more hectic percussions. Percussions which plough heathen moods fed by the groans of Didge, the muffled songs of spectres and those of the flutes with a tint of blowpipe. The structure reminds me extremely
Steve Roach, especially with those synth lines floating such as long lassoes without preys to catch, in his quest of the Australian deserts with tones and organic pulsations which are smothered by a dense layer of synth to the very ancestral aromas. "Orison" distances itself from the usual style of Shane Morris with a clearly more tribal approach. One would say a ritual dance of the Middle East with lively percussions and with airs of Armenian flutes; the Duduks. If the percussions play a leading role in “Blood Moon”, the rhythms to which they give birth are not less very peaceful here. So, "Unfolding" is closer of Steve Roach's ambient tribal universe than "Ritual Sequence". In fact both titles are closely bound by the same atmospheres, aboriginal flutes in less. If the percussions are also well fed, they are less strong and let glitter ringings of carillons which throw an aura of incantatory mysticism on the most ambient, the most serene track of “Blood Moon”. I like it! And the sonic shroud is filled with small hearing pleasures which are going to delight those who are gourmand of sounds and tones. "Night Rapture" is the highlight of “Blood Moon”. The intro grows slowly with percussions which trace a laborious ascent. Little by little the pace accentuates its cadence beneath muffled growls, which stretch in long reverberations, and synth lines of which some are escaping and form shadows which float like ethereal songs. It's dark, heavy and insistent. Like an ambient trance! The subtle crescendo is very wrapping. Between the uncomfortable blackness of the nights of agitation and the hypnosis of the continual upward percussions, "Night Rapture" infiltrates our senses with a merciless will of bewitchment. The ambient stubborn rhythm is always climbing these timeless staircases while that some rich synth lines are erupting, such as slow waves rolling with harmonies always a little muddled up which inject a mix of ethereal and sibylline ambiences. This is incredibly mesmerizing. Our eardrums tremble under the din of the percussions. The wild approach of "Night Rapture" evaporates bit by bit after the 12th minute into some shivers and insect noises, ending so a journey at the end of the ominous and fascinating ambiences of “Blood Moon”; an album in the same lineage as Proof Positive and Spiral Meditations by Steve Roach. A very beautiful album which opens new perspectives to the ambient tribal genre, due to the wealth of its rhythms and its soundscapes to the evolutions as much audacious than the ingenuity behind the multiplicity of the patterns of manual percussions.
Sylvain Lupari (April 26th, 2015) &
You will find this album or a link to order it on the Spotted Peccary webshop here

mercredi 22 avril 2015

OTARION: Genius (2015)

“Genius is a stunning surprise with a very esthetical EM envelope where scents of Vangelis are roaming in a strange mix of New Age and of melodious New Berlin School”

1 New Visions (4:50)
2 Beauty Lights (4:21)
3 Out of Darkness (8:22)
4 The Genius (8:48)
5 Tears of Laurentius (6:26)
6 Dream of Aratos (9:21)
7 Enjoy the Infinity (9:24)
8 Don't turn Away (7:40)
9 The Inexpressible (8:06)

MellowJet Records | CD-r OT1401 (CD-r /DDL 67:22) ****
(Cinematographic, New Berlin School, New Age and Electronica)
The soft piano which caresses our ears will recall certain intros of heavy metal's most sulfurous ballads. Then come some sequences which cavort with fragility and a bass line which snores slowly. Their fusion forges then a kind of trot. A lento which reminds now the slow movements Vangelis' Babylonian rhythms. The sonic esthetic of "New Visions" is weaved in intensity, in passion. Tears of an e-guitar tear up this slow ride of rhythm with lamentations which snatch me the roots of arm hairs. And the piano which runs on this structure is also poignant, awakening in us this structure of dramatic crescendo which has making melted the hardest of us in Chariots of Fire. Honestly? I would have received this album with a note advising me that this is a new Vangelis album that I would have believed it. To say the least, when we hear the first tracks of “Genius”! Otarion, project of the German musician/synthesist Rainer Klein, was utterly unknown to me. I received this album in a batch of CD that Bernd Scholl sent me so that I discover the universe of MellowJet Records. Honestly? The first listening had hardly seduced me. We are far from the complex rhythms of the Berlin School, those digital of the New Berlin School or yet of the infectious rhythms of Electronica. In fact, I had found that hyper melodious. Almost near the New Age mood. It's when my eyebrows grazed my forehead on some occasions (I had the nose in a book) that I let myself tempted by this last album of Otarion, his 2nd on MellowJet Records and his 6th since 1997. And now, I decided to talk to you about it.
"Beauty Lights" sticks to the finale of "New Visions", one would say that both are music brothers, with a series of arpeggios which sound like the riffs of a ballad on acoustic guitar. The synth breezes throw a sibylline veil, whereas the jingles of electronic percussions make roll a ghost rhythm. Everything here is built around the rinforzando model. It's very melodious. The rhythm is present, even slightly lively, without having of real life. Orchestrations, notes of piano and a celestial voice embalm this structure of film music which suddenly dives into a very electronic universe. Everything is of drama and passion in the 67 minutes of “Genius”! Otarion injects constantly elements of drama, here it's about this seraphic voice which caresses of its ethereal sighs the dramatic effect of the piano notes which fall with passion, in structures which progress slowly and tirelessly. If "New Visions" and "Beauty Lights" will nail you on a cloud, "Out of Darkness" shows that Otarion is capable of developing complex structures which are always fed by delicacy. After a rather tenebrous intro, where a bass line waves slyly in a metallic din, felted percussions and an angelic choir divert the dark atmospheres of "Out of Darkness" into the warm airs of suave orchestrations. A flute, kind of Pan style, resists the assaults of still but aggressive sequences, continuing this perpetual fight between EM and New Age which eats away the 9 structures of “Genius”. And, while we believe that the New Age will dominate, the tempo goes to some good Electronica. Then towards a kind of progressive rock before returning in the charms of a beautiful serene ballad where piano and flute, flavored by blue lotus perfumes, are dancing on a lento beat which is slowly astride over the plains of our subjection. I'm telling you: we hook on it! The title-track always offers these structures of lento where the rhythm gallops in a dress which changes constantly of colors but not of styles. The piano is very ethereal, joyful. The melodic approach is constantly modified on a structure which always gallops but with different speeds in the trot. The electronic guitar is very present and breathes a beautiful tone into a track which always tries to exploit this sense of the drama which seems to live into Rainer Klein. And we hook to this! How to ignore these solitary souls which find love with this wonderful piano which decorates a structure in constant struggle. A structure which is constantly moving. And we are touched. After the very ambient and very filmic "Tears of Laurentius", "Dream of Aratos" redoes to us the same blow as in the title-track, but with a mix of more emotion and with more cloudiness. The seraphic voice fades. And we let ourself being absorbed by the darkness where a small ringing of crystal clear arpeggios, a la Halloween, roams in a very Mephistophelian vibe. In a very electronic structure, at both dark and lively, which is in perpetual movement, "Enjoy the Infinity" brings us near the Electronica land of power. One would believe to hear 
Moonbooter here. After a "Don't turn Away" which prowls between "Genius" and "Dream of Aratos", "The Inexpressible" ends “Genius” with a slow and heavy rhythm. A rhythm which passes by a very ambiospherical intro before trotting then galloping on the notes of a dreamy piano and the riffs of an electronic guitar. That makes an apocalyptic Wild West. That makes a structure for music of a black and distressing movie.
As surprising as improbable, I passed by all the ranges of emotion with this very beautiful album of Otarion. If "New Visions" and "Beauty Lights" tries to pull you arms' hairs with a tiny plier, the rest of “Genius” will punch you with ambivalent and versatile structures where poignant elements, moods of tenderness and passion are roaming in darkness. And as in the music of
Vangelis, there is always a piece of melody or still some beautiful orchestrations which makes us raise all the hairs of our spinal with structures sculptured in slow crescendo which always end by reaching their goal; either surprise us, touch us and amaze us. A wonderful album, very musical and very esthetic, where the order of the tracks and the level of intensity is splendidly used. A little as if it was the soundtrack of our life!
Sylvain Lupari (April 22nd, 2015) &
You will find this album on the MellowJet Records shop here
You can also watch a video of Genius here or of Enjoy the Infinity here

mardi 21 avril 2015

JUTA TAKAHASHI: The Door into Winter (Remastered) 2015

“The Door into Winter is an album of atmospheres and of purely ambient music”

1 Northern Horizon (12:56)
2 Enlightenment (13:24)
3 The Door into Winter (21:18)

Lunisolar Records | LR013 (CD 47:58) ***½
(Ambient and floating EM)
An enveloping synth wave rises up from the imaginary plains of the country of serenity, such as depicted in sounds and music by Jutaro Takahashi. It scatters particles of prisms and subdivides the flanks of its peace of mind with other more musical waves which blow throughout a horn of plenty, clasping the peaceful chants of celestial birds in long corridors of cold lined by the incandescent heat of some more piercing waves. The heap of the synth lines and their fights between brightness and nebulosity inject a sibylline aura which floats like an immense aerial magma. Navigating, and this is always free to our imagination, between the borders of the cold as well as those which line the heat with soothing Siberian breaths, "Northern Horizon" invites us in this other meditative romance of Juta Takahashi.
“The Door into Winter (Remastered)” is the 3rd album from the Japanese sculptor of meditative landscapes to see the light of the day beneath the skin of a completely new remasterised edition made by Takahashi  in his studios of Sendai, in Japan. Offered in a very stylized jewel case and a pretty nice artwork which includes some personal notes for each of three tracks, “The Door into Winter” was originally the 2nd album of the composer of ambient music and, contrary to its title, the music offers a sonic and musical perspective closer to the warm horizons of the South than those of the North. Lines and idle waves of synths are rich and very enveloping. Only the long whistling drones manage to throw a hearing sensation of coldness which is quickly retrieve by analog elements, like in "Enlightenment" where the orchestrations, the celestial voices and those calm Tibetan bells irradiate over the very static storm of the hummings and over its Siberian winds. If we force our imagination, we can be in the plains of Mongolia where the coldness of the winter is still eating away at the weaknesses of the spring. But no matter what, we are in the field of very ambient music. There is no form of rhythm and the ambient elements are sculptured in the vision of a composer who wants at any cost to make of his works some pure meditative soundscapes and who, according to my ears and my moods, seems to have loved the approach of ambient Tibetan music of Ray Lynch in his sublime and very pensive The Sky of Mind, realized in 1983.... Except that on “The Door into Winter” there is no New Age ballads, nor relaxing melodies. Just ambient music and music for quiescent moods. We are close to a musical sleeping drug. And if we let the music pour all around our loudspeakers on an evening of tranquility, the sleep will be fast your gaoler. The title-track offers a full 23 minutes lulled with a warmer approach, even if certain synth lines try to inject some iodized perfumes here and there. It's very quiet and at the same time bewitching because we always have this sensation, and it doubtless because of these small snores which sleep here and there, that the track is going to amplify its quest so many elements of tension are slumbering here, as in the calmest of the winters. But it's rather these fluty breezes, these arcs and these reverberations filled of hummings and of acidified snores which transport the serenity of "The Door into Winter" up to the doors of the guardian of our sleep.
Beautiful and very quiet but especially very linear where nothing really is going on, “The Door into Winter (Remastered)” is an album of atmospheres and of purely ambient music. I know little about the universe of
Juta Takahashi, set apart his last albums. Thus it's impossible to me to compare both versions of this album which was initially offered in a CD-r recording. But no matter, “The Door into Winter” doesn't reach this depth still which has stigmatized the style of Juta Takahashi in his solid Seabound, also remasterised and which went out two years after. But it's rather interesting to see the evolution, because there is one, of the Japanese musician who will reach his peak with the magnificent monument of ambient music that was Transcendence. So it's a beautiful album, without more, for those who like the genre. But is it an inescapable for those who love the deep ambient style of Juta Takahashi? Like I said; I'm not a connoisseur of Juta but I surely like to hear his music when sleep is hardly reaching my brain on certain nights. In my mind, there is Steve Roach and Juta Takahashi!
Sylvain Lupari (April 20th, 2015) &
You will find this album on the Lunisolar Records web shop here Or at CD Baby

samedi 18 avril 2015

ERIK WOLLO: Blue Radiance (2015)

“With its mosaic of soft rhythms soft scattered in good meditative phases and ballads which are near New Age, Blue Radiance is what is made of more musical in the field of EM”
1 Terra Novus 1 (5:50)
2 Terra Novus 2 (7:25)
3 Blue Radiance (5:06)
4 Pathway (6:30)
5 Osmosis (5:30)
6 Moon Above (4:04)
7 Revealed in Time (7:02)
8 Crystal Orbits (6:27)
9 Sepia (5:19)
10 Timemorph (8:02)
11 Earth Sky (5:57)

Projekt | Pro00314 (CD/DDL 67:77) ****
(Ambient and ethereal with delicate beats)
I never grow tired of hearing Erik Wollo's music! From album to another one, the Scandinavian sonic bard always manages to seduce in a musical genre where the lack of imagination,of passion led inevitably to boredom. Faithful to his repertoire, Erik Wollo entails us in his soundscapes tinted with romance and poetry. There where the ethereal moments are easily next to moments of passion with rhythms which belong to the antipode of these meditative atmospheres which always find their way through our quest of charm. “Blue Radiance” is his 19th solo album since Where it all Begins published in 1983. Once again, Wollo criss-crosses the road of  rhythms and of seraphic moods with 11 tracks which shall seduce you, both for their meditative approaches than a tiny bit savage.
As a ray of sunshine warming up a morning cheered up by the noises of nature, the introduction of "Terra Novus 1" warms the edge of the eardrums of the impatient persons who look forward to approaching this very last album from
Erik Wollo. We are on known territory with this rivulet which sparkles such as a cloud of prisms in the caresses of those soft e-winds. Chirping or fragile sparkling sequences, the waves of this fusion of synth/guitar transports the tearful spectral harmonies of "Terra Novus 1" towards a delicate structure of rhythm. Ethereal sequences and percussions weld this ambient rhythm which swirls weakly, like these winds and these lamentations which feed the enigmatic sonic panorama of the Scandinavian bard. An immense fall of noises joins both parts of "Terra Novus", while a slow tribal rhythm, livened up by rich percussions and caressed by the blue rays of an ambient and exotic guitar, excites the rhythm a bit trance of "Terra Novus 2". Soft rhythms, well sat on sequences and percussions a bit clanic and/or rather spiritual, these first 13 are very forewarning of the 50 next ones of “Blue Radiance”. To begin with the title-track, of which the synth rays and the guitar groans lead us toward a very introspective place. It sounds very Eno on his sublime An Ending which we find on the Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks album. That goes in my Ipod; section night music or music to cry on! And it won't be the only one! Musical pieces such as the very melancholic "Moon Above" or the very mysterious "Crystal Orbits", which sounds quite like the title-track, as well as "Earth Sky" are jewels of meditative tenderness where the tears of guitars are whipping gently the panoramic layers drawn in the soothing colors of blue radiance. These are nice ambient and very musical tracks. Way to go Erik! "Pathway" offers a delicate structure of rhythm with pinched arpeggios which parade like in a spiral figure in a ballet chorography. Fluid and jerky, the rhythm binds itself in a kind of ride in the Scandinavian lands where delicate notes of piano fall like stars in a sky blurred of auroras borealis. These piano notes forge a melodious ambient lullaby that we also find on the rhythm knotted in the gurglings of "Osmosis", where guitar chords forge a series of sequenced riffs which gallop on sober percussions. Here as all over “Blue Radiance” the winds and the ethereal breezes outline the anchor point of those melancholic poetic visions which lull the music of Wollo. It's beautiful, delicate and almost New Age like with the very acoustic "Sepia" where the meditative acoustic guitar and piano are signing a very beautiful ballad filled by the soft fragrances of deep melancholic harmonies. The lamentations of the synth add a spectral weight to this very beautiful and very meditative track by the way. "Revealed in Time", as well as "Timemorph", offer structures of very electronic rhythms. That of "Revealed in Time" grows like a ride in Steve Roach's universe. The rhythm is soft and well sat on a sober play of sequences / percussions which spreads a soft latent crescendo. The notes of guitar form some harmonious loops which roll into a vertical spiral, catching at the passage some fine strummed arpeggios. It's rather lively, while "Timemorph" leans on layers of sequences which flicker such as multiple reflections of prism. The movement is rather motionless and made us strumming our fingers, amplifying its pace with livelier sequences of which the fate is knotted around muffled and furtive pulsations. It's a good electronic rhythm, as Erik Wollo is capable of signing on each of his albums.
With its mosaic of soft rhythms soft scattered in good meditative phases and ballads which are near New Age, “Blue Radiance” is what is made of more musical in the field of EM. Each track puts a smile to ears while, very nostalgic,
Erik Wollo hammers his keys in order to weave some delicious musical itches. It's Wollo! It's melancholic and dreamlike. And yes we can literally see his music taking the shape of these enchanting Scandinavian landscapes that he has the gift to put in relief on a music which is very personal to him.
Sylvain Lupari (April 18th, 2015) &
You will find this album on the Projekt Records web shop here