Journey into Erik Wøllo’s world of rich vibrant textures, rhythmic pulses and hypnotic melodies that compel the listener to discover the passion and inspiration of this highly crafted music. A complete submersion into sound that speaks directly to the heart and soul of those who yearn to discover new and far-away lands. Explore this classic masterwork – by Erik Wollo, one of the true artists of the genre.
Wind JourneyErik Wøllo
This is Erik’s second cd on Spotted Peccary’s sublabel Wanderings, and this time the content is much more electronic.
‘Wind Journey’ contains 70 minutes of beautiful instrumental music, divided over 23 tracks. It indeed feels like a great journey as we take off with great uplifting textures, lyrical acoustic and electric guitar and flute sounds. At times it made me think of the music of Char-El, Mind over Matter and the older music of Gandalf.
Erik has a great ear for details and the overall balance of sounds, as he takes us on an emotional as spectacular trip through the higher atmospheres with great views.
In the middle of the album we encounter the ‘Season Suite’, divided in ten chapters, after which Erik recaptures the feeling of the first part of the album on the last five tracks.
It’s only a pity the closing track ‘Home’ sounds empty and uninspired, as it absolutely doesn’t have the same high quality or impact as heard on the previous tracks. It’s a left-over that should be on this disc at all.
All in all, ‘Wind Journey’ is a grand piece of work of impeccable sound quality!- Bert Strolenberg, Sonic Immersion
Erik Wollo's works are overlooked gems of modern instrumental music. From his home in Norway, Wollo's been sending out missives of mood and ambience since the mid-1980s with albums like Silver Beach and Solstice. Last year's U.S. release of Guitar Nova explored the acoustic-guitar side of this musician in multilayered, overdubbed soundscapes that retained the ambience and structure of his electronic works. With Wind Journey, he returns to synthesizers but keeps his electric guitar at hand for some gloriously heroic solos, especially on ‘Dream Line.’ A subtle, tugging ostinato pattern builds into layers of keyboard orchestrations topped by guitar, which starts out in a pastoral, acoustic mode but segues into a soaring lead solo that recalls Steve Hackett during his Spectral Mornings era. Wind Journey is centered by Seasons Suite, a 10-part sequence of moody vignettes. Erik Wollo's roots in progressive rock are clear and he uses them to articulate a cinematic music. While Wollo lives in a country with some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in the world, he composes much of his music in a basement studio. The worlds he creates are strictly from the imagination, and what a vivid imagination it is.- John Diliberto, Amazon.com Editorial
We first encountered his expansive six-string stylings with last year's guitar nova; now soar with erik wollo on an instrumental wind journey. Though always close at hand, the guitar is less in the forefront during this dreamier outing as the one-man band's other instrumental talents take flight.
Brooding deep passages are traversed by the radiantly unfurling guitar strands of wind journey. Quietly rippling electronics and slight percussion join dream lines' gusting string-like sweeps, all of which sometimes serves as a backdrop for fluid pluckings. A spacious void is soon filled with drifting tonal flows, persuasive rhythms and brightly ringing guitar strings in wind journey 2 (5:37)
More-ambient textures spread across sea, the opening piece to the seasons suite (tracks 9 to 18) wherein wollo levitates over open land, through rain and frost to arrive at the amorphous drifts of winter lake. Midway through this phase, twangy reverbs lead into huldra 2 where ponderous drumbeats meet with raspy flute flavors. Piano twinkles and shifting guitar essences add the ‘shine’ to winter shine (1:17).
Interlocking sequencer patterns and chimes mark the passage of time with their hypnotic convergence. Gauzey sheets of electric guitar ephemera fluctuate beautifully in aptly-named aurora borealis.
A gently flowing panorama for the ears, wind journey rises above new age mediocrity thanks to erik wollo's thoughtfully planned course. Favorable weather conditions (and several perfectly ambient interludes) make for a 70-minute, 8.4-rated flight of fancy through 23 (!) tracks.- Ambientrance
The brief moment between pushing ‘play’ and hearing the opening notes of Wind Journey by Erik Wollo, can only be likened to the anticipation experienced at the head of a scenic mountain trail; a path where your footprints will be the first in quite some time. What lies ahead promises to be vivid, intoxicating and affirming. Upon listening to Wind Journey, it becomes obvious why this album is constantly being associated with rugged landscapes, sweeping mountain ranges and vast coastal fjords. Wollo's work here is the musical equivalent of crossing a majestic landscape, over the earth and beneath the stars.
Wollo's dynamic sonic expeditions are well-conceived and melody driven. Lofty guitar themes intermingle easily with regal synth lines, cleverly crafted so as to be nearly indistinguishable. The voyage is propelled, often briskly, over a foundation of ticking percussives and syncopated slide. Wind Journey also has its share of introspective, even tender moments. These expressive and gentle serenades are surely some of contemporary instrumental's warmest passages. The album is an overwhelmingly positive listening experience, completely unselfconscious, bringing air and light to our internal listening space.- Chuck van Zyl, Star's End
Composing music since the eighties, Norwegian Erik Wollo has released several fine albums mainly in Europe. ‘Wind Journey’ his latest album has been taken under the wing by Spotted Peccary’s subsidiary label Wanderings, a label designed to release albums from a broader spectrum of countries other than its North American original foundation.
‘Wind Journey’ as the title suggests is a light filled and gently melodic journey through soundscapes of synthesizer sound and guitars both acoustic and electric. The guitars are an important ingredient to the music as they are Erik’s main instrumentation and therefore the backbone of his sound. His previous release ‘Guitar Nova’ for example was a fine example of acoustic guitar led compositions that somehow managed to sound refreshing from the mainstay of similarly styled albums.
There are twenty-three tracks that make up ‘Wind Journey’, each a delicately put together musical vignette. When we get to the ninth track onwards the tracks become the seasons suite starting with the track ‘Sea’. This features very laid-back guitar put through some form of effects, which lead us into ‘Open Land’ that features some electronic rhythms that gradually pick up pace which helps give contrast to the overall feel of the album.
The whole album conveys to the listener the differing seasons in all their glory in a very picturesque way. A lot of musicians can play their music well. To actually play and convey the feeling of the different seasons, landscapes and the sheer magical joy of journeying through the wind by balloon as the albums cover depicts is a hard thing to do, but Erik has managed it very well.- Gary Andrews, Ambient Visions
Erik Wollo is a relatively unheralded musician, yet he's been an integral part of the Echoes soundscape for years, going back to his album TRACES in the late 1980s, to SOLSTICE in the mid-90s to last year’s GUITAR NOVA. GUITAR NOVA focused on his acoustic guitar work as he multi-tracked guitars in atmospheric, ringing string orchestras. On his new CD, WIND JOURNEY, he plugs back in, firing up his synthesizers again and dropping in electric guitar solos that sound like they swept in from the stars. Each piece on Wind Journey is a cinematic trip, often powered by insistent sequencer lines, elaborate synthesizer orchestrations and topped off with some of the most cutting guitar lines this side of Mike Oldfield.
Although Wollo records his music in a basement studio in Frederikstad, his compositions are more evocative of Norway's sweeping, jagged mountain ranges and vast coastal fjords. I know that's a cliché, but Wollo's music is anything but. This is an album you'll be hearing on Echoes for months to come.- John Diliberto, Echoes CD of the Month
Luminous airy music. Thus could this album by Erik Wollo be defined. Luminous because it turns out to be as warm as the sunrays in a clear morning. Airy, given its agile, dynamic, crystalline and at times ethereal shades. Both the title and the cover of the album refer to an air walk. And certainly, the compositions seem to reflect the sensations and emotions that can be experienced in free flight, onboard a balloon or an airplane. Of course, there also are moments with other orientations. Yet anyway, this is a very intense album, where it is obvious that Wollo has immersed his five senses. On the other hand, This is styllistically speaking his most electronic album in several years.- Edgar Kolger, Amazing Sounds