As a bridge leading to a new uncharted continent, Erik Wøllo’s Blue Radiance transports the listener along innovative, shimmering and sonorous musical pathways. The nineteenth solo album from this renowned Norwegian ambient/electronic artist continues to develop and refine his masterfully crafted soundworld into an intensely detailed fusion of elegant compositions and deep atmospherics.
Built around catchy and accessible melodies and rhythms, Blue Radiance’s eleven new compositions feature sophisticated and engaging waves of Wollo’s trademark processed electric guitar, occasional acoustic guitars, synthesizers and percussion. Striking, varied, and deeply emotional, the tracks open up when the guitar surfaces out of the swirls, revealing soul-stirring themes rich with melancholy and hope. It’s that interplay – the contrast of the lead lines with the washes of sound and minimal piano – which make for an intensely powerful listening experience.
The album’s most active pieces are built upon arcs of rhythm and layers of sequencer patterns – with Wøllo’s lead lines setting the pace. “Revealed in Time,” “Pathway” and “Osmosis” all have dramatic percussive punctuations with pulsating arpeggios and deep analog bass. The etheral tracks “Blue Radiance,” “Moon Above” and “Crystal Orbits” soar and dive in open, airy sections that stretch through time. These quiet, introspective and slowly unfolding pieces have a musical vastness of space, highly lush and expansive washes, powerfully evocative and soothing translucence. “Sepia” is more acoustic, featuring guitars and piano which evoke a warm nostalgia: an organic sonic texture contrasted with long and elegant guitar EBow lines. “Earth Sky” closes this journey with beautifully hazy synth swells added with distant soaring guitar voices. An utterly suspended, lyrical and sublime outro.
The album title Blue Radiance suggests music from the blue and icy tone spectrum: from the darker blue to the almost snowy white. The striking album cover image by Michał Klimczak depicts a bridge headed into another land, a metaphor for the music which carries the listener to the unknown. Blue Radiance is an album highlighting Wøllo’s extraordinary luminous mastery.