Melodic electronic music with clear beats and strong permeating tunes. Elevations is primarily a synthetic album that has an ambient foundation, but one with an organic heart - graceful chiming themes ring out against ambient textures and delicate chord structures; keening strains breeze across beautifully harmonious drones and layered washes, acoustic guitar elegantly hangs against crackling environmental ambience. The leading melodies are full of feeling and powerfully evocative, stirring up visions of lonely landscapes even more vivid than those of the cover art. Programmed beats drive much of the music, working in tandem with sequenced patterns - restful and set deep into the sound, often steeped in reverb or muted and distant. Elevations unsurprisingly has a panoramic spaciousness about much of it - a sense of crisp, fresh air, the possibility of frost broken by warm waves of tones that gently suffuse everything like the sun breaking through cloud.
Elevations comes with a montaged image at the front - deeply contoured snowy peaks obliquely lit cast heavy shadows, graphic edges and radial lines overlaid in contrasting colour and form. Another terrain graphic fills the back panel where a tracklisting appears with timings for each piece. Here also are website details and publishing information. Inside is a two panel fold-out insert with a saturated blue photograph that maintains the contour theme. Within we find credits and instrument details as well as the address of Erik Wøllo's own website - www.wollo.com
Elevations is the latest in a lengthy discography running back into the mid 1980s. Nowegian born Wøllo is from Hemsedal and has worked in ‘a wide range of styles from rock and jazz, to experimental electronic and classical music’. His work includes composing and performing for film, theatre, ballet and various exhibitions, guitar based, electronic and orchestral. This CD is released on Spotted Peccary Records and sees the artist employing guitar synthesizers, acoustic guitars, keyboards, Wollo VST Software and various programming techniques. The result is one that straddles the ambient and electronica genres - drifting and meandering, yet built up into dreamy themes and shifting rhythms. There is plenty of detail, much to hold the attention, yet sparingly arranged, uncluttered and gentle. Twelve tracks in all mostly around the six minute mark or less - the final piece Land Of Birds drifting off into silence before fading up once more into a hidden encore of beatless tone.
- Morpheus Music