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My review of "Silent Currents (Live At Star's End)" 2xCD by Erik W°llo



Erik W°llo "Silent Currents (Live At Star's End)" 2xCD

This gorgeously looking 6-panel 2CD digipak (photos by Erik W°llo and Chuck van Zyl, design by Sam Rosenthal), released in September 2011, features on each CD a live radio performance at Star's End, legendary radio show delivering ambient music in the Philadelphia area since 1976. Utilizing processed electric guitars and guitar synthesizers, analog and digital synthesizers, Erik unfolds for all his listeners beautifully floating and emerging atmospheres and zones with hints of more active textures. Definitely colored with more deeper and droning environments than we are used to hear on previous works of this highly renowned Norwegian composer. Disc One documents Erik W°llo's live-to-air performance at April 27th, 2002, with 12 untitled compositions. It graciously floates from deeply evocative and longing pieces with expressive guitars ("Part 2", "Part 3", "Part 10") through spiraling aerials ("Part 4", "Part 6") to more quiet and serene spacewashes ("Part 5"), from more monumental ("Part 1"), nearly orchestral pieces ("Part 8") through rather tranquilizing ethereals ("Part 7", "Part 12") to hauntingly tribal-infused ("Part 11") or heart beat groove perfumed piece ("Part 9"). Quite colorful batch of compositions showcasing Erik's highly sensitive touch and craft to fuse wonderful atmospheres with radiant guitar arrangements. Disc Two, recorded at October 28th, 2007 and consisting of 14 sections, enters the stage with abyssal intro, that later shifts into more mechanizing and progressing level, yet still deeply evocative and hypnotic. "Part 2" remains on the darker route, while "Part 3" features minimal, but highly effective and absorbing high-tech grooves, magnificent! "Part 4" dives into more organic realms with bubling heart beats and expressive guitars, a truly subterranean sonic adventure! Slowed-down grooves on "Part 5" attractively color the deeper drifts. Ethereal and slightly dramatic "Part 6" evokes highly imaginative sky high odyssey while "Part 7" is painted by some spooky cosmic soundscapes. This sonic tension is easily relieved through "Part 8" with its more breathing and colossal texture and yearning guitar riffs. Strongly aerial and mesmerizing "Part 9" is gently enriched by some quiet pulses on the background. High-tech grooves, organics and guitars are the main flavors of the following three pieces, with "Part 12" being the most expressive and melancholic. Watery sounds on "Part 13" soon traverse into sequenced high-tech bubling trancey tune, a truly submersible journey! "Part 14" with stratospheric ambience graciously closes this exciting sonic adventure loaded with skillful arrangements and superb performance merging electronics with guitars. Erik W°llo crosses on "Silent Currents" wider spectrum of moods, distinctively blending darker and lighter elements into musically superior masterpiece!!! An ambient/electronic ace at his finest!!!

Richard GŘrtler (Nov 01, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)

drone on:
Nice review.  Yes, this is a great album, one of 2011 best.


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