Author Topic: My review of "Earth Luminous" CD by Erik W°llo and Byron Metcalf  (Read 269 times)

richardgurtler

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Erik W°llo and Byron Metcalf "Earth Luminous" CD

Two virtuosos, Norwegian ambient guitar ace Erik W°llo and American aural curandero Byron Metcalf, join their forces for a truly essential splendor entitled "Earth Luminous". Out on Projekt since the end of April 2016, 4-panel digipak is graced by an aerial delight photographed by Ian Dutton (a husband of Shea Hovey, Projekt's maven) from his cockpit, while Sam Rosenthal did the graphic design. Erik W°llo is credited also for mixing and mastering.

Nearly 9-minute "Days Of Magic" is ignited by ear-tickling crystalline tinkles and bubbles, which are precisely bridged with Erik W°llo's heartwarmingly embracing washes, while Byron Metcalf soon reveals his gossamery fragranced udu and drum brilliance. Erik's velvety string subtleties clandestinely join the stage as well. A pure aural bliss awaits here and no matter if with your headphones on or through your speakers. This is an ultimate showcase of two phenomenal musicians exquisitely merging their spirited signatures, more please, gentlemen!!! And this spectacle obviously continues with "Light And Ground", when cyber-tech infused arrangements are exquisitely amalgamated with mesmerizing shaker medicine, vibrantly galloping tribal drums and vigorously infectious udu, while gladdening panoptic meanders are guarding above reinforced here and there by intangible glossolalias and organic signals. Abundantly flavored masterpiece!!! "Far Wandered" is as much propelled by the passion and the poignancy of both protagonists as its predecessor. Byron's hyper active and intensely hypnotic drums (frame and ceremonial) and shakers are meticulously juxtaposed by Erik's headlining Berlin School pulses and grippingly longing solitudes. Soul stirring elixir is served here in a large dose! "Valley Of Spheres" calms down the journey with a potpourri of translucent bleeps, udu and drum quietudes and evocative blankets, revealing charming laid-back downtempos. Beauty!!! "Distant Future" dives into more meditative terrains, driven by languid drumming accompanied by slightly cacophonous traceries, before inconspicuously transmuting through gently stringed tension into captivatingly nanced panoramic sceneries. "Diomedea" returns to vivaciously sublime, euphorically infused and spellbindingly celestial paths, while the next piece, the title composition "Earth Luminous" straightly shifts into sparklingly exuberant zones, masterfully navigated by Erik's cyber-biotic horizons counterpointed by shimmering strings and Byron's passionate drum wizardry. Auxiliary scenic meridians join this dazzlingly invigorating splectacle along with shamanic shaker opiates. A truly triumphant ethereal-cyber-trance-tribal magnificence displaying superiorly distinctive, yet impeccably commingled hallmarks of two like-minded and hugely experienced maestros. Certainly one of the album's ultimate pinnacles!!! The closing, 5-plus minutes long "Linked Stars" (all other tracks are clocking roughly between 7 and 9 minutes), is the only composition recorded live in the studio (at Byron's The Lair in September 2015). Poignantly evocative stringed tinkles bridged with enfolding curtains and contemplative bowls clandestinely metamorphose into gorgeously expansive and utterly engrossing serenities, gliding towards eternally sequestered rainy stillness. Exhaustively immersing outro!!!

In a nutshell, over 63-minute "Earth Luminous" is a fully blooming sonic palette loaded with two exceptionally gifted musicianships and superb sound quality delivers a truly rewarding listening experience. "Earth Luminous" is undoubtedly a milestone and one of the highlights of 2016 indeed, bravo, Erik and Byron!!! But be prepared for more, because only 5 months later after this collaboration Byron Metcalf has released his another opus entitled "Inner Rhythm Meditations" featuring lushly vital contributions by Erik W°llo and Peter Phippen. And since March 2017 we glorify another Projekt's release, this time Erik W°llo's monumental "Different Spaces" 2CD. Explore, enjoy and celebrate all these sonic gifts!!!

Richard GŘrtler (Apr 15, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)