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Erik Wøllo — Recurrence
(Projekt PRO371, 2021, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-01-31

Recurrence Cover art

With forty-plus releases to his credit since his 1983 debut, this Norwegian guitarist continues his evolution as a composer and arranger on a number of different instruments (mainly guitar and synthesizers) and offers new surprises on each of his sonic endeavors. Recurrence is Wøllo’s first new release since his mid-2020 collaboration with Michael Stearns, Convergence. One might be surprised to find a grand sense of majesty and variety within these grooves, offering a powerful and delicately balanced set of compositions that give the listener a keen sense of atmospherics, bursts of tonal color, shimmering rhythms and sequences, and a fortifying sense of beauty throughout all of the album’s eight tracks. Some pieces are soft, gentle and delicate, some are more forceful and deliberately powerful — and others, like the ten minute opening title track, move effortlessly from one pole to the other, morphing with subtlety. Here, Wøllo goes it alone, credited with electric guitar, guitar synthesizer, keyboard synthesizers and sequencers, percussion, programming, and some very occasional acoustic guitars; as such one (perhaps one who hasn’t heard Wøllo before) might get the idea that the sound here is very electronic based, and so it is, but it encompasses much more than your standard Berlin School routines. Wøllo coaxes many unusual and often breathtaking sounds out of his instruments throughout, like the sonic subtleties on “Oblivion” where numerous layers of shimmering sounds interact gently as the piece unfolds and proceeds. “Dream River 1” stretches out in an introspective display of beautiful colorations like a breeze over the water at sunset. Listeners who download the album will get three additional tracks (twenty minutes worth) as opposed to what’s available on compact disc, but either way Recurrence stands strong as one of Wøllo’s finest achievements to date.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Erik Wøllo

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