Erik Wøllo: Tundra
While music is often referred to as “the quickening art”, one does not need their entire body to respond to the work of Erik Wøllo, just their mind. His work emanates from a poetic and imaginative world where but a few choice spirits live. For his EP Tundra (29’10”) Wøllo produces a range of intriguing tracks. The periodic adding in of Inuit throat singer samples bestows an exotic simplicity to this decidedly hi-tech production – which is one where the connection between opposites is reinforced in hopes of slowing the break-neck pace of our times, and thus perhaps (in some small way) bring calm to an unbalanced world. Wøllo, our champion melodist, on Tundra again gives us the captivating E-bow guitar leads we have come to enjoy so much – these lines spinning out fluidly above expeditionary percussion loops and pulsing electronic inspired grooves. Synthesizer chords build and sustain, then activate in shifting contrasts. Yet other compositions are less kinetic with contemplative space emerging out of layered tones and drones. Some of the five tracks on Tundra suggest a yearning for spiritual fulfillment through increasingly bright hues and mounting forms, while others explore the lure of the unfamiliar, the remote and the primitive. There are also passages where Wøllo links to Nature as an elemental force, and as a place where beauty exists as part of everyday life rather than as an escape from it. As with all of Wøllo’s releases the use of sound on Tundra is not only dramatic but infinitely subtle in its scale of values and carries a hidden story. But to know him too well might affect our experience of his music too much. This music seems quite of its own period. Anyone with a heart should be able to feel it.