Artist: Erik Wøllo
Images of Light

Released: 1 February 2012
Label: Wanderings

TracesImages of LightSolstice
Early work can seem small in the accompanying glare of an artist's latest achievement. This is not at all so for Erik Wøllo. His three albums Traces, Images of Light and Solstice (remastered and reissued including previously unreleased bonus tracks as a three disc set) still sound fresh and modern long after their original release. Having this music once again available will certainly enhance the listening pleasure of Wøllo's international fanbase, but will also be of great interest to those wishing to track his ascent. Traces (1985) has many distinctions, one of which was being the first-ever all-electronic release out of Norway. On this album and later on Images of Light (1990) and Solstice (1992) we hear Wøllo combining the influences of prog-rock, ambient and classical chamber music into a fluid procession of bright sounds, steady rhythms and striking musical phrasing. It was on these three albums that Wøllo perfected the communication of a multitude of emotions in fairly short compositions. He also developed a synthesized allusion to the tribal sound samples and digital grooves soon to change music forever. Listening to these early works we hear many of the foundational rhythms and beats, especially on Traces, were enlisted not from world music samples but created using synthesizers. This, along with his distinctive guitar playing and song arranging, established Wøllo as a significant creative talent; one whose early music has been built upon time and time again by a great number of new grown artists. So many of Wøllo's innovations have found their way into the genre that his music has achieved a kind of timelessness - which is why these three CDs, now well over 20 years old, still sound like new. But more significantly what may also be heard on Traces, Images of Light and Solstice is an artist at the beginning of a meaningful career in music and fully realizing an incredibly polished novice work - a work connected more directly to the creative spirit than what may be achievable by an older and more veteran musician.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   26 July 2012

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