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Erik W°llo's Elevations
Erik W°llo's Elevations
Celestial evocations inspired by the night skies in the land of the midnight sun Erik W°llo
(Spotted Peccary)
It's hard to resist picking an Erik W°llo album as a CD of the Month. We've done it once or twice when CDs have been released in close proximity, but every album could be a CD of the month no-brainer. We picked Wind Journey in 2001 and Blue Sky, Red Guitars in 2004. His music captures everything I think of as quintessentially Echoes: evocative, enveloping ambiences, soaring, heart-baring melodies, and kinetic, propulsive grooves, all orchestrated in electro-organic sound. Just about all of his CDs are perfect and Elevations is no exception.

Erik W°llo has always been a master of mixing deep churning textures with synthesized and acoustic elements. It's like folk music for the electronic village. Tracks like "The Wanderer" are cinematic adventures, surging forward on insistent, tribal rhythms that have a loping, behind the beat feel, chords that play out like slow sunrises and a lead guitar line that sings in harmonic sustains. Songs like "Evolution" are like electro-symphonies, morphing through minimalist moods, guitar exposition and crescendos into the heavens.

It's easy to characterize W°llo's music as coming from the frozen north of Norway with its blasted landscapes and long winter nights. But indeed, Elevations overflows with chilly scenes of winter and implications of Norse mythology and heroic vistas. It's music that has epic dimensions, but with a minimalist's restrained elegance. Elevations lives up to its title, which is why we picked it as our February 2007 CD of the Month.