Boomkat Product Review:
Smalltown Supersound look to early Norwegian ambient music with Erik Wøllo’s ‘Sources (Early Works 1986-1992)’, taken from previously unheard tapes and remastered by Helge Sten (Deathprod). Made using a Roland MSQ700 sequencer in real time with multiple MIDI synths and modules, Wøllo’s music inside ‘Sources (Early Works 1986-1992)’ was written off the cuff and never really intended for release. Now 27 years later, it will surely appeal to a generation nurtured on synth music, taking in 10 magnificent, icy vistas that sound like pre-echoes of music to come from Biosphere and Arve Henriksen.
"Wøllo, who has been a professional artist since 1980, has covered a wide range of styles, from rock and jazz to experimental electronic and classical music. He was one of the first Norwegian composers who adapted a minimalistic style, building a bridge between grand symphonic realms and gentle, serene sounds. His musical statements range from slowly-drifting kaleidoscopic passages to epic soaring guitar melancholy, to upbeat ever-changing sequences and compelling melodies. Possessing a sense of drama and storytelling, Wøllo has been composing and performing music for films, theatre, ballets, and art exhibitions. As well as music for string quartets and large orchestras.
He has collaborated with some of the most respected artists in the ambient music world: Steve Roach, Ian Boddy, Byron Metcalf, Bernhard Wöstheinrich, amongst others. Sources joins Wøllo’s nearly 40-album catalogue.
Comprised of 10 previously unreleased tracks, Sources was originally recorded surrounding the album sessions that spun Dreams Of Pyramids(1984), Traces (1985), and Silver Beach (1986). This was the start of a very fruitful and inspired period for Wøllo, thanks to modernized technology like MIDI and inspiration from music from all over the globe.
“There was lots of new equipment coming out during these years, and this reflects the music I made at the time.” Wøllo says. “There was also a lot of great electronic music released. I was inspired by artists like Hassell, Eno and Budd. Also a big influence was Klaus Schulze after seeing him at the legendary Oslo club, Club 7 in 1984.”
The spacey sounds on Sources show a clear line of cosmic excursions between Wøllo’s early releases to modern day fellow Norwegian travellers Lindstrøm, Bjørn Torske, and Prins Thomas. Sources remained untouched, transferred from tapes that Wøllo had made years ago, before Helge Sten (Deathprod) mastered the material in his Audio Virus Lab. The collection was mostly created with a Roland MSQ 700 sequencer, in real time with several MIDI synths/modules recorded directly to either a 2-track stereo recorder or 4-track Tascam Portastudio."