|6||The Great White||8:24|
|13||Northern Lights Alap|
Violin [Electric] –
- Mastered By –
- 2 years after Images Of Light, Erik Wøllo was back with a new CD on Origo Sound. Solstice is magnificent electronic soundscapes, interspersed with lyrical solo parts and backed by exciting and varied rhythms. The album draws inspiration from distant cultures, including the well-known Indian violinist L. Subramaniam on the closing track Northern Lights Alap. The album has a lot in common with Peter Gabriel in instrumental tapping, but at the same time with clear references to internationally known musicians such as Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Michael Stearns and Steve Roach. The CD is a very smooth affair, with songs that keep the same standard throughout.
Solstice I is rhythmic, a guitar line is central in an almost pop-like expression. Voyager contains a melody line very typical of Wøllo, the song is constantly in progress and it has a "busy" expression. Abracada is in minor key and it stumbles away in a "slow" rhythm. Province has a floating and ambient melody line, it is arctic and cold but has an exciting melody and a rhythmic background. Nevertheless, one hears here that Erik Wøllo is not distinctly melodic. The Great White is exceptionally hovering and relaxing, it then merges into a melody line before ending as it began. Solstice II is also in progress, has a "commercial" expression, but would have benefited from a more varied soundscape. Capricorn has a peculiar melody, the theme is good and varied, and the special rhythm moves almost in the direction of electronic jazz. Vocalist Katarina Floden sings like an angel on the very moving Andromeda, which is not a rock opera but rather a space opera, if such a thing exists. The organ theme is varied and melancholy, and here we find Wøllo in a very experimental corner. Chant Pastiche is more dramatic, visual, cinematic and fateful, and fully shows that Norwegian film producers made a mistake when they never contacted Erik Wøllo with questions about film music for Norwegian feature films! The last cut is Northern Lights Alap, and the electric violin is in the center, the east meets the northern lights, the ultimate tranquility is a fact, and the journey is over.
Solstice became one of Erik Wøllo's biggest commercial and critical successes. The United States really opened its eyes to the musician, and many consider the album a timeless classic in electronic music. It was a pity therefore that this became Wøllo's last ordinary studio album on Origo Sound.
-Jon Aanensen, 2004