Elevations – Spotted Peccary Music SPM-1212
Elevations (Special Remastered Edition) by Erik Wøllo on the Spotted Peccary Music label, delivers a crisp electronic ambient experience. There are lots of new synthesizer textures and melodies that play gently, not imploringly, which is consistent with the mood, deep icy space that just keeps going higher and higher. There is never any hurry but there are changes in tempo from song to song. Also, a consistent use of synthesizer melodies within a light shimmering sequencer beat in most songs. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
There are 13 tracks on…
…this special remastered version of Elevations. The last track is appropriately titled “Hidden Ending” and is probably a bonus for the remastered version of the album’s second incarnation. Each one has a different charm but collectively the mood is consistently blissful and relaxing. There is no dissonance or jarring outburst hidden in there. It’s all going to keep you moving forward and upwards in an arctic chill with enormous views of strange worlds. I missed hearing the original 2007 release. Therefore, I have no idea what else is new and special about this 2019 remastered 24-bit edition, but this is pure electronic ambient bliss.
The first song, the singular “Elevation”, starts with a little bump that reverberates. Then there are some electronic birds, possibly seagulls, that soar and make their bird noises overhead. They are not too close by, but you know they are there. Things get going with a beat when the sequencer emerges from the synthglow. The pulse is subtle, keeping with the elegant mood. Eric Wøllo is a guitar player. However, this album has very little traditional electric or classical guitar sound on it, it’s all magic sounding. There is a superb video adaptation of “Elevation” on YouTube by Zrnho Correy which is awesome. See below.
Things continue like this…
…through the whole album Elevations. There are lots of new textures and melodies that play gently, not imploringly, which is consistent with the mood, deep icy space that just keeps going higher and higher. There is no hurry but there are changes in tempo from song to song. Also, there is a consistent use of synthesizer melodies within a shimmering sequencer beat in most songs. “Blue Odyssey” has a haunting repeating melody, synthesized tones with a glow on top of the beat, and occasional passing large celestial objects that whoosh as they go by. “The Wanderer” starts very gently then develops into a faster beat, as it goes further in its journey. The synth melody that emerges is hesitant and easy, the sequencer is glowing along high in the sky and the view is uncompromising. More celestial objects whoosh by.
“Evolution” eases in from…
…audio blackness, slowly a sequencer is heard gently throbbing along. Nifty percussion accents like shimmering steamy sheetmetal and there is a playful repeating melody which grows around the beat. “Sphere – Into The Dream” sounds to me like a steel electric guitar lightly finger-picked, flavored with a melody that is repeating, repeating, repeating within the glowing framework and always followed note by note closely by an ethereal synth flute.
“Red Odyssey” follows emerging from darkness and slowly blooms into a full synth orchestra up there on the lido deck with a bright breeze and endless horizons. There are plenty of layers, but they are not too crowded. There is a brisk pace and beat, an easy flow as you look out from the ship at the shining whitecaps and playing silver dolphins. The melody speaks to me of an epic journey through fabled waters and distant desert shores that are known from ancient songs and legends passed down over the centuries. “Novalis” has a prominent sequencer clipping right along, repeating with a building melody. This is another ocean journey but in a different place, perhaps touring the icebergs.
The transition from “Novalis” into…
…”A Sea Of Steps” is different from the audio black void between most numbers. There are little wet sounds of the water, perhaps from a calm ocean, very small to hear, you could miss them. This new song is fast and light, percussion sequencer melody with the beat that keeps breathing, this would also be great for a sustained exercise soundtrack, once it gets going. Perhaps you can use the quiet beginning for slower stretches. “Skyscape” glows into an extraordinary ethereal emergence, no beats! Go back to sleep and keep smiling as you dream of an expansive eternal magic sky. “Green Odyssey” has a beat, the melodic sequencer has what sounds to me like what you might hear riding overnight on a train. I could hear the whisper interlock of the steel rails below, shimmering layers of alternating synth keyboards and guitar birds.
Halfway through Elevations, we leave the ground and continue up into the green sky. “Arrow Of Time” has the warm sequencer glow within melodic patterns, light and tight and throbbing like a mirage target deep on the horizon. Each arrow has a journey, this one is easy, some are not. “The Land Of Birds” begins at dawn in a distant birdland with a classical guitar melody played in a dialog with those distant birds in the dawn glowlight. Now for the bonus track, “The Hidden End” glowing and echoing, then slowly fading sequencer rainbows shimmering on an icy ocean as seen from far above.
Wishing you were here!
Written by Robin James, March 8th, 2019