Electroambient Space (USA):
Erik Wøllo is known for his melodic touch and Bernhard Wöstheinrich is known for his technical wizardry and cutting edge
sounds. Put them together, and you get the best of both worlds on Arcadia Borealis. “The Wayfarers” has a catchy beat and
melody, with a cool Vangelis-like lead line. “Exploration” blends ethereal shimmering sounds with glitchy percussion and
grooving bass. The disc is inspired by 18th century Arctic explorers, though Wøllo’s characteristic warmth perfectly
balances the precision of Wöstheinrich’s loops and beats. “Solar Wind” is a typical result, relaxed soothing night music,
slightly chilled with Arctic air. “Airship” is equally mellow although it adds quirky percussion that shuffles briskly along.
By the time “Terrestrial Magnetism” comes along, the disc has fully established an ultra cool vibe that continues right
through to the end. Alternating between delicately intricate electronica and floating space music, Arcadia Borealis is a
thoroughly entertaining journey.
- Phil Derby
Bernhard Wöstheinrich speaks in his own musical voice. Providing a unique perspective in
his increasingly frequent
collaborations in the DiN label catalogue, Wöstheinrich has
quietly been playing with and influencing some of our
community's most interesting talents
. On Arcadia Borealis (63'23") Erik Wøllo takes his turn. His introspective approach
music results in the distillation of emotion while Wöstheinrich's private symbolism
represents an urge for self-expression
and release. The musical arc of this CD moves
from curiously beautiful on the opening tracks to beautifully curious on the
Each of the 12 pieces is fully formed and thoughtful. The more energetic songs are driven
by firm beats amidst
simultaneously sounding musical lines. With harmonies trailing
behind melodies these shimmering works draw their power
from the arctic regions upon
which this music is based - informing the dramatic outline of Arcadia Borealis.
As this album plays out it slows down, with each work disintegrating into swirling
unanchored abstractions of sustained tonal
ambiance. An intriguing listening experience,
Arcadia Borealis benefits from great conceptualization, arranging and
Together this duo pulls off their first collaboration with startling brilliance.
- Chuck Van Zyl
Ultima Fronteira Radio (Spain):
The UK label DIN, created and directed by Ian Boddy, presents a unique collaboration between
Erik Wollo and
Bernhard Wöstheinrich, two fantastic musicians.
is an excellent guitarist from Norway who has
released many great albums and collaborated with musicians such as Steve Roach. This is his first release on DIN.
Wöstheinrich is a german musician who began his
musical career in 1988. In 1990 he created the duo Subsonic Experience
and in 1996 he formed the well known Centrozoon project together with guitarist Markus Reuter.
These two musicians met in 2007, at the E-Live festival in Eindhoven and from there they got the idea to create this work.
is a tribute to the conquerors of the Arctic areas in the eighteenth century, a century full of adventurers and explorers. Wollo/Wöstheinrich are exploring a new musical territory that is just magic and has a lot of mystery, adventure
and the desire of experimentation.
"Arcadia Borealis" has twelve tracks where Erik is mostly responsible for creating the beautiful melodic elements with sound
waves and gentle soundscapes, where Bernhard adds most of the experimental sounds and the organic rhythms. The twelve
magnificent tracks are all translating the wisdom of its creators and creates a beautiful work to enjoy and dream of recreating the landscape,
almost mythical, unattainable for most mortals.
"Arcadia Borealis" is a magnificent work made by two great composers, an album we really like.
For those who appreciate
beautiful compositions and melodies, will enjoy the music note by note.
"Aurora Borealis" is an album that is recommended.
- Roberto Vales
Guts Of Darkness (France):
The label Din is recognized to offer a high-quality contemporary music, the approach of which is not really accessible to
all ears. Certainly there are exceptions, as Arc and Ian Boddy's certain works in the electronic British School sound textures,
but the big totality of this English label works are as well contemporary as inaccessible to a vast public. A public curious
about evolutionary tones on hybrid rhythmic structures. Arcadia Borealis of Wollo/Wöstheinrich duet is the artistic
collaboration between the Norwegian musician, Erik Wollo with its so poetic and melodious musical approach,
to sound wizard Bernhard Wöstheinrich with is tones and music as complex as resourceful. A skillful mixture where the
romantic poetry of Wollo perfumes sound structures tinted with an audacious sound montage which pummels the soft
melodious fragrance that gleans almost everywhere on this surprising album which wants to be a tribute to the Big North
and its explorers.
Noises of a wild nature behind ochre synthetic breaths open The Wayfarers. A soft romantic synth floats on cymbals to
discreet clicking sounds in an avian sound fauna, paving a horologic pace hemmed by a bass line of which a symphonic
synth plunges into a delicious melodious sphere. The Wayfarers dances on a heavy rhythm, set ablaze by magnificent
melodious synthesized stratas which blow off its leaves on a dry cadence, punctuated by a brief atmospheric stop,
in a sound universe filled of rich poetic paradox. An opening which draws the canvas of an album to harmonious tints on
passages at once ambient, ethereal and sometimes lively, on luxurious melodious stratas which embrace a surprising
eclectic approach. Exploration continues with a similar intro. The rhythm is supple and ballads on a pealing synth.
To the mid point, the melodious part is crushed by a passage with arrhythmic pulsations, before plunging again in the
harmonious universe of its overture.
And so unravel Arcadia Borealis. Whether it is with sweet and soft musical pieces, as Solar Wind, who offers a sweet jazzy
structure stuffed with poetic layers wrapped by a soft solitary piano, or still the pleasant Terrestrial Magnetism who inhales
the Scandinavian boreal solitude, every title bathes in a musical atmosphere to miles composite tones. Even the most
ambient and atmospheric tracks as White Sea, or the nervous Nautilus, the hemming Midnight Sun, the solitary Hemisphere
Nord, the enigmatic Polaris and the very beautiful and closing Decampment To Arcadia or others more sparkling tracks as
Airship, Mirror Image and The Wayfarers soak into this multi-tones atmosphere where the boundaries of heterogeneous
seem unlimited in the imagination of Wöstheinrich, creating a musical screen also fascinating as unexpected.
Arcadia Borealis is a beautiful album, strange to hear but still a beauty. A nice musical adventure where Erik Wollo's
melodious lyricism faces Bernhard Wöstheinrich's sounds immoderate, who takes well care of keeping intact the poetic
feelings of his one opus companion. A bewitching opus which inhales the paradox of the wild beauty of Nordic countries,
isolated as still unknown world.
- Sylvain Lupari
Arcadia Borealis is probably the first release on the label for some time that stands
any real chance of appealing
established fanbase. Wøllo and Wösteinrich
devise sonic atmospheres designed to evoke the sense of
a polar environment as would have been experienced by 18th century explorers.
The ultimate effect
of these sound designs is
a generally very favourable one,
offering plenty of density and texture
to immerse yourself in,
and the pictorial
the sleeve signpost the occasion nicely.
Sonic curiosity (USA):
This release from 2009 offers 63 minutes of polar electronic music.
An engaging blend of bubbling and frigid electronics are utilized to capture the mood and thrill of
Arctic explorers in the 18th Century when they ventured into the great unknown of the frozen north.
The electronics are crisp and bewitching. Chilling atmospherics evoke vast icy expanses, while substantial
electronics populate this wasteland with instances of drama and wayfaring courage. Additional textures serve
to add density to the harmonic compositions. A bevy of auxiliary electronics contribute melodic definition
and cyclic propulsion.
A dose of subtly gritty sounds blend nicely with the slippery demeanor adopted by the majority of the
electronic instrumentation. Shuddering pulsations ooze along, pursued by frozen surfs that cascade and
delicate washes of sounds that fuse contemporary and ilbient sensibilities into a novel modern style of EM.
Percussion is periodically employed to heighten a song’s tension. Meanwhile, in other tracks electronic
effects provide a rhythmic presence. Most of the tempos are relaxed, but somehow manage to inject a
snappy undercurrent to the flowing music.
These compositions excellently capture the arctic environment with their glistening mien,
while the performers’ smooth collaboration enliven things with their inventive approach.
The sultry tunes exhibit a dreamy quality seasoned with touches of alluring pep, resulting
in ambient music possessing a tasteful degree of animation.
2010 Matt Howarth.