Different Spaces is Erik Wollo’s 21st full-length album, a double CD nearly two and a half hours long. For me, this is the best Erik Wollo solo release since 2010’s Gateway, and possibly his best and accomplished album to date.
Composed with guitar and electronics, the album features textured, gliding synths and sequenced rhythms that often provide a foundation for the guitar to take a lead melodic role. If you’re familiar with Wollo’s music, you know that his guitar work is tasteful and never overwrought or intrusive so as to distract from the other musical elements. The same holds true here. The sequences and percussion on this album represent a step forward for Wollo, to my ears. Here, they are subtler, more carefully done, and more contemporary feeling than on any of his previous work I’ve heard.
At times, certain tracks on the album slow down to a rippling pool of immersive, slow-moving ambience whereas other parts are upbeat and driving. I’d even call some sections of the album “catchy”, such as the guitar melody that appears just shy of two minutes into Pilgrim Way.
The general mood of the album is slightly icy and melancholy with enough of light coming through to balance things out. Like all the best music of this type, it holds up well over repeated listens and is effective for both concentrated and background listening.