With such a title one expects (and gets) an album of cosmic-inspired instrumental music taking on a melodic and cinematic approach. Scandinavian multi-instrumentalist and composer Sverre Knut Johansen spent two years in crafting the 70-minute outcome, giving his own voice to a mix of melodic, spacy and ambient electronics with energetic/progressive touches.
The latter refers to some upfront e-guitar licks by Eivind Aarset, which can also turn out more soaring on other passages of “Planets”. The symphonic layering of emotive synth textures and the use of rhythmic structures remind of Erik Wollo quite a lot, as these evoke a similar elevating, lyrical and captivating kind of sonic storytelling, but also the intimate mood created by Kevin Braheny’s EWI-flavored music comes to mind.
It’s a pity though he blows the moody, spacious sphere on “Planets II” with some improvised voice-synth soloing and too harsh guitar work. It’s the latter that also makes “Planets III” less beautiful, although I like what’s heard underneath.
The 11-minute “Origins” following after it is a completely different story: a free form, soft dwelling and circular ambient space that’s gently set in motion in the last few minutes. I easily it call my favorite track on the release, although the two-part “Dreamspace” also creates some beautiful cosmic sonic scenery (despite some passages with again this scorching e-guitar).
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Sverre Knut Johansen artist page
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