Produced by Paul Ellis|
- The Unveiling Ravenous Evening [17:14]
- The Last Hiding Place Of Beauty [16:24]
- The Note, The Walk In The Rain And The Umbrella [16:24]
- The Hydroelectric Spinning Heart [10:21]
Mastered by Ron Boots
Le synthétiste américain Paul Ellis n'est pas un enfant de la dernière pluie de notes flûtées, et après une dizaine d'albums, il occupe une place de choix parmi ses pairs. Son dernier opus décliné en 4 pièces sous un titre évocateur, ne faillit pas au précédent jugement. Il faut dire qu'à l'instar d'un Edgar Froese, Ellis fait côtoyer avec un réel bonheur instruments acoustico-électriques (guitares et basses) et machines synthétiques (séquenceurs, synthés, drum machine). Et la cerise sur ce gâteau, ce sont les mellotrons qu'il sème partout.
The Unveiling Ravenous Evening commence ainsi comme une pièce acoustique de Steve Hackett avant que séquenceurs et synthés prennent le pouvoir pour une musique sans cesse plus oppressante. The Last Hiding Place of Beauty et The Note, the Walk in the Rain and the Umbrella se réfèrent plus à la musique progressive, l'un en revisitant les premières œuvres de Jean-Michel Jarre, l'autre évoquant le Tangerine Dream de Tangram fusionné avec quelques lignes jazzy et les méandres atmosphériques de David Parsons. Le dernier morceau refait la part belle aux guitares acoustiques et aux mellotrons métissés avec flûte et violon pour embrayer sur des boucles de percussion avec une belle mise en présence des basses.
Dommage qu'il soit chroniqué le même trimestre que celui de Gert Emmens, j'en aurais fait mon indispensable du présent numéro.
2010. LouLou / Prog-résiste
Those who love rather complex and dynamic sequencer music with an acoustic edge and an occasional high-tech feel should check out the music Paul Ellis' has put down on his amazing album "Last Hiding Place of Beauty".
The cd contains four long tracks, all making a powerful, straightforward statement, keenly melting vibrating sequencer patterns, fx's, and a wide range of vintage flavored synthesizer textures such as Mellotron flute. As said previously, the overall structure is rather complex, although lots of space is found within the core of every piece of music. The great interplay between bass grooves, drums, electronic and acoustic instruments is quite mind blowing, especially on the 16-minute title track.
The overall outcome is simply breathing the joy of honest electronics more than once.
"Last Hiding Place of Beauty" really kicks some ass, so make sure you get your hands on a copy.
Great job, Paul!
Bert Strolenberg / Sonicimmersion
Is Electronic Music an Art or a Science? Paul Ellis will tell you that it is both.
While realized using machines his CD The Last Hiding Place of Beauty (60'00") is straight out of Ellis' own inner theater - traveling from his mind to ours. This beautifully constructed work includes bold and truly innovative ideas. From relentless sequencer phrases that jump through dramatic key changes and vivid sonic forms rolling to Prog inspired crescendos, to the dreamy inwardness of an adagio for Mellotron and synth; The Last Hiding Place of Beauty lingers on exquisite instrumental detail without halting the music's momentum. By combining equal portions of Classical, Ambient and Spacemusic with smart synth and acoustic instrumental arrangements - Ellis' synthesized orchestra yields a most listenable art.
Knowing that the imaginary lines of genre are only there to be crossed Paul Ellis demonstrates a sense of ease and adventure that comes with longevity.
2009. Chuck van Zyl / STAR'S END
Quietly, Paul Ellis built himself a robust reputation in the magnificent and complex universe of EM. The Last Hiding Place Of Beauty (what magnificent title) is already its 11th work. An opus sculptured in the musical poetry where the American synthesist draws from its vast musical experience to immerse all the styles with a rarely exploited philosophic sweetness.
The Unveiling Ravenous Evening presents a folkloric intro of the medieval era, with a beautiful acoustic guitar supported by a soft fluty mellotron. A delicious intro which thaws in the sweet hopping strikes of a fine sequencer and a harmonious loopy synth. Enchantress, The Unveiling Ravenous Evening progresses on his fine modulations, maintaining his harmonious ascent on a structure slightly bolero where sequencers, synths and percussions merge in a fuller of life harmony, becoming more and more heavy.
After a short atmospheric intro, the title track flows on a nervous sequencer lighting a synth to strange reverberations.
The rhythm beats its measure to fine and hopping sequenced percussions on an electronic structure reminding JM Jarre’s first works, but with a sharply more progressive touch. Arpeggios flutter frivolously while the sequencer encircles the movement of an enchanting heaviness, leading the structure on a hypnotic, vertiginous and aggressive crescendo which explodes of a rhythmic to looping ascents. A great track filled with sound effects which attract the hearing.
A strange neurotic typist working in the fog opens the misty and atmospheric The Note, The Walk In The Rain And The Umbrella. A short musical novel which hears itself on a pleasant fluty and violoned Mellotron, which waltzs slowly in a cosmic nothingness with a fusion of sound effects as heterogeneous as its title can allow. Slowly we dive into a more progressive musical universe, with a heavy bass which bites a structure where fine guitar buckles modulate a lonely harmony.
A harmony which is dying in the breaths of a forlorn Mellotron under a delicate rain, adding a nostalgic romance who continues on the acoustic guitar chords on The Hydroelectric Spinning Heart's opening. Another title where the progressive / electronic fusion is brilliantly fiddle about to magical flutes and violins, with rhythms animated by a wave-like heaviness on brief static passages.
Paul Ellis’s The Last Hiding Place Of Beauty is a surprising musical journey where his composer makes us listen all of his creative inspiration. A happy blend which broods wonderful melodies on structures full of life, readies to be open to beauties
2009. Sylvain Lupari / Guts Of Darkness
The new album by Paul Ellis consists of four tracks, all of them of monumental proportions.
"The Unveiling Ravenous Evening" starts in a folky mode, with acoustic guitars and a Mellotron flute - very pastoral and flowing. It is then substituted by echoing sequences of various breeds. A cute four-note melody plays on top, repeating over and over again - pretty hypnotic stuff. Another excellent melody appears - of the type that stick in your head for ages. At the same time, the sound and mood is pretty restrained, if not very minimal. A very beautiful melodic sequence starts, complimented by even more sequencing. The pulsations then depart, leaving us with a sense of uneasiness, surrounded by throbbing bass and subtle drums. A fat bass throb welcomes sequences so beautiful, it's uncanny. There's a multitude of sounds, both lower and higher register ones. At the same time, the track stays firmly within the boundaries of contemporary Berlin School. Tribal mood dominates the last stretch of this track, with percussion becoming more prominent, while the electronic elements take a back seat.
The title track arrives on the wave of chirping synthesizers and resonant drones. A wonderful upbeat melodic sequence fades in, as new sequences are unleashed, going at quite a pace. This is rather intense stuff that, however, never goes over the top and always retains a melodic edge. Several key changes follow with this track being based exclusively on the sequences. Bass frequencies start to dominate as a few piano notes are heard. We even get a bit of what sounds like real drums or a very nice replica thereof after the 10-minute mark. I must also add that the track turns into quite a sonic mayhem by this point. A prominent bass sequence gives this a classic Berlin School flair. Resonating bell-like sounds finish off this intense piece of sequential art.
"The Note, The Walk in the Rain and The Umbrella" starts with the sound of pen scribbling on paper before a moody soundscape sets in. The latter is dominated by flutes and pads and is very melancholic. Sounds of rain can just be heard. This melodic piece has something of a Classical feel to it - all the tolling bells, flutes, strings, steel guitars... Wonderful! An almost Rock-like diversion follows, with acoustic-sounding bass and lots of guitar melodies. Has Paul landed straight in the middle of the Psychedelic era by means of some unknown electronic device or what? Whatever the case, this sounds just great. The final section returns to the Neoclassical structures, this time sounding more gloomy and foggy, with extra electronic embellishments. Absolutely unique and wonderful!
Steel guitar notes echoing into the distance open "The Hydroelectric Spinning Heart". Airy and featherweight, it sounds like a dream half-remembered, a walk among the clouds or a look at the rainbow colors reflected in a drop of dew. Absolutely NOT New Age music with quite a New Age imagery, in a good sense. This track is like a soothing balm for your soul. An upbeat section follows, dominated by a tolling bell (disappears after a few minutes), a piano melody and an urgent tribal rhythm. This music is so emotionally charged, with its rotary melodies and various electronic sparkles, it's simply unbelievable.
Just when you thought it was impossible to repeat the success of Paul's previous albums, in comes "The Last Hiding Place of Beauty" and there's nothing left to do other than to admit that the man has created a masterpiece. Again.
2009. Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music
This release from 2009 offers 60 minutes of beautiful electronic music.
This music displays a winsome fragility with its lavish electronics applied with restraint to conjure a mood of appreciation for inner beauty over extravagant flash.
The electronics are very fluid, seasoning harmonic textures with pleasant melodies. Lovely riffs are established, then loop and allowed to transform through interaction with other sonic elements. A degree of synthetic effects produces a quirky undercurrent that nicely enhances the romantic air embodied by the tunes.
While rhythms are employed, these tempos maintain a gentility that submerges them in the mix instead of making the beats stand out as a method of propulsion. They contribute locomotion, but only on a subtle level.
There are moments of intensity, but even these are colored with a sense of control that suppresses any harshness, leaving these pinnacles to glisten with amiable sanguinity.
Synthesized woodwinds appear briefly in the first track’s intro, but they feature prominently in the third piece, evoking a pastoral demeanor to balance the music’s general organic feeling. Gentle guitars also contribute to this track, producing a lovely melancholy in tandem with twinkling chimes and ethereal atmospheric tones.
This soothing guitar ( which escalates from strumming to twangy definition) is continued in the last piece, generating a romantic air that builds in strength with the introduction of actual drums, bell-tones and moodily deep electronics.
With only four tracks on this album, these compositions are afforded ample room to establish themselves and exhibit charming evolutions. The melodies are pacific and superbly capture a sense of beauty that is often absent in modern EM. Instead of being expansive, these tunes tend to constrict the listener’s attention, helping them to focus on details both audible and internal.
Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
Melancholy flute and gently strummed acoustic guitar play like a sad movie soundtrack for the first 1:08 of this album, which may have people scratching their heads just a bit. But from 1:09 forward, this is some great electronic music, starting with bubbly, percolating synthetic percussion which appears to be inspired by Klaus Schulze’s classic "Totem." The percussive pattern laid down continues for the next 16 minutes, but varies enough to keep things interesting.
Different themes are skillfully interwoven into the greater whole every few minutes. The atmosphere is mellow, cool. Rapid sequencing takes over about 7:00 in, but Paul’s sense of melody and sonic layers keeps this far from being derivative Berlin school.
Speaking of brisk sequencing, the 16-minute title track moves rapidly throughout, building layers and intensity as it goes. The bass sequence in the latter part reminds me a lot of O Head’s classic first album Silent Universe.
My favorite track is the laid back "The Note, The Walk In The Rain & The Umbrella". Airy flutes and sparse synths have a calming effect, as does the relaxed bass line in the middle. Though a quiet mood piece, there is more going on here than in your typical ambient track. I really like how Paul allows each track a big open space to breathe and grow, and this one may be the best example of that.
A very clean guitar sound and piano begin the beautiful closing number, "The Hydroelectric Spinning Heart." Another mood piece, this is the softest yet, concluding the disc in a wonderfully understated manner.
This is easily my favorite Paul Ellis album, and one of the better releases of 2009.
2009. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
Paul Ellis had developed himself into a mighty force in electronic music. After his fantastic 2005-album "Silent Conversations" on which the American multi-instrumentalist (synthesizers, guitars, bass, rhythms) worked with guest musicians like Steve Roach and Jeffrey Koepper and the solo-album "The Infinity Room" from 2006, he returns with "The Last Hiding Place Of Beauty".
This last hiding place was created visually by the innovative designer Pablo Magne through a really great cover. The mixture between good music and a fine cover always does well. Fitting like a glove.
Ellis was one of the founders of the retroband Dweller At The Threshold with which he recorded some memorable music. Solo, he has created classics with albums like "The Secred Ordinary", "Silent Conversations" and "The Infinity Room" on the Groove Unlimited label. Also, he released "Echo System" with his fellow American and stylemember Craig Padilla.
With "The Last Hiding Place Of Beauty" he undoubtedly again has released a future classic.
"The Unveiling Ravenous Evening" opens the album. It begins retro with an acoustic guitar and the melancholy sound of a Mellotron flute that might remind the listener to early progressive rock albums. After this, soft sequences and simple but effective melodies take over. Echo-effects are being used here in an extremely suitable way. Paul is a master of the sequence. This is proved on the titletrack. Just listen to the drumsounds here: very well done!
The Mellotron (the stringsounds) is heard again clearly in "The Note, The Walk In The Rain And The Umbrella". Guitar and bass play also play an important part in this intriguing track.
The guitar again opens the last piece, "The Hydroelectric Spinning Heart". Sequences and wonderful bassounds enter and Ellis plays the acoustic piano. The combination between acoustic and electronic instruments works very well on this album. Also, there is a lot of room for the listener to breathe. As Paul states in the booklet: "More open spaces for you to breathe".
It is a great thing if a musician keeps on doing things better. With Paul Ellis this is surely the case.
With "The Last Hiding Place Of Beauty" he might have released the ultimate mix between electronics and acoustics and perhaps have created a style of his own. Hopefully we can see him play live some day.
2009. Paul Rijkens