Exposé Online banner

Jack Ellister — Telegraph Hill
(You Are the Cosmos YATC44LP, 2018, LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2019-03-10

Telegraph Hill Cover art

Jack Ellister has been appearing on a variety of Fruits de Mer releases since 2012. Now for the first time he has released a full length album on another label, You Are The Cosmos. As a change of pace from his usual style of energetic psychedelic music, Telegraph Hill is basically an unplugged version of Jack’s music, though electronics and electric guitars appear from time to time. The focus is on his voice and acoustic guitar, with drums and percussion, flute, violin, didgeridoo, and synths played by Jack except for drums played by his long term collaborators Tomasz Helberg and Nico Stallmann. Jack previewed his album at Fruits de Mer’s 10 Year Anniversary show in Glastonbury in May 2018, as well as providing a special edition of 100 green CDrs to the attendees. And if you were able to snag a copy of the double DVD of the event, you can watch Jack play two of his songs (“Telegraph Hill” and “Reminder”) on acoustic guitar, even more stripped down than on the album. The album opens with “Roots,” a hauntingly beautiful acid folk song with Jack’s vocals not entering until the mid-point. Things start to get a little freaky on the next tune, “High above Our Heads,” with a combination of drums, electric and acoustic guitars, vocal effects, and the “birds of purgatory” flutes. “Maureen Feeding the Horses” is a short instrumental of synth chords that slowly drift into a delicate acoustic guitar melody. “Fill Another Glass” could be an acoustic pub singalong song that reminded me a little bit of Donovan’s “Atlantis.” “Mind Maneuvers” is a saucy little funky latin number, a pseudo bossa nova, with bongo drums and a soaring violin solo. The title track is an acoustic oceangoing song with Jack channeling Syd Barrett. Then he shifts into Brit psych-folk busker mode with “Reminder” in the style of John Renbourn. “Icon Chambers” is a trippy little instrumental of dripping electronics and lo-fi cheesy analog keyboards. And the album closes with its pièce de résistance “Condor,” an amalgam of acid folk and raga rock, or a new term, raga folk. Jack’s droning didgeridoo provides the foundation for his slow acoustic guitar and glissando slide guitar, slowly ascending and descending the scale. Alternating between trippy and melodic, “Condor” is an excellent instrumental and a great way to cap off the album.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Jack Ellister

More info
http://jackellister.bandcamp.com/album/telegraph-hill

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Abiogenesi - Io sono il vampiro – Personally, I feel that the world did not need another progressive rock concept album about vampires, but this one has enough redeeming features to slip through on technicalities. First, it's sung in...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues