Exposé Online banner

Paul Ellis — Moth in Flames
(Spotted Peccary SPM-2901, 2015, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2016-04-08

Moth in Flames Cover art

Pulsing colors and floating daydreams. Ellis’ compositions reach out in new directions, informed by both Berlin electronics and drifting minimalist ambient realms, bringing both together in a single unifying theme, being at once organic and colorful, plotting loops and textures against multi-dimensional shapes , drifting cloudlike formations and finely woven textures. The ten pieces herein are dominated by a variety of synthetic sounds, loops, and studio effects, and each covers vast areas of sonic terrain as it proceeds along its unique path. While some comparisons to classic Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze may be in order, there is less of a reliance on sequences (unless we are considering the Atem / Zeit era of TD) and the somewhat nervous electricity of Schulze, which is traded off in favor of a more gentle and soft textural minimalist approach melded with the Berlin fundamentals. Take “Stained Glass Observatory” as an example of dark encroaching textures overcoming an evolving colorful kaleidoscopic pattern; at times one seems to overcome the other, and then at other times it reverses itself, alternating dark and bright, occasionally reminding of the work of the late Michael Garrison. The title track opens with some oblique geometric melodies and shifting moods that repeat and evolve throughout its seven minutes and eventually find resolution via a pulsating groove to ride into the sunset. “Lights of a Departing Train” is an appropriately titled piece covering a forward leaning pulse groove swerving through cloudlike passages, slowing down to elaborate with some open patches of melodic abstraction, eventually picked up by the pulse and moved into the stormy groove. Every piece here has its own distinct personality, and overall make an interesting and enlightening musical journey.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Paul Ellis

More info
http://ambientelectronic.bandcamp.com/album/moth-in-flames

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Julverne - Le Retour du Captain Nemo – Julverne sprang from the same Belgian underground avant-garde music scene that produced Cos, Univers Zero, Aqsak Maboul, and Art Zoyd. As such, members of all the aforementioned bands, at one time or...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues