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

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...

Aelian - The Watcher – This is one of Musea's new releases, a label which for many years I considered infallible, but in the last few years they have occasionally proven me wrong with releases like Fancy Fluid's...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues