Exposé Online banner

Paul Ellis — Silent Conversations
(Groove Unlimited GR 119, 2005, CD)

by Roel Steverink, Published 2006-05-01

Silent Conversations Cover art

Ellis was a bit tired of doing all things alone each time, so for his fourth solo album, he looked for outside sources and found them in friends and acquaintances. In fact he was so enthusiastic about their contributions that only two tracks here are pure Ellis solo. He couldn’t have teamed up with more qualified composers than Steve Roach, Jeffrey Koepper and Otso Pakarinen. Especially Roach’s firm and deep inspiration hovers like a ghost over almost the entire album. But don’t worry, plenty of the typical Ellis style signs are still present. “Trillium” to my ears must be interpreted as a ode to the magic of Roach, because Ellis starts with a haunting beautiful nod to Structures from Silence, but where Roach’s delicate esoteric sound-forms slowly rise from the Earth’s surface, Ellis throws in some sequencers and shifting effects which don’t shatter the atmosphere, rather enhance the tension even more. New here are the guitar chord breaks in “The Only Known Photograph of God” and “Trance Figure,” which give these bits an Eno or Budd kind of feeling. Celestial heavens deeply penetrate the soul of Ellis, as “Silent Conversations” with Brenda Erikson on cello, Alison O’Connor on vocals, and further synth treatments shows, delivering a space and timeless feeling. Without doubt the ambient parts of this album are the most profound music Ellis has composed to this date.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Paul Ellis, Jeffrey Koepper, Steve Roach

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Simon Steensland - The Simon Lonesome Combat Ensemble – Cutting-edge, unpretentious and imaginative are three adjectives that describe this offering by Swedish multi-instrumentalist and composer Simon Steensland. Mixing elements of rock, neo-classical,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues