You may know John Ellis from his work with the Stranglers, Peter Hammill and Peter Gabriel, but did you know this talented guitarist creates electronic music of delicate beauty?
Read on and discover the details...
JOHN ELLIS: Wabi-Sabi 21© (CD on Chanoyu
This release from 2009 offers 48 minutes of delicate electronic tuneage.
Inspired by Japanese culture, this music exhibits a striking allure in its sparse definition, while the flowing electronics generate a lavish pastoral presence.
In the first track, wafting atmospherics establish a noble vista which is then embellished by gentle beats, twinkling chimes, and more pensive tonalities. Airy chords delineate soothing melodies that soar on pacific breezes, carrying the listener to lofty heights.
Tenderly plucked strings are accompanied by trembling violin strains in the second piece. The temperament is rigorously Eastern here, achieving a tea house disposition that welcomes the audience with its contrast of sparkling and contemplative moods.
In the next track, the music is marked by bouncy rhythms that support sounds which seem to fuse vocal effects with squealing strings to achieve an inspired buoyancy. Ethereal textures drift underneath. A dreamy path along a high cliff edge is evoked, looking out across majestic waters.
Next, hesitant pulses are matched by confident drones that establish a rarefied foundation for higher tonalities. Crystalline keyboards define a winsome melody that swiftly goes energetic with brisk enhancement from additional riffs. A frivolous edge is briefly indulged before the tune resumes its stately deportment. Another spry reprise occurs before the piece concludes.
The fifth track adopts a sovereign attitude with choppy notes coexisting with lilting tones. Understated percussives lend an air of subtle locomotion. This regal march pursues a winding course, adorning its progression with shriller tones and a soft escalation of traditional rhythms.
The next piece resumes the procession with a more fanciful touch. Delicate keyboards are peppered with more strident chords as a pleasant melody is crafted and put through a series of rises and recessions. Certain plummeting aspects punctuate the flow, giving the composition the impression of sudden sweeping descents.
The last track applies more synthetic airs to the Eastern milieu, flavoring the traditional mood with a modern flair that is often tastily quirky. Wavering electronics and snappy rhythms imbue the piece with a certain jubilation.
While these compositions excellently capture a Far Eastern mood, Ellis’ approach seasons the tunes with a bewitching bounciness that never becomes too intrusive. A sense of sobriety is established, them tempered with a sly mirth.
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