Paul Ellis Panoramas CD III (2022)
Updated: Nov 29, 2022
“It follows the paths of the first 2 volumes with a more chtonnian vision and more high pitching drones”
1 Opal Creek in Autumn Brush Strokes 28:44
2 Cape Perpetua and the Chinook Wind 31:15
(CD/DDL 59:59) (V.F.)
(Soundscapes, Art for Ears, Ambient)
Here is finally the last part of this trilogy by Paul Ellis that started last July. There are no surprises! PANORAMAS CDIII is an equally atmospheric work where the essence of nature that influenced these 3 opuses is drowned in masses of buzzing drones that sometimes switch into breezes ululating of sharp metallic chants. Offered as a manufactured CD in a 200 copy edition, this latest CD offers a much more intense atmospheric vision that sweeps our ears with a palette of sounds where the elements of nature flirt with a slightly more cosmic vision.
And when I say that the music of this PANORAMAS CDIII is intense, I am not making it up! You have to hear the opening of Opal Creek in Autumn Brush Strokes to get the full meaning. The first timid winds make rustling the leaves behind a papal wave full of seraphic voices. At the same time, Paul distills reverberating drones from his synth that contort before this palette of winds and celestial voices that provide a comfortable atmospheric fluff to an introduction woven from the chthonian origins of the so-called Dark Ambient electronic music (EM). After the 5-minute mark, Opal Creek in Autumn Brush Strokes buries itself in a vista of wiisshh and organic earth elements where the synth waves undulate with their amber tone colors. All the while, the track's panorama abounds with an intense depth of sound that gives it an emotive texture to fill our ears with pleasure. The drones are reborn, letting through these organic particles that gradually become a kind of dance of lappings which is undulating in a seductive pattern of orchestrations. These laps sound like stray footsteps running in all directions, simulating an ambiophonic rhythm similar to luminous points that light up and go out everywhere in this 3rd phase of Opal Creek in Autumn Brush Strokes. We approach the 15 minute mark, and the timid ambient winds turn into drones that lazily undulate in symbiosis with these intermittent breezes. The lapping rhythmic texture is hatching out again from its sonic particles for a short moment, meaning that the 20th minute entrance takes us into a more cosmic phase of the track with a strong wind turbulence that sucks in the shimmering effects of hummingbirds lost in this dense forest of sounds. The final moments of the track are similar to its long evolutionary structure, a meditative phase filled with dark breezes and organic elements that shimmer in a way that excites the last drone effect, still quite melodic and almost papal, of Opal Creek in Autumn Brush Strokes.
Built on the same mold, Cape Perpetua and the Chinook Wind nevertheless offers a less dark musical texture. At least in its first part! The drones that fill its almost 7 first minutes have this brassy tone in their contortions that simulate a slow choreography of ambient waltz. Dark or strident, the palette of sounds drifts into a first phase of organic percussive elements a minute later. Thin synthesized streaks adorn the panorama of short crevices floating in it, like spectral laments lost in the midst of an ever overflowing tonal fauna. We are in a phase as ambient as intense that extends until the 12-minute mark. Borrowing its first elements, the scenery gradually changes its appearance with whales' laments waltzing in our imagination. This track that exceeds 30 minutes crosses its first half with these chimerical chants that now rub against a line of pulsating bass whose random strokes merge with percussive elements that flicker following the curve of these moans that have become synth strata with a strong metallic ascendancy in the taste of their tonalities. The rhythm remains the prey to our imagination as the sharp texture of the synth strata melts into a new layer of drones, as dark and intense as in Opal Creek in Autumn Brush Strokes, in order to cross the 20th minute of the track with a more meditative vision. A bit like in the first track of PANORAMAS CDIII, we feel a cosmic hold on the last moments of Cape Perpetua and the Chinook Wind which proposes a more intense finale with a big layer of buzzing and reverberating breaths.
I would say less melodic and more turbulent than Panoramas CD-II, PANORAMAS CDIII reaches a bit more the more difficult to tame textures of Panoramas CD-1. On the other hand, its emotional charge and its level of intensity make our walls and our ears buzz with a strong atmospheric essence that gives an incredible depth to this last part of Paul Ellis' trilogy once again mastered with art by Ron Boots for his label Groove nl.
Sylvain Lupari (June 12th, 2022) ***½**
Available at Groove nl