• Sylvain Lupari

Paul Ellis Pulse Width (2022)

Updated: 1 day ago

Paul sculpts here a panoply of rhythms with a good and creative use of the sequencer and of electronic percussions

1 Ancient Paths 18:33

2 Pulse Width 13:35

3 Center of Gravity 14:33

4 Slow Velvet Murmuration 10:18

5 Lightning On The Serengeti 6:34

Cyclical Dreams Music CYD 0052

(DDL 63:36) (V.F.)

(Ambient Berlin School Art for Ears)

Paul Ellis' name has been echoing around the electronic music (EM) world since the American multi-instrumentalist set up his new studio. In addition to his recent work on the Dutch label Groove nl, the 3rd and final part of his Panoramas trilogy is expected this summer, he has released an album with Daryl Groetsch, The Interior Rhythms, on Cyclical Dreams in late 2021. PULSE WIDTH is thus his second contribution with the Argentinian label and, as usual, is offered only in download format. The title of the album is a good indication of what our ears will discover since Paul Ellis wanted to create an album with more rhythms, but also more changes within each track. Except for the very atmospheric Slow Velvet Murmuration, we can say mission accomplished! Flirting with the Berlin School style, Paul sculpts a panoply of rhythms with a good and creative use of the sequencer and of electronic percussions.

The result is not long in coming with Ancient Paths. Synth layers with a tone of ancient music horns offer a very cinematic vision at first. The timbre is austere with winds weaving between these horns' airs where more contemporary sound effects also circulate, adequately adjusting this duel in music that awaits our ears at the dawn of PULSE WIDTH. Duel because beyond the surprising rhythms of his new album, Paul Ellis remains attached to his sylvan atmospheric visions that give this incredible depth to the colors of his music. And these rhythms don't waste time to bloom, as here about 40 seconds after the 4th minute. At first led by sober keyboard chords falling down quickly, this linear rhythm lets go a magnificent oscillating movement of the sequencer. We are in Berlin School mode with an ascending movement where multiple keyboard chords dance, structuring melodies as evasive as the shadows of specters, and half-complete synth solos twirl over organ strings structuring a vision of early 70's progressive rock. The strength of Ancient Paths lies in the nuances on the velocity and heaviness of the rhythm which strays into an atmospheric phase a few seconds before the 10th minute. Paul Ellis takes the opportunity to restructure this rhythm, by dropping bouncing keyboard chords with an echo aura around each falling one. And this without forgetting these atmospheres with a more random approach and synth effects scattered between a structured vision and another one closer to the Psybient universe. What we discover in this very long track also feeds the phases of the next tracks to parade between our ears.