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Brian Ellis - Quipu album

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    Posted: April 29 2011 at 19:25
Hello, my name is Anthony, I am new here and not sure if this is the correct area to post this, but here we go:
 
Looking for someone on Prog Archives to do a review of the new Brian Ellis album "Quipu" released on Parallax Sounds Records http://www.parallaxsounds.com Brian Ellis is lead guitarist of Astra. We already got lots of reviews in Classic Rock presents Prog mag, Classic Rock mag, The Wire mag, UNCUT mag, Rock-A-Rolla mag, Clash mag, Rocksound mag, ProgSphere, Sound, Colour And Vision, Jazzwise mag, Shindig! mag, Uber Rock, and more...
 
Here are some review clips:
BRIAN ELLIS (ASTRA guitarist) "QUIPU" album gets an amazing review in "CLASSIC ROCK PRESENTS PROG" magazine!!! Jerry Ewing (Editor/Boss of Classic Rock) did a great job in reviewing Brian's masterpiece:
The name might not be immediately familiarbut Brian is the lead guitarist in Prog-approved San diegan psyche proggers "Astra". And much like the mothership from whence he has drifted temporarily to create this fascinating soundscape, his is an astonishing collision of sounds and styles that will enthral the listener. Given that Ellis' first 2 solo ventures (on tiny scottish label "Benbecula") opted for a more electronic vibe (no pun intended). "Quipu" finds him steadfastly in more prog friendly territory,although boldly showing no fear, much like "Astra" themselves, to dip into the worlds of jazz and tripped out freakiness when the mood takes him. As such one will find forboding saxes reminisent o King Crimson colliding with Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis  jazz, the free form lunacy of Gong butting heads with the progressive intensity of Magma. Ofcourse what makes such an appealing smorgasbord of progressively-inclined sounds even more impressive is that Ellis handles every instrument himself. So although you get the impression on the likes of "Birth" and the epic "Walomendem" that you're listening to one amazingly acomplshed band, this really is the work of just one man.
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Brian Ellis (ASTRA guitarist and Benbecula Records refugee) "Quipu" gets nice review in THE WIRE MAGAZINE: "Canyon Star" is heavily processed guitar which is splashed liberally across a loose groove, the effect is reminiscent of early 70's Zappa, the enjoyably vulgar end of french prog and usung US outfit "Crime in Choir". The more meditative tracks such as "Count To Ten" and "Funeral March"avoid the laborious sprawl of the opening track and benefit from some delicious synth work, while closing epics "Psaw" and Magma tribute "Walomendem" are cosmic prog at it's filthiest, explosive spurts of solar fire arcing into infinity.
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Brian Ellis - Quipu album reviewed on Boomkat:
Space-projecting prog-rock from San Diego-based multi-instrumentalist, Brian Ellis of Astra. Brian released a couple of albums through the now-defunct Benbecula imprint a few years back, but now indulges in a more organic, free-form setup, straying away from the programmed/sequenced elements to a more untethered zone of jams, man. The complex timing and fused elements of 'Birth' recall a fiery Mahavishnu Orchestra, while the synth-driven 'Canyon Star' could be from the annals of Steve Moore, 'Psaw' nods to 'Bitches Brew' era Miles Davis and the final 14 minute epic 'Walomendem' is an homage to the legendary French prog band, Magma.
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Awesome review of Brian Ellis - Quipu on the ProgSphere website. Very informative review describing the musical styles of this classic album. Here's a little of what was said in the review:
Brian Ellis is a talented multi-instrumentalist whose talent actually exceeds the sixty minutes of musicianship given through the recording. The obviousness of this is reflected in the fact that it was both well organized and spontaneous at the same time. I may freely say that this album has a strong character, thus there is a omnipresent feeling of a personal seal in the listener’s subconsciousness. Not just employing variety of instruments, ranging from classic guitars, bass and drums to sitar, saxophone, trumpet and kalimba, speaks about the album’s improvisational level. The main characteristic of this recording is when you think it enters fusion jazz mode, there is a sudden break which leads into classic progressive rock.
Taking the elements of heavy fusion, with Quipu Brian Ellis pays the tribute to the electric era of Miles Davis’ work, reflecting in that way the mixture between Bitches Brew, Agharta, Pangaea or In a Silent Way. If Davis was the original initiator of fusion jazz, then John McLaughlin and his Mahavishnu Orchestra certainly defined the further flow of the mentioned style. And that’s exactly where Ellis heads in with Quipu, expressing his admirations to the sungenre’s leads, but also adding, as stated before, his character and personal seal. The ever growing list of influences spreads more when Ellis sucessfully invokes Tony Williams Lifetime’s Emergency era, Herbie Hancock’s M’wandishi and Headhunters and Soft Machine’s Three to Seven albums. The album running time runs a long course from the starting funkiness, over free improvisational jazz to real fusion jazz and progressive rock drifts. Die hard fans of Magma will certainly dig Brian’s homage to the band from Kobaia reached through the closing epic piece called Walomendem.
I am telling you, you will think there’s a full big band orchestra standing behind Quipu, but soon you will be amazed by the fact that this is an achievement of one, well-inspired guy from San Diego. Knowing Brian Ellis’ appetite for experimentation in variety of genres, Quipu comes as a logical consequence of the circumstances. And this buddy has what to offer. While you wait for the new Astra record, which is at the moment in its recording phase, give a chance to Quipu. You won’t regret.
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Brian Ellis (ASTRA Guitarist) "Quipu" gets a mind blowingly great review in UNCUT Magazine and beats the likes of Explosions In The Sky, Foo Fighters and many more... The "Quipu" album which is available worldwide on the April 11th 2011 via Parallax Sounds Records got 4 stars out of 5 stars. This is what was said in the review: Prog Jazz epic by San Diego one man band. If this was 1973, Brian Ellis would be challenging Mike Oldfield for the Best Multi-Instrumentalist Award in Melody Maker's end of year reader's poll. Instead, the lead guitarist of prog rockers "Astra" is ploughing a lonely furrow of excessive virtuosity, making Mahavishnu Orchestra/Bitches Brew jazz-rock in which he plays everything, from drums and bass to sitar and trumpet. The result is like Can, King Crimson and Eumir Deodato having a jam-off in a dank cellar in Cologne in 1971. "Quipu" has waited 3 years for a release and ends with a 14 minute tribute to Magma. The man's a hero. -Garry Mulholland (UNCUT mag)
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Nice review of Brian Ellis - Quipu album in The Organ's website: This is what was said in review: BRIAN ELLIS – Quipu (Parallax Sounds) – San Diego based multi instrumentalist, perhaps best known as lead guitarist in progressive rock outfit Astra. This is a collection of very 70’s flavoured, acid drenched, forward moving, psychedelic instrumentals. Sounds like a large band jamming together rather than a one man studio project, when it really gets in the zone we’re getting near Van Der Graaf Generator style instrumental passages, very much on their psychedelic acid side, though, and all very very retro. Long passages of relentlessly forward driving acid rock and Mahavishnu Orchestra moves - trumpets, saxophones, funky bass lines, dissonance, hints of free jazz, always within the formula and the frame though, nothing too far out there when you really want him to take just the hint of a risk or two… Xylophones, synths, meaty keyboards, Brian Ellis does it all rather well – 70’s sounding jazz flavoured progressive fusion and space rock flavoured psychedelic instrumentals…
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Brian Ellis (ASTRA Guitarist) "Quipu" reviewed on The Silent Ballet website. This is just a little of what was said: Quipu's other key inspiration is that other marginalised genre, Prog Rock, which comes to the fore on "Canyon Star", a track so proggy it even gets away with an extended keyboard solo. Again, Ellis steps things up with an orchestra of electric guitars and a horn section - the result reminiscent of different eras of the Soft Machine, albeit with a much smoother organ sound. So far, so impressive. If this was a group, one would feel compelled to tip the hat at their versatility, never mind this one-man band".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2011 at 21:49
We have a review our music forum for such topics, but for that forum the act should already be in the ProgArchives database. Assuming that you want progarchives reviewers to review it at PA (I am posting on an iPod which makes it that much harder to read a topic properly due to the small screen), then one must first propose the act to a genre team. I will move this to Suggest New Bands.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Andy Webb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2011 at 22:45
I believe this is more like a "review our music" or "get the word out" thread. If you would like your band to be added to the database, please either provide some samples for us to listen to or create a new thread with more information regarding your opinion of their sub-genre, some samples, and maybe a bio. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parallax Sounds Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2011 at 10:59
Well Astra is on your database and Brian Ellis is the lead guitarist of that band. It seems rather hassely and complicated to go about doing things on here, is it really worth it?.
 
Brian Ellis Biography:
Brian Ellis is a multi-instrumentalist from San Diego,
California. He has released several albums under his own name and monikers, as well as with his groups Astra and PEA. Influenced by an endless array of music, from free jazz to old school electro, no genre is safe from Brian Ellis' production.
Under his own name he has released "Cosmic Perspective", "Free Way", and "The Silver Creature",  on the scottish music label "Benbecula Records" which is also home to the artist "Christ" (3rd Ex Member of Boards of Canada). These releases are all of which fall into the psychedelic jazz/fusion category, filled to the brim with live instruments like guitars, saxophones, organs, electric pianos, drums, etc.
Whereas his releases, "TECH-NOIR" and "Yellow
Light District" as "Brian E" see electro, disco, and funk
alltogether in an all-electronic mix.
Brian was also involved with "Free Festival", an electronic, psychedelic folk music project  which involved Brian Grainger of "Milieu".
Brian is perhaps best known as lead guitarist for the progressive rock group ASTRA, who have had critical acclaim from magazines such as Classic Rock, Record Collector and even appeared on a cd which came free with the Mojo magazine as the issue was all about the 30 years anniversary of Pink Floyd's - The Wall, and Astra was one of the bands that got featured on this cd doing a cover version of the song "Empty Spaces", turning it into a psychedelic epic.
 
Brian Ellis press release:
Brian Ellis is an multi-instrumentalist from San Diego, California. He has released several albums in the last few years under multiple monikers and is perhaps better known as lead guitarist for the progressive rock group, ASTRA.
By playing guitar, bass, drums, various synthesizers and keyboards, saxophone, trumpet, sitar, xylophone, kalimba, etc., Brian creates the illusion of a large live band jamming all together. After releasing 2 albums in 2007 for the now defunct Scottish electronic label, Benbecula Records, Brian found himself straying away from the programmed/sequenced elements and wanted to make an album where all the instruments were played live. The album was completed in early 2008 and was set to be the follow up to "The Silver Creature". Unfortunately, Benbecula decided to close it's doors at this time and the album was shelved.
"Quipu" takes Brian Ellis' jazz/fusion/funk sound from his previous solo works to the next level. The opening track "Birth" sets a deep atmosphere of delayed trumpets and saxophones with a slow beat and funky bass before exploding into an odd-timing heavy fusion workout harkening back to the days of Mahavishnu Orchestra. Whereas later tracks like "Psaw" (featuring David Hurley of Astra on drums) take on much more of a free jazz sound similar to Miles Davis "Bitches Brew" era, full of dissonance and surprising elements. The final track "Walomendem" is a 14 minute progressive rock epic hailing as a tribute to the great french band Magma.

Tracklisting:
1) Birth.
2) Canyon Star.
3) Count To Ten.
4) Funeral March.
5) Gossamer.
6) Psaw.
7) Walomendem.
"Quipu" is released NOW through Parallax Sounds  (Monday 11th April 2011) on CD and digital download with stunning artwork by Jessica Planter & Sean Painter.
YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE ALBUM IN FULL via the BRIAN ELLIS myspace: http://www.myspace.com/brianellis/music/albums/quipu-17365264 
 
Thanks,
Anthony
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Andy Webb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 30 2011 at 13:33
Very cool stuff! I'll alert the psych/space team.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parallax Sounds Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 02 2011 at 06:26
thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bosh66 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2011 at 02:15
Had this album under jazz/rock but I can see how psych/space would work. Great album by the way.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rivertree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2011 at 04:33
ordered via Amazon Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parallax Sounds Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2011 at 09:03
Yeah it should be under prog rock / jazz fusion but the album has lots of psyche / space rock elements too. Glad you enjoyed it!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parallax Sounds Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2011 at 09:06
Thanks! Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2011 at 02:33
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