“My music has no boundaries,” says multi-instrumentalist Brian Ellis, whose two solo albums cover all the musical bases, from free jazz to psychedelic, world, and experimental electronic music.
“I use computer programming and multitrack recording to create the impression of a much larger live band jamming. As for the music, one could draw comparisons to Miles Davis, Squarepusher, Tortoise, Sun Ra, or the Mahavishnu Orchestra.”
For both albums, Ellis plays guitar, bass, drums, sitar, kalimba, sax, trumpet, keyboards, xylophone, and mandolin.
Under the name Brian E, he also releases full-on synthesized dance music, ranging from disco to old-school electro.
“That music is all about paying homage to electronic pioneers like Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder, Black Devil Disco Club, Lime, and Yellow Magic Orchestra. I even cover the Magma masterpiece ‘De Futura,’ for which I had approval by the actual band.”
WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
1) David Hurley, Outer Nebula Inner Nebula. “It’s a fantastic album showcasing some of San Diego’s most creative musicians. For fans of Sun Ra and other otherworldly music, it’s highly recommended.”
2) Space, Magic Fly. “Great 1970s French progressive disco featuring Magma bassist Jannick Top. If your party is feeling a little stale, do yourself a favor and put this on.”
3) Paul Hardcastle, Zero One. “Who said smooth jazz doesn’t drop the bass? Listen to ‘King Tut,’ and reconsider that for the rest of your life.”
4) Teddy Lasry, E=mc2. “I can’t get enough of this out-of-print album. It’s everything Air wishes they were, without all the fluff. Very nice atmospheric soundtrackish music from a practically unknown synthesizer and saxophone genius.”
5) Egyptian Lover, On the Nile. “A bold debut album that will get you dancing and rapping, no matter where you are and no matter what you’re doing. You can’t mess with original greatness. I would recommend this music for fans of Giorgio Moroder, Space, Lime, Bruce Haack, and Black Devil Disco Club.”
1) The Holy Mountain. “This film by Alejandro Jodorowsky is simply the most amazing movie I’ve ever seen, with nonstop, mind-blowing visuals and music. Could this be the best thing the Beatles ever paid for? I’d lean toward ‘yes.’ ”
2) Magma, Mythes et Légendes (four volumes). “Amazingly well-shot concerts! It documents Magma’s month-long stay at the Triton venue in Paris, where they performed most of their catalog in chronological order over a series of concerts.”
3) UHF. “Weird Al’s movie! Michael Richards’s best role, as the character that eventually became Kramer.”
4) Miles Davis: Miles Electric. “Amazing concert at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. Watch the Bitches Brew group take on a 600,000-person crowd. Incredible.”
5) Cool Runnings. ‘“Feel the rhythm! Feel the ride! Get on up! It’s bobsled time!’ ”
IT ALL STARTED WHEN…
“…I was on the Disney Channel show Inside Out with George Foreman when I was 11 years old. YouTube it!”
BEST THING YOU EVER WON?
“I won a remix contest for my version of the song ‘Foul,’ by Restiform Bodies, which ended up on an Anticon Records 12-inch.”
“Shemm, the Spanish pop star. You can’t beat this Latin lover and his models.”
LENNON OR McCARTNEY?
“I’m not that fond of either, but I’ll pick Lennon because McCartney will never win me over with his grandma songs.”
READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?
“Keep the River on Your Right by Tobias Schneebaum. It’s got nonfiction journal entries from an American artist who traveled to Peru in the 1960s to study art and, eventually, he lived with a cannibal tribe.”
“zeuhlmusic.blogspot.com, with rare Magma and related recordings.”
SOMETHING ABOUT YOU FEW WOULD KNOW OR GUESS?
“I can do some mime tricks.”