From its title full of hope to its music so imaginative, on From Out of the Vast Comes Nearness (74'25") synthesist Paul Ellis has realized a most distinctive and vivid work. With its five compositions so stylistically sharp and quietly new, listeners will find themselves falling in love with Ellis' work all over again. Preceded by several noteworthy albums of electronic instrumentalism, From Out of the Vast Comes Nearness finds Ellis continuing to reach for and grasp musical moods and cerebral atmospheres heretofore undiscovered. For the most part this CD features sequencer music in a state of motion - both slow and fast. The restless key shifting and vibrant patterns produce animation and warmth while slow mono synth leads tell tomorrow's tales with yesterday's gear. But the one track without any rhythm may have the most interesting energy. It comes on easy, but a few moments in we realize that it has got hold of us. The ever expanding drones hum and writhe in the sub-frequencies as swirling white noise and ethereal string accents course through the loftier regions. This album is really quite an achievement. The music, and the direction it is going, is new - without being hard on the ears. We may wonder, how has Paul Ellis has been able to do this consistently for so many years? Is his music the result of environment, or is it the product of his audience's expectations?
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 17 August 2011