NEW MUSIC: Warren Ellis – Purple Perilla

From Dirty Three to the Bad Seeds and now a parallel career as a composer with and without Nick Cave, Warren Ellis has certainly led a fascinating creative life. He’s just released a new project with Marianne Faithfull and in another first he’s composed the soundtrack to a book – a recently released collection of short stories by Chinese writer Can Xue.

This piece initially has a wonderfully languid and cloud-like feel and lightness to it as it drifts in multiple directions, changing form, disconnecting and re-engaging into new shapes and amorphous ebbs and flows. Then as the 42 minute piece evolves, it draws on drones and ambient tonal washes and bell-like celestial movements.

Ellis says “The day before Christmas 2020: I find myself the only person staying in an eighty-six room hotel in East London. It was originally the Old Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station. I’m reading Can Xue’s stories and it dawns on me to use the empty swimming pool, bowling lanes, courtroom, and holding cells as rooms to create a soundscape for the text. I set up a zoom mic, playing back field recordings from before the lockdown and using the ambience of each room as reverb. The sound of rooms waiting. It can be started at any point in the track, or put on a loop. There is no beginning, middle, or end.”

NEWS: Talk Talk tribute album and book due in May

UK label Fierce Panda are set to release a double album celebrating the work of UK band Talk Talk this May. The compilation will be comprised of covers by a huge list of artists such as King Creosote, Alan Wilder, Jason Lytle, Zero 7, Crispin Hunt, Linton Kwesi Johnson, White Belt Yellow Tag, Electric Soft Parade, Joan As Policewoman, White Lies, Goldheart Assembly and many, many more guests including Bon Iver and Arcade Fire.

The record will be accompanied by a book called Spirit Of Talk Talk which will include hand-written lyrics from Talk Talk’s Mark Hollis, along with 80 written contributions from people who’ve been influenced by the band over the years. Contributors include Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, late Pink Floyd member Richard Wright, Weezer’s Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater, Tom Fleming of Wild Beasts, Paul Hartnoll of Orbital, Karl Hyde of Underworld, former Depeche Mode member Alan Wilder, Elbow’s Guy Garvey, James Lavelle of UNKLE, former Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle, and a whole bunch more.