Jack Ellister - Telegraph Hill - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Jack Ellister - Telegraph Hill

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2018-11-27
Jack Ellister - Telegraph Hill
Jack Ellister - Telegraph Hill

What do you do as an artist/musician if you constantly stay below the radar, or more precisely are only caught by those small range fandom radars? You can approach that in two ways - try to bend backward, commercialize and be caught by the big net, or keep on doing what you do best and try to keep the interest of the fanbase that you already have, maybe something will come by anyway.

It seems that Londoner Jack Ellister has opted for the second route. A purveyor of that olde psych, circa second part of Sixties/early Seventies, coupled with subtle electronics here and there, and one of the mainstays of the cult Fruits De Mer label, here comes Ellister with a vinyl version of Telegraph Hill, his third album proper, this time around for a Spanish label You Are The Cosmos.

I mention the vinyl version since Ellister first came up with a special fancy 100 copy Cdr version of this album for the 10-year celebration of Fruits De Mer at Glastonbury. To make things more interesting, there is also a track change where, “Condor”, the seven and a half minute closer here replaces a track that is available on the Cdr, which you probably won’t be able to get anyway.

Whatever Ellister has done previously, this is quite a subdued, late-night headphone experience where Donovan-like (“Roots”) and solo-era Syd Barrett tracks (the title track, “Reminder”) with mostly acoustic guitar and Ellister’s voice with occasional addition of flute (“High Above Our Heads”) are interspersed with brief mostly electronic instrumental pieces (“Maureen”, “Icon Chambers”), reminiscent of the pre-Dark Side of The Moon Pink Floyd.

While Ellister has quite a pleasant singing voice and excellent guitar-playing technique, “Condor”, the newly inserted track that is actually another instrumental, is quite a highlight here. Built upon a gentle guitar strum, swirling synth lines, a didgeridoo, it is exactly the track that is missing from your late night playlist.

Although initially, Telegraph Hill strikes as a pleasant but at the same time unassuming album, it has that ‘grows on you’ tendency quite a few of these ‘small radar’ albums do these days.


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