3 Dec 2022
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

MELLIS - EP Review: Escape

14 Jun 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu

There’s been a retro-wave revival simmering around the world, with groups like Drab Majesty, Gunship, Perturbator, plus Kiwi artists PolarisRadio establishing themselves in various electronic and rock circles. Many have performed live to vast audiences and also racking up healthy amounts of plays on streaming platforms. One Kiwi musician could also be pinned to the above lists: Marc Ellis, stage name Mellis, has been releasing retro-electronic grooves since 2005 with his debut recording Puppet Generation. Don’t be fooled by the artist logo on the cover image! Though it looks like one of a heavy metal group, the music is not aggressive by any measures, but judging by Mellis’s latest release, the EP Escape, it certainly packs the depth of that genre.

At first listen, it’s a blend of ambient electronic music with cinematic scores, but it doesn’t take long for one to start noticing hints of classical music poking through, like on Metro 2220, where swells of string arrangements are coupled with sampled percussions and electronic grooves. Sort of like a collision between present-day techno and music from the 19th century.

Seemingly inspired by music from late-90’s and early 2000’s video games, there’s the stylistic pulsing of bass, the synthesised drum loops, and hooky keyboard riffs. There’s nothing overly intense, taking on more of a mood-setter appeal, the type you hear as the opening screen of an old-school game is booted up; Quake III and Red Faction are examples that come to mind (If you know, then you know). For a good dose of nostalgia, be sure to check out Cyrosleep and Quantum AI.

The EP’s prime cut sits at the very end of the five-track, entitled Song of Mary. Interestingly, this arrangement is based on a renowned classical piece of music, and for that reason alone, ranks as the most brilliant on this record.

Admittedly, however, as someone who was once very involved in orchestras and chamber music, I cannot for the life of me recall the original that this is modelled on! (My old music theory teacher would be hugely disappointed…) Nevertheless, there’s a good chance the average listener will recognise the melody, as it’s often used in television series and films. Song of Mary is a delightfully unexpected addition to the EP, this reimagining of a classical composition expressed electronically further showcases Mellis’s flair of fusing old with new. Personally, I’d love to hear more of this, perhaps dispersed in different tracks over a full-length album.

Retro? Definitely.

Ambient? Check.

Dynamic? Yes sir.

Delightfully electronic? Absolutely.

One certainly hopes nothing stops Mr. Marc Ellis from creating more, because Escape sure sounds like a sign of good things to come.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About MELLIS

MELLIS, otherwise known as Marc Ellis, is a NZ multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer.
Playing trumpet from age 6, MELLIS completed all practical Trinity/Royals exams, up to ATCL by age 18 and spent the majority of those years playing in Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble’s, Big Band and Brass Bands where he eventually joined the NZ Army Band full time and has served for 16 years.

Marc has traveled & performed at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo 7 times, The Queens Jubilee at Windsor Castle twice, Basel Tattoo in Switzerland 5 times, Bremen Tattoo in Germany, London, Singapore, Gallipoli in Turkey, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and many more.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for MELLIS

Releases

There are no releases to display for MELLIS.

Other Reviews By Steve Shyu

EP Review: Various Artists - Modfest 22
30 Nov 2022 // by Steve Shyu
As a follow-up to 2020’s ModFest, a demonstration and celebration of modular synthesisers, as well as music made by them, ModFest 2 was postponed once, then rescheduled for October 2022. While the event was held at Red Bar in Auckland Central, this experience of ModFest can be reproduced in the comfort of your own home, via your headphones or through your stereo any time you like.
Read More...
Coridian - Single Review: State of Mind
24 Nov 2022 // by Steve Shyu
Today is an exciting day. Auckland’s alt-rock champions, and arguably one of Aotearoa’s finest rock groups of the modern day, Coridian, release a fresh new jam, State of Mind, for all to indulge in and headbang to.
Read More...
Single Review: Kiero
07 Nov 2022 // by Steve Shyu
Kiero, a relatively new three-piece from Tamaki Makaurau, made up of musicians who are definitely not new to creating colourful noise. There is Michael Collier on keyboards, Jin Song on bass, and bandmate as well as a great friend of mine, Grant Kirkpatrick on drums.
Read More...
Crying Club - Single Review: Hide
06 Nov 2022 // by Steve Shyu
Poneke Wellington indie-emo maestros Crying Club, formerly and hilariously known as The Chonus Brothers, have made waves both in Tamaki Makaurau as well as in their usual stomping grounds of the Capital. After said name change, and the release of their brilliant 2021 single Taxi Man, the quartet pressed on, and are now proud to present to the world a dark, new single for all to sing along to, headbang with, and feel appropriately glum to.
Read More...
Ryumas - Album Review: Brand. Construct. Form.
31 Oct 2022 // by Steve Shyu
Dunedin-dwelling producer and musician Hamish Crabb, under his stage-name Ryumas, has been creating experimental electronic music for the past four years. In the present day of October 2022, his collated work over that time has been released as a full-length album.
Read More...
Pitch Black - Single Review: Exodus
22 Oct 2022 // by Steve Shyu
Having been in the scene for over a quarter of a decade, Pitch Black would know a thing or two about the past and present. Consisting of producers and musicians Paddy Free and Michael Hodgson, the duo toured the globe and played countless numbers of festivals and gigs both in Aotearoa and abroad.
Read More...
Album Review: Fear Up Harsh (III)
19 Oct 2022 // by Steve Shyu
It’s been described before here on Muzic.net.
Read More...
Murmur Tooth - Single Review: Antidote w/ Lars Moston
06 Oct 2022 // by Steve Shyu
I conducted an email interview a couple of years back with Leah Hinton, aka. Murmur Tooth, and was impressed by her work, thus I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hear what she’s been up to in the years during the pandemic.
Read More...
View All Articles By Steve Shyu

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • UNHOLY
    Sam Smith And Kim Petras
  • ANTI-HERO
    Taylor Swift
  • MADE YOU LOOK
    Meghan Trainor
  • RICH FLEX
    Drake And 21 Savage
  • I'M GOOD (BLUE)
    David Guetta And Bebe Rexha
  • MISS YOU
    Oliver Tree And Robin Schulz
  • UNDER THE INFLUENCE
    Chris Brown
  • I AIN'T WORRIED
    OneRepublic
  • 685 (REMIX)
    Victor J Sefo, Lisi And Mwayz
  • MESSY IN HEAVEN
    venbee And goddard.
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem