"LOST" - LP
All music written, arranged, and recorded by Ela Orleans in New York, 2009.
Ela Orleans is a Polish musician,
multi-instrumentalist, she plays violin, guitar and uses her own vinyl collection.
In her second album, "Lost", she is at the same time, nico, lou and john : a Velvet Underground would have opened
the window wide towards europe and africa.
In 2009 Ela started to collaborate with La Station Radar,
first out put -Ahata / Anahata - her collaboration with Liam Stefani aka Skitter,
Followed by her second solo album LOST, recorded in New York.
Ela was involved in experimental / noise projects based in NYC :
3i’s (with Marc Orleans and Pete Nolan), Ozone Swimmers (with Marc Orleans), Franklin’s Mint (with Phil Franklin) and played
with Jackie O Motherfucker, Kevin Shea, Wende K. Blass and Scarcity of Tanks. She was a member of “Hassle Hound”, The band has releases on Staubgold, Pickled Egg, Twisted Nerve and Textile Records. High Moon, Low Sun (her first solo album ) was out on Setola di Maiale (Italy) in 2008.
She collaborates since 2008 with Skitter (Liam Stefani, Glasgow), and also with Curt Crackrach since 2012. In 2010, Ela worked on the new Skitter Project for our Fake tape serie – The Strongest Walls Open As I Pass. Followed in 2011, by her split LP with Dirty Beaches - " Double Feature" and her third album " Mars is heaven", out on La Station Radar. Since 2012, Ela is back in Glasgow, and has released new albums as NEO PI-R, LP (2011) and her double LP "TUMULT IN CLOUDS" (2LP, 2012) out on Clandestine records and her own label Parental Guidance.
1- something higher - 4:09
2-"yes, of course" - 3:35
3-better friends - 4:14
4-reading stones - 4:04
5-Rocket Trip to Nowhere 5:16
6-Amsler Grid - 8:28
8-Barry Lyndon 4:41
Out, Sept. 2009.
LOST by By Sabrina Lessard,
"Hailing from Poland and currently living in New York, Ela Orleans has graced us with her musical generosity once again. Her latest endeavor "Lost" resembles a short histoire de l'amour,complete with instrumental soundscapes filling in the gaps between her narrative lyrics. In her low moan longing and sampled layers, Ela Orleans takes us into a demure, suave landscape where internalizing is required and desire untouchable except behind closed doors. Harmonies melt into the sweet longing to be wanted and loved. The album flows like a film (what Orleans describes as "movies for ears"), each track constructing a different scene, at times through a screaming violin or through electronic dystopic swirls building the perfect background for her revealing lyrics. The joy in listening to Ms. Orleans comes in her precise editing of verse and melody where she lures you into her dreamy marshmallow jungle while keeping you just on the cusp of euphoria, revealing itself as mature restraint or masochistic benevolence. As she sings, "I am lost without you," you become lost in her voice, the antithesis of the verse, delicate and sweet, as if she is daring you to actually feel the sadness wrapped so eloquently in a simple melody.On three of the tracks Wende K. Blass offers beautifully dense and spirited guitar riffs over the layers of sampled mayhem and harmonies giving the tracks fullness. The success of this pairing comes as no surprise being that Ms. Orleans has been involved in several musical collaborations such as Hassle Hound the Scotland/NY based trio who brought us heavy sampling and whimsical absurdity. While maintaining her presence in the experimental/noise New York music scene, Ms. Orleans has participated in the BMI film scoring and mentorship program "Composing for the Screen 2009" and has been a recipient of the NYFA immigrant mentorship program where she worked with renowned drummer Lukas Ligeti. With the many contributions Ela Orleans continues to make, there is a thread she weaves throughout the music, traveling in waves of melodic fragility and fierce honesty. As in any great work of art you are left wanting more, and thankfully for us this is just the beginning."
In antique times, Greeks didn’t describe dreams as something that happened in their heads while they slept, but as something that descended from heaven, you saw your dream approach like a window opening into the world of the Gods, and once the message was delivered, this window went away, it vanished into the distance. The beginning of Brooklyn chanteuse Ela Orleans’ Something Higher is absolutely like that, a funereal anthem of treble and reverb which materialises in front of you like a faded postcard from a frozen tundra beyond the fiery sea- it makes us think of Nico. It sounds like the songs that that child was singing before she disappeared deep into the neck of the woods never to be seen again, they still echo ghostly in a barren spot where all that remains is silence. Enthralling.
The cover of this LP seems to be taken from a faded, partially ripped black-and-white childhood photo. This coupled with the word "LOST" seems to imply some sort of "forgotten childhood memory" theme going on. The music fits this as well; it seems to be composed of samplers, guitars, and reverb-soaked vocals (not unlike "Person Pitch" but not really sounding anything like it either) plus violin and keyboard. The first thing that comes to mind when hearing Ela's voice is Julee Cruise, but that's probably not totally accurate. The music does have a sort of "Twin Peaks" feel to it, though. The production actually reminds me of Tarnation's "Gentle Creatures" or His Name Is Alive's "Stars On ESP", in that sort of dreamlike, not-quite-there, faded-phonograph sort of way, where it almost sounds like a transmission from some sort of oldies station from another dimension. The main difference, of course, being that these songs aren't as straightforward, and are far more abstract and experimental The songs are quite infectious, though. The vocal melodies on some of the tracks (particularly "Better Friends", "Rocket Trip To Nowhere" and "Myriads") sound a bit similar, but this just adds to the strange familiarity of the record. The instrumentals have more of an eerie, cinematic feel, although penultimate track "Barry Lyndon" smothers a calypso-sounding loop under layers and layers of guitar and violin, conjuring up a bizarre "chaos in paradise" scene. The disc ends with the breathtaking title track, pairing a feedback loop with a few simple layers of guitar and a reverbed refrain of "I am lost without you." Despite the reference points mentioned in this review, this album truly sounds unique, and is frequently quite astonishing. And true to its title (and theme), this is an album I'm finding myself getting lost in while I'm listening.
Paul Simpson, 14 January, 2010
Ela Orleans décrit ses enregistrements par la formule suivante : “Des films pour les oreilles”. Nombreux sont les musiciens qui obéissent au même désir, celui d'évoquer des images et des mouvements par l'art des sons, mais peu nombreux sont ceux qui parviennent à la hauteur de cette ambition. Sur ce second album solo, la Polonaise installée à New York offre un étourdissant voyage cinématographique dans l'espace et le temps. Tout commence à Brooklyn, où la demoiselle membre du trio Hassle Hound a récemment intégré un prestigieux programme de la Broadcast Music Inc. (Composing For The Screen) pour la création musicale du septième art. À l'aide d'un matériel des plus communs, elle enregistre seule et parfois accompagnée de Wende K. Blass (le guitariste de Burkina Electric) des comptines hypermnésiques sur des poèmes de Robert Walser, Sarah Teasdale, Bruno Schultz et Bill Rivers (dont la chanson Lost a donné son titre au disque).Immédiatement, on songe à Badalamenti, His Name Is Alive, Moondog, White Noise, mais ces souvenirs évidents semblent insuffisants pour décrire la magie qui opère dans ce paradis perdu. Si cette précieuse compositrice dont la voix évoque celle de Nico avoue son admiration pour The Velvet Underground et The Beach Boys, elle confesse également “être plus intéressée par l'envoutement sonore que par l'entrain mélodique” de ses créations musicales. De nombreuses références plus intimes et tout aussi riches sont revendiquées : Robert Wyatt donne le ton confident, les chanteuses américaines des années 40 (Glenda Collins, Andrew Sisters), les Françaises des 60's (surtout Françoise Hardy) bouleversent les repères du temps, et les musiques traditionnelles de l'Ouest africain détournent la géographie. Cette impression de sur-persistance de la mémoire et des lieux est renforcée par la méthode de sample utilisée par Ela Orleans, qui au lieu de faire un simple copier/coller d'une phrase musicale, préfère la redire à sa manière, avec sa propre voix et ses instruments, à la convenance de sa mémoire dilettante. Lost est une radio magique captant les ondes hertziennes d'un autre temps, un jukebox hanté par une voix profonde et délicate qui ressurgit des dédales du passé pour trouver une nouvelle virginité, l'œuvre fascinante d'une femme qui a choisi de s'emprisonner dans les sillons d'un vinyle, un ingénieux trésor musical rappelant en tous points le roman cinématographique d'Adolfo Bioy Casares, L'Invention De Morel. Merci au jeune label français, La Station Radar, de défricher si admirablement et de nous gratifier (à nouveau) d'une telle merveille.
"The idyllic beach-house guitar conjured up an atmosphere all twilight and palm trees – a far cry from the stark onstage cluster of sampler boxes in a drafty warehouse"
On Lost, Polish-born Ela Orleans sings some songs, assembling them via creaking guitar circles, keyboards, violin and samples. These elements are blended into a soupy haze that suggests 16mm film flicker, sweet candy and lost loves. As a sometimes-member of Hasslehound, Orleans is no stranger to samples and processing, but in her solo work everything is smoothed over by the songcraft. Her weird, slightly timid voice ghosts over everything rather unconventionally, but there’s beauty in hesitation. Moments of sentimentality are undercut by strange hybrids; guest guitarist Wende K. Blass absolutely shreds on "Yes, Of Course" and "Barry Lyndon", getting into traditional Spanish/flamenco forms laid over smoldering embers. The lyrics are assembled from various poems and short stories (penned by herself and others, as well as a Bill Withers cover) but somehow feel like Moe Tucker’s proto-twee moments. It’s a fine style for the music, which is occasionally quite dark, and always busy. I found myself wondering how much the cover art played in my interpretation of the sounds—a blurry, monochrome photograph, with physical damage quite evident. Orleans’s arrangements are lush, yet monochromatic as well; not black and white, necessarily, but a palette that revolves around only one musical hue. It’s a splendid one, though. (Justin Wunsch)
I've had some really good records this week. Probably the most thrilling one by far is this wonderful album by the enigmatic & androgynous Ela Orleans. We had a copy of 'Lost' sat there by the stereo for weeks and only managed to squeeze time to listen to it in last week when our workload had slowed down a bit for Summer. I don't actually know how to describe this amazing LP. It's like an acid fried psychedelic folk/rock/sound collage thing with this magical experimental pop cloak draped all over it. The songs throughout are just so rich, steeped in warmth & mystery. The production is deep yet amorphous & spectral. There's this one eerie pulsing track that begins side 2 which is especially spellbinding - these multi-tracked cascading strings spilling all over the shop whilst all manner of cosmic noise occurs beneath. Ela, if you're reading, I totally love your record, you are astonishingly gifted and I just know this is gonna give the lucky ones who hear it hours & hours of pleasure. For fans of Animal Collective, Broadcast, Brian Wilson, Grouper, Radiophonic Workshop, old & modern psychedelia and (most importantly) haunting, beautiful soundtracks - she has produced incidental music for The Matrix, Vertigo & Zodiac. My AOTW hands down.