Showgazing: Jeremy Ellis at The Continental Room
Sure, walking into a dark barroom on a Tuesday trying to catch a few beers after work doesn't sound like a set up for one of the craziest musical experiences you've ever seen. But last night at the Continental Room proved me wrong and if you were there, you would agree. It was the second time I had seen Detroit-based MPC master Jeremy Ellis (Ubiquity Records) take the stage at this revered Fullerton nightspot. At first glance, a rail thin white dude with long red hair and ADD demeanor definitelygoes against the common perception of a break beat aficionado, there again you would be caught off guard. Because what this cat unleashes when he turns on his gear (tonight it was a laptop with an MPC and MPD24 pad controller) is clusterfuck of awesome sounds the likes of which you have never heard.
Around 11:30 p.m., Ellis broke into his set with encouragement for a die hard bunch of Tuesday drinkers. Though I must admit, the crowd turnout for Ellis was a bit disappointed considering the freaky skills this guy has. Either way, the people that were there seemed psyched. With his nimble fingers fire jumping through genres, cutting up beats like a surgeon, Ellis ripped through everything from Brazilian sambas to James Brown to J-Dill. Circulating complex runs in his ambidextrous style, his quick motions became a blur under the flashing red stage lights. And seriously, at one point Ellis was not even content to just play with his hands anymore. By the time he closed out with a set of James Brown mash ups, he was playing with his chin, his elbow...his ass. He was just having fun up there. And while the crowd might not have been the best that he deserved, it sure made my Tuesday. Trust me, do not sleep on this guy next time he comes around.
Check out a small sample of the thrills you missed last night on this video of Ellis in Switzerland:
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