This CD works on many different levels. With its slick packaging and sound, it succeeds as a chill out record for those with a taste for the underground. For those already familiar with the band, it acts as a complete 'up till now' collection.
Ellis Island Sound contains all 4 tracks from the 10' released on the US label (curiously called) All City London, the 7inch released on their own Faux Lux label, the A side of the 7inch put out by Static Caravan, and remixes they did for others.
Listened to as a whole, you would never realize that this is not a debut album proper. The songs do not fluctuate in quality or recording conditions. The whole CD is very good! I listened to this CD a lot while 4 wheel driving through canyons in Utah recently. The music perfectly matched the open spaces and the wonder that was all around.
It was only tonight as I wrote this review that I opened up the booklet and discovered that I already have most of these songs. The expansive nature of these tracks makes them work better when placed together, than as individual sides of singles. While I now value the early single I have by Ellis Island Sound more than ever, it is this CD I will turn to when I want to listen to Ellis Island Sound.
Ellis Island Sound first appeared as a side project of Pete Astor of The Wisdom Of Harry. Pete was already known to music fans from his time fronting The Loft, and later The Weather Prophets (both on Creation Records). Further, David Sheppard formed State River Widening and Pete Astor formed Atari Priest. Any release you can find by these bands are worth your money.
The sound of Ellis Island Sound is what labels like Mind Horizons touted as 'electro-acoustic' a few years ago when these tracks originally were released. In 2002 I would just call them modern and clean.
All the tracks are instrumentals, but the music has lyrical qualities to it. I especially enjoy #'s 1,2,4,9, and 10 from the CD, though any track will satisfy. The seven songs from Ellis Island Sound releases are rounded out on this CD by a remix they did of The Regular Fries track Cyanide, a remix of The Manic Street Preacher's Ocean Spray, a remix of The Little Mothers single Your Twisted Sister, and an unreleased out-take from the 10' called Half Nelson.
This disc has been a joy to live with these past few weeks. I hope you have a chance to hear it as well.