GEIGERTEK Soundtrack For City Living

"Stop and stare
Take in the moment
This city breathes
Never sleeps in silence......"

"Soundtrack For City Living" is the third studio album from Geigertek, released on CD and digital format in October 2011, once again by leading independent U.K. Label, AD Music.

Geigertek continues his musical evolution with this fine offering of stylized electronic music that perfectly captures the feeling and mood of a modern cityscape at night. The music is a quantum leap forward from his previous releases with the rhythmic, and at times almost sensual approach to the esoteric soundscapes guiding the listener through the vibrant nightlife of an imaginary city on a variety of emotions. The album retains Geigertek's melodic, classical approach but the music is now infused with a more mature and at times darker, moodier edge. A varied and hugely interesting album that includes a stunning version of John Foxx's classic electronica track "Underpass".

"Soundtrack For City Living" also features the talents of David Wright on Omnisphere Synthesizer, Code Indigo's Nigel Turner-Heffer on guitar and Candice Wells and Anne Mancini-Smith joining Neil Fellowes on vocals.

TRACK LISTING (please click on title for 30 second samples)

1. Beyond The Garden
2. Beauty In Decay
3. Underpass
4. Devil May Care
5. Moonlight Interlude
6. A Rainfall Moment
7. West 9
8. Fast Lane

REVIEWS

For Neil Fellowes, the main idea behind Soundtrack for City Living was to get away from the spiritual influences bound to his first 2 works, The Garden and The Timeless Mind. A city man, Geigertek spreads all his citiesí influences and visions over a surprisingly diversified album. Yes, I know that The Timeless Mind was already very changeable, but on Soundtrack for City Living Neil Fellowes shows that he set a great deal of assurance since his last opus. An assurance and a confidence in its means which results in a more powerful album, more melodious and better constructed than The Timeless Mind. Geigertek sign musical pieces always so ambivalent, except that the polishing and the harmonious links are incredibly tightened, giving a great album where the arrangements give shivers and sighs to our souls of dreamy wanderings.

This journey through the meanders of a quixotic city begins with "Beyond the Garden" which is a beautiful track evolving on a progressive structure where harmonies are hiding behind structures to fine transpositions. A fine synth wave spreads its ethereal breaths up to the suave riffs synth which takes the appearances of a virtual guitar, drawing a rather lounge ambiance. An ambiance which evolves and permutates towards a jazzy tendency with wandering keyboard keys and a piano which frees melodious notes under a soft synthesized mist. Always so rich, Geigertekís universe deploys with a beautiful synth solo and violins of mist which accompany a tempo of which the cadence evolves subtly. After a brief passage where the silence is perturbed by flittering cymbals and a synth line swaying finely, a bass pounds around disco style wah-wah and a piano running freely on the sketch of a rhythm to come. And it comes! With tortuous solos of an incisive synth which blows in the neck of a heavy and galloping rhythm which gets out of breathe after 3 minutes of infernal dance in a night where shooting stars fly above rare automobiles rolling in deserted streets and which a solitary piano is being the only witness of this sudden emptiness. After a shadowy intro fed of caustic and metallic synth waves, "Beauty in Decay" unveils its melancholy with a nostalgic piano from which notes roam among fairy stars that glitter in darkness. The rhythm moves. It draws a structure of greyness where angelic voices and breezes of violins cry and float on sober and dark percussions and a piano which mislead its notes in the abyss of a world of sadness. Itís a very good track immersed by a somber mysticism, quite as the tenebrous "Moonlight Interlude" and its heavy notes of piano which drag nearby the laments of a forsaken saxophone.

With "Underpass" we penetrate into the adjoining zone of Endless Night where Neil Fellowes shows that he possesses a beautiful moving voice (for those who missed Endless Night) and that he feels at ease as much in structures of a rather progressive synth-pop as in EM. A beautiful bed song with a devilish piano, a bit like Carpenterís Halloween but more melodious, pierces a dark veil where voices get lost among dense synth waves. From then on a catchy melody floods our ears with a structure which is similar to those of Ultravox and which we find on Endless Night. Fractured by atmospheres and ambiances and hooked to felted and conventional tones percussions, the rhythm is slow and languishing. The melody find it basis on this famous line of piano and a good union of man/women voices which crosses a somber ambiance that fanciful violins amplify. Itís a very nice track, quite as "Devil May Care" which is more mysterious and where Candice Wellsí voice is as much poignant as the saxophone which cries in a beautiful synth mist. For me, "To Rainfall Moment" is the most intense moment on Soundtrack for City Living. Itís a wonderful electronic ballad where a superb melodious line winds of an ascending movement sober percussions which are encircled of poignant ťlans of mellotron violins. A piano comes to strengthen this great ballad while keyboard keys delude our ears with a tone of guitar. It's incredibly delicious and itís the kind of track which marks our ears. Too beautiful and too good, I would have wanted that it lasts longer. Taking well advantage of its 12 minutes, the structure of "West 9" is more complex, passing from ethereal and cosmic ambiances to a more jazzy approach to end in a great electronic final. After a slow floating intro, the rhythm settles down. Itís light and livened up by some keyboard riffs, skipping sequences and cymbals as well as a suave bass line to elastic notes. Sharp solos are transformed into saxophone breezes, lulled by a beautiful group of mellotron violins. Always so delicate, the rhythm is abandoned but the melody stays and is supported by a piano to notes as much melancholic as jazzy. On a shilly-shally structure, flooded by trumpets breezes and heavy reverberations of a city which wakes up, "West 9" takes back the road of rhythm with a more electronic approach where sequences pulse by increasing the pace while another line is encircle the rhythm which adorns of beautiful solos to tones of trumpets and of a more cheerful piano. "Fast Lane" wears very well the weight of its title. A track sat on nervous sequences, hypnotic pulsations and good synth solos which wrap a synth-pop rhythm. After having listened to automobiles passing by, the rhythm returns heavier with good percussions which frame dazzling synth solos. Not in rest with regard to other tracks "Fast Lane" unwinds on an ambivalent structure, dressed of a very varied musicality, where the frenzied rhythm crosses some more atmospheric passages in accordance with the works of the synthesist and musical visionary whom is Geigertek.

Soundtrack for City Living is a superb album. Very confident in his means, Neil Fellowes aligns 8 compositions where all the essences of EM meet in very beautiful structures in constants evolutions and where the melody is next to a surprising variety of the genres. There are several jewels on this last opus of Geigertek, by far his best to date.

Sylvain Lupari - Synths&Sequences (Canada)


"Soundtrack for City Living" is Geigertekís sonic sketch of the varied feelings and moods encountered in the vibrant nightlife of an imaginary city.

The opening piece "Beyond the Garden" starts out as a cinematic, spherical and warm soundscape composition, nicely spiced with gentle percussion and smooth soaring solo voices. In the second half though, things shift to more up-tempo and rhythmic, with the solo getting quicker but also quite annoying due to the extensive use of pitch control. A quiet-rhythmic, but far more symphonic and ethereal style is heard on the "Beauty of Decay". The slight Vangelis-like mood offers nice echoing piano keys and a soprano voice hovering over a groovy but holdback sequence.

Next is a cover version of John Foxxís 1980 classic electronica track "Underpass". It starts with grand symphonic textures, but soon a mesmerizing rhythm, textures and piano are introduced together with (exaltating) vocals. More (female) vocals and lyrics are featured on "Devil may Care", which to me sounds as it being part of a musical score, but no really my cup of tea. "Moonlight Interlude" settles down with a romantic flavour of piano and expansive (again Vangelis-kindred) synth-textures, later on complimented with a not so great sound of a lonely sax.

"A Rainfall Moment" turns out lush and spherical, featuring a nice interplay of keys, rhythms and e-guitar. Its symphonic sphere reminds of Claus Bockstandtís "Romantic Dreams". The 12-minute "West 9" offers frettless contrabass along a nice solo sound and symphonic soundscapes. Unfortunately, I canít adjust to its overall jazzy feel, thatís also emphasized by the soloing trumpet kicking in halfway. A distinct Vangelis-feel is again close-by. The album ends with "Fast Lane", an attractive and nicely sequenced up-tempo piece with vibrant soloing that would make a nice finale or encore at a live performance.

All in all, I perceive similarities with Vangelisí release "The City", but at the same time the well-produced "Soundtrack for City Living" also turns out to be sonically different, speaking its own voice.

Bert Strolenberg - Sonic Immersion (The Netherlands)