jeudi 6 octobre 2011

GEIGERTEK: Soundtrack for City Living (2011)

1 Beyond the Garden (11:31)
2 Beauty in Decay (9:15)
3 Underpass (8:21)
4 Devil May Care (5:17)
5 Moonlight Interlude (4:50)
6 A Rainfall Moment (7:45)
7 West 9 (12:38)
8 Fast Lane (6:09)


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 cities’ 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, Geigertek’s 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. It’s 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 Carpenter’s 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. It’s a very nice track, quite as "Devil May Care" which is more mysterious and where Candice Wells’ 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. It’s a wonderful electronic ballad where a superb melodious line winds of an ascending movement sober percussions which are encircled of poignant élans 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 it’s 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. It’s 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 (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

Here's Neil Fellowes Website:

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