It seems a bit amazing that San Diego-by-way-of-the-world musician and artist Christopher Sluka is not better known in the UK. Progressive rock seems to be an obsession amongst many Brits, and Sluka is something of a cult hero in U.S. prog rock circles. To wit: the Seattle native has managed to release a full 10 albums over the course of his career and while it’s sure he has some fans in Blighty, not a peep from more popular prog rock syndicates. Sluka’s newest album, Introversions, has just spawned a series of videos which he has released on Blu-ray. Four of these videos are available streaming on Youtube.
The sound on Sluka’s new album is first and foremost prog rock, but it also contains some strong indie, classic rock, pop and orchestral elements. “Gothic Cavalier” is the first video released on Youtube from Sluka’s 10th album. The track opens with a funk bass but moves more Roxy Music-ways quickly before Sluka’s rock guitar and Bowie-esque vocals come into the picture. The only thing “gothic” about this track, however, is the church bell sample woven throughout the track.
It’s clear Sluka is influenced by David Bowie, as his vocals reflect this influence quite strongly. The lyrics of Introversions second video, “Doctor Strangelove” also have this Bowie tinge, but they can also sound quite hard rock or indie rock. On this track, listeners might detect a bit of Ed Roland-of-Collective-Soul-style throat singing.
“Valentine Lies” is different from the first two videos in that it exposes Sluka’s classical influence. The video is also different in that is shows a recording session rather than a performance piece of Sluka and his band. Classical composition here also allows Sluka to unleash his inner 80s rock god. Sluka is as much into visual art as he is into his music, and while the videos are generally simply done, the direction and production are clean and high-quality.
“Sadder Than Sad” is arguably the best track on Introversions as far as Sluka’s vocals and production. Still well inside prog rock territory, he opts here for some darker sounds and more indie composition. The video is also a new level in the scope of what’s been seen on streaming so far, with more cinematic footage. The HD quality of this video is breathtaking even on a non Blu-ray format like Youtube.
Sluka is a very different type of prog rock, so maybe that’s why the UK hasn’t latched onto him with as much fervor as expected. Nonetheless, this musician and artist has a rabid international following, and it’s most likely only a matter of time. Inrtoversions and its gorgeous requisite Blu-ray will more than likely catch Sluka even more fans. Interoversions can be streamed or purchased on Sluka’s Bandcamp page, and more videos will be available soon through his website. The Blu-ray video compilation is most easily purchased on Sluka’s Amazon page.