c-gak

'international city soundtrack'

Best track: the troposphere

click album cover to listen

an international city, a curious subject. what would that look like? would it be set here on earth or perhaps 408km above the surface? Or for those of you with a more vivid imagination...might it be a 'total recall' scenario.

I'm asking all these questions because for the first time in quite a while, the title of an album and it's featured tracks coincided to whisk my mind off on a futuristic journey in to what life might sound like in another 500 years. and the score to our planets' distant forthcoming is the wonderful 'international city soundtrack'

'night comes to the city' mirrors the buzz of the high street, or whatever they'll be called in a few centuries. The hustle and bustle of flying vehicles and shop windows enveloped in neon lights, invisible dog leads and vivid silver clothing upon on-rushing personnel. it has a real 'fifth element' feel to it. fast forward to the early hours when things have quietened down and the only things left on the moonlit avenues are a couple of stray foxes and a couple returning to their hotel. the air is softer and the deafening noise of the earlier rush has subsided to reveal the track 'empty streets'.

'THE GRAND PRIX' IS PROBABLY THE TRACK WITH THE MOST SUBSTANCE ON THIS COMPILATION, SLIGHTLY FASTER IN TEMPO AND STRUCTURALLY MORE COMPLEX BUT WITH A HELL OF A LOT OF DIFFERENT SYNTH STYLES IN USE. THE INTRO IS a bit ostentatious for my liking and is rapidly replaced by a more likeable set of cosmic synths. then without knowing it, those earlier garish synths are back! weirdly, they work tremendously well together. suprise suprise! there's a lot going on with this track, especially for an instrumental and i think for many listeners, it'll either be one you love or loathe.

by the time we reach track 7 titled 'the view from signal hill', you come to realise the shape of this album. really it's more of an EP with some solid tracks, then nestled between them all you get a couple of soft interludes. i personally think in the subgenre of cybersynth/futuresynth, these work brilliantly to break things up a bit and take a breather. Quite often the aforementioned genres can be quite in-your-face and noisy, so bravo on the additions!

the best track without a doubt is 'the troposphere', this being the thin layer of ozone situated at the lower region of our atmosphere. now imagine if you will, being at the end of the point at which life can be sustained on this planet of ours...where you are literally above all else in this world. imagine the serene and untroubled beauty of being in that vast nothingness and looking back down on all the troubles and strifes of the real world down there. this track uses one simple element to try to enduce that feeling of peace. and it's just a whirring synth on repeat that you hear on it's own in the intro and outro that plays constantly throughout. it's strange for something so easy to be the defining part of a song. perhaps there's a genre for a cross between dreamwave and futuresynth and has c-gak may have just invented it?

the only thing missing on this track is a full-blooded single. A track to really stand out from the rest and take the scene by the scruff of the neck. but that's not to say this compilation doesn't have enough going for it outright. it's an inspired collection of sounds to a future that's not as far away as we think. this is a more intelligent and certainly more experimental piece of work than 'make out music for the mtv generation' which had a 'sleepy' aura about it according to c-gak himself. well i say the cyberbeast within him has awoken with a flourish! joe ward 8/10

a visual representation of the album:

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