Christopher Sluka is a one-man band, literally. His new album Introversions is now the tenth the world traveller has recorded under his surname which also happens to be his stage name.
Having been born in the Pacific Northwest the sombre influence that many artists wear as a rainy badge of honour hailing from our section of the Northern Hemisphere is immediately apparent. Though never one to stay in one place for long, Sluka began his worldly travels early due to his parents moving often. Frequently lumped in with such acts as Tears For Fears and Simple Minds early in his career, the modern day renaissance man began to lean heavily on the inspiration he gained musically through his litany of global travels.
Nothing short of epic with his compositions, Sluka is internationally renowned for having a soft yet powerful voice; a quality he readily shares in the onset of his new album Introversions on the first track “Valentine Lies”.
Showing a glimpse of his diversity on the follow-up track to “Valentine Lies” entitled “San Diego Zoo” named after the infamous zoo in his adopted home town, Sluka exhibits some of the international flare that gave him so much notoriety in Japan; a country that he lived in and fell in love with after the Japanese embraced his art with such vigor.
Having been recording music as well as acting since 1988-89 respectively in addition with the resurgence of 80’s pop culture, it should come as no surprise that Sluka brought back some of that classic synthesiser sound synonymous with the awkward decade on the track “Sunday’s Child” . Apparently a proponent of timing, Sluka first made a video for the 80’s sounding jam “Sunday’s Child” in Japan back in 2009, but calculatingly held off releasing the track on a full length album until 2016.
To say that Sluka is heavily involved in the group adorned with his namesake is an understatement. On top of lending his sensitive vocals to the project Sluka is credited as having written and recorded every instrument on the album Introversions, including drums, violin, bass, guitar, and keyboards; love it or hate Sluka’s dedication to educating and immersing himself into his art is admirable.
On “Paralyzed” Sluka shifts focus from the synthesizer and electronic drums of the song prior and picks up the guitar for a softer toned ballad. Look for an impressive note held vocally at the 01:34 mark of the tune that showcases some of softer nuances to Sluka’s gothic personality.
Sluka is said to be inspired by Bruce Dickinson’s operatic vocal range (Sluka is more occasional than Dickenson’s) and elaborate performance art type stage show. Sluka’s parallels to the Iron Maiden front man don’t stop there, after he trading in his acting hat (1988’s “Vampire Kiss”) for a flight helmet the virtuoso’s passion for aviation drew him into stunt pilot work for the film “La Migra”.
The name Sluka is a Czech name translated as (woodcock) a nervous or shy person, however, somebody obviously forgot to mention that shy quality to Christopher Sluka. Part late Beatles, part Roch Voisine on “I’ll Always Be There”, Sluka talks about a “Fear of an Ordinary Life” on Introversions’ tenth track. It’s safe to say that an ordinary life seems to have been largely avoided, from his renowned oil paintings having graced the walls of art galleries in Milan, New York, Tokyo and San Diego to producing a music video for every song on his Introversions album, there is nothing ordinary about the Washington State native. A man that is ten albums deep and by all counts roams the world like Kwai Chang Caine from “Kung Fu” (“The Legend Continues” for the younger readers), don’t sleep on the modern day renaissance man, Christopher Sluka.