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Gekko Projekt: Electric Forest

A new band is among us and let me tell you they are excellent. Gekko Projekt formed in 2010 and consists of Vance Gloster (keyboards, vocals), Peter Matuchniak (guitars), Rick Meadows (bass) and Alan Smith (drums, vocals). Electric Forest is the band's first album and a very good one it is. Seven of the ten tracks are instrumentals and the musicianship is top notch throughout.

Melodic progressive rock is alive and well, thanks to bands like Gekko Projekt injecting new life into the genre. From the opening guitar line of the stellar instrumental "Particle Dance", a combination of modern progressive rock with dashes of retro and fusion you just know Electric Forest is a record that exudes quality and outstanding songwriting. The band's sound is very much built around the guitar work of Peter Matuchniak and he does not disappoint. The founding member of the progressive rock band Evolve IV has his signature guitar sound stamped all over this disc. Keyboards are also prominent and superbly executed.

The great tunes keep coming from the irresistibly catchy progressive pop of "Black Hole" featuring the unique vocals of Alan Smith to the jazzy prog of "Cognitive Dissonance" with its strong fusion element especially in Matuchniak's guitar work. In the dreamier sections the keys seem to float on air giving the music a light and airy sheen. "London Vibe" continues on that jazzier path recalling Weather Report with a hint of Steely Dan flavoured keyboards. In "Avatar Jones" each musician shines creating a tantalizing piece of music reminding me of The Tangent's more recent endeavors and Matchuniak's guitar work varies from a melodic slow burn to a more scorching style. A heavy dose of retro returns with "Erdinger", another progressive fusion delight featuring cool synth breaks and Rick Meadow's rich bass lines.

Another favourite is the spacey "October Skies" with Blue Oyster Cult inspired vocals and trippy keyboards.

My only complaint is at just over forty minutes long it is rather short by today's standards. It would have been cool had the band tackled a longer composition. I suppose I just didn't want this CD to end.

Electric Forest is one of the best CDs I have heard thus far in 2012 and should remain entrenched in many progressive music fans top ten lists at the end of the year. For lack of better words - simply outstanding!

Track Listing:
1. Particle Dance
2. Black Hole
3. Cognitive Dissonance
4. London Vibe
5. Avatar Jones
6. Erdinger
7. Martian Sunrise
8. State Of Siege
9. October Skies
10. Particle Coda

Added: September 7th 2012
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1474
Language: english

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