SLUKA Albums, History, & Reviews

Syncopated Gothic Groove Rock...

Yes, often syncopated with a danceable groove, echoing The Police without the Reggae undertones, even at times touching upon Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music. Gothic?... Well, yes... and no. In fact, it is actually easier to describe what this music is not. It is not Goth, Hard Rock, nor Heavy Metal. It is not Blues Rock, Jazz Rock, and really not even Progressive Rock as most people think of it. Although Sluka is affected by true gothic style, architecture, mood, history, and the Kafka-esque psychology of Bohemia, from where the name Sluka originates and from where some of his ancestors emigrated two centuries ago,... and although often lyrically he lives in a world of melancholy, Sluka is not Goth. It is not easy to categorize Sluka and so it must simply fall into the catchall genre of Rock. Clearly influenced by many diverse artists, it is inspired, emotional, professionally produced, melodic, well aware of and resigned to the harsh realities of life, and yet ultimately... extraordinarily... hopeful. Making music on his own terms and not seeking the spotlight in his own country for the past three decades, much has now been written about him in 2016. And although not as widely known as his contemporaries, he does appear to have cleverly avoided the pitfalls of those artists forever immersed in the pursuit of fame game.

- Wikipedia

Christopher Sluka
– singer, songwriter, musician, and performer – has recorded ten studio albums and has a fan base that spans across continents.

Born near Seattle, Christopher enjoyed a multinational upbringing as he was raised all around the world, with his family never spending more than a couple of years in any one location – a life experience that is evident in his cosmopolitan musical compositions.

At the start of his career, performing on the New York Club scene, Christopher found himself in the same melting pot with artists such as Tears For Fears, INXS, Talk Talk and Simple Minds. But after recording a single in Los Angeles (with Cat Gray who worked extensively with Prince), he found an appreciative audience in Japan, where he went on to release a further two albums. His body of work includes the critically acclaimed Emotional Battlefield, Fear of Ordinary Life, A Matter of Perception, Solo Flight and, more recently, Introversions.

Over the years, Christopher’s visionary style has developed and matured – always remaining enigmatic, yet keeping a focus on creative songwriting, while cultivating an international reputation for his enthralling "live" performances.

That stagecraft has allowed Christopher to map a career where he has been able to sell-out venues for his concert performances, often using those enthusiastic audiences to mark the release of his records. And critical demand has also resulted in Christopher enjoying numerous television appearances, memorable radio interviews and excellent press reviews, wherever he has travelled and performed. He has gained immeasurable experience from his passion for performing "live," to which he credits the strength of his powerful yet sensitive voice, as well as inspiration for his songwriting. Of course, Christopher hasn't achieved this success all by himself; he has been fortunate to work with some of the most talented musicians in the business, many of whom have become lifelong friends. And although he has been gifted enough to be compared to icons such as David Bowie and The Beatles, he has also been compared to more contemporary artists such as Coldplay, Radiohead, The Killers, and even the ethereal Sigur Ros.

In addition to his uniquely accessible music, Christopher is also a globally renowned visual artist and his surrealistic oil paintings have graced wall space in galleries from New York to San Diego, and Tokyo to Milan. Away from the arts, Christopher is an avid distance runner. And when he doesn’t have his feet on terra firma, Christopher is an accomplished aircraft pilot (Jet type-rated) who is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Bruce Dickinson, the legendary aviator who fronts the world’s biggest heavy rock act, Iron Maiden.

Late 2016 sees Christopher Sluka back in the recording studio, working on new music that will become the backdrop to his two-year aspiration to yet again tour Europe and the rest of the world. That plan will involve the release of a Blu Ray video album of Introversions on November 1st, coinciding when Christopher will be performing in clubs throughout Europe. That will be followed in Spring 2017 with the release of his eleventh studio album, ahead of a projected festival tour in Summer 2017.

- Gordon Masson - ILMC (International Live Music Conference) London, U.K. May 2, 2016

“If it’s good, then it’s fucking good, and there is nothing you can do about it… I am officially a fan of Sluka, Introversions is pretty, darn, great… and that’s OK…"

- Brian Furman - Rara's Farm, August 10, 2016

It's been nearly impossible to divine the driving force behind Sluka's sound. It's clearly inspired by classic and modern music alike, yet strangely unfamiliar. The phrase 'this guy sounds like'... comes to mind and nearly escapes the tip of the tongue except for the fact that just when you think you've narrowed it down, Sluka, the chameleon he is, melts, or rather morphs in front of your ears. It would not be a stretch to say the man is just that talented. Each track on Introversions would qualify as a track of note to a reviewer trying hard to explain why they dig the sound, but the truth of the matter is that they border on undefinable. To the listener, on an unusually solemn day, the music may read as such. That is to say, the audience's mood and emotion may play a big part in what is perceived. It is therefore perfectly acceptable to say every track sends any given person down a different rabbit-hole. Sluka is what Sluka is, and those who appreciate genius will appreciate his.

- Scott Alexander -Abort Magazine, September 21, 2016

Sluka's preferred mood is downcast, a stylized moodiness, the shared qualities of poets and assorted fans afflicted with swampy temperaments. What keeps me coming back to Introversions are the hooks, the riffs, the melodies. Sluka's music here is catchier, his manner more searching, a man in a dark room braving a bit of sunshine.

- Tim Burke - San Diego Reader, September 2, 2016

More history:

After several years performing on the New York club scene, his first big break came in 1988 when he was approached by some Japanese record executives after a concert. They were impressed by the sound of the band, his voice, and the distinctive and emotive songwriting. They invited him to record one of his songs in Los Angeles to be released as a CD single in Japan. The song, "Sunday's Child," did so well that an album deal was inevitable. The original name of the band was "Fear of Ordinary Life" but the record company felt the name was too long and complicated for the international market. They noted that Christopher's last name when pronounced in Japanese as "Su-ru-ka" is a common and suggestive phrase to pick up someone in a bar in Japan and they thought the association interesting and provocative. As part of the record deal the band had to change their name to SLUKA. So SLUKA was signed to Meldac, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi, for two albums.

The 1st SLUKA album, "Emotional Battlefield", which includes Sunday's Child, was recorded in Japan in 1989.

The 2nd SLUKA album, "Fear of Ordinary Life", was also recorded in Japan in 1990 in a studio at the base of Mt. Fuji.

The 3rd SLUKA album was recorded for Waves/CGD/Time-Warner in Italy in 1993.

After many years of living abroad, Sluka returned to the USA in 1994 to live in San Diego where he purchased the Javanican Coffee House in Pacific Beach. A second coffee house was opened in Mission Beach, San Diego. Christopher performed acoustic versions of his music at both locations regularly when he was in San Diego.

The 4th SLUKA Album: "A Matter of Perception" was his first album recorded in the United States. It was released through his own label, Steel Flower Music, in 1997.

The 5th SLUKA Album: "A San Diego Zoo" was released in 1999 and found major exposure through the internet at sites becoming increasingly popular such as & iTunes.

The 6th SLUKA Album: "Social Anxiety" was released March 30, 2001.
It delves into danceable Gothic Rock steeped in rythmic acoustic guitars, complex drums, and the spacey keyboard-like vocals of Jennifer Hart.
The album was released on Sluka's Steel Flower Music Label (SFM3) and distributed throughout the world.
Musically, the album is a unique mix of acoustic instruments & synthesized sounds.
Lyrically, Sluka explores the erotic side of social pyschology.

The SLUKA Compilation Album: "Songs From The Set List" was released August 7, 2001.
This Collection of 20 songs, taken from the first six Sluka Albums, was remastered and enhanced especially for this compilation.
The songs were chosen because they were the most often performed "live" at Sluka concerts during the 2001 Summer european tour.
The album was released on Sluka's Steel Flower Music Label (SFM4) and distributed throughout the world.

The Eighth SLUKA CD and Bonus DVD: "Gothic Cavalier" released October 13, 2004.
12 Studio Recordings and a companion DVD that contains a video of the title track and "Live" performances from concert tours throughout the world
as well as interviews, television appearances, documentaries, and videos for songs released during the previous 15 years.
The album was released on Sluka's Steel Flower Music Label (SFM5) and distributed throughout the world.

The Ninth SLUKA Album: "Solo Flight" released March 17, 2009.

In October, 2008, Christopher sold the coffee house business to focus on writing and recording a new album.

"Solo Flight" contains 16 new recordings. As the title suggests, this album was not only a solo effort, but an additional challenge was to write and record songs that would utilize only an electric guitar, a drum machine, and a single lead vocal expressing the melodies with visceral biting lyrics.
All the tracks were recorded "live" in the studio (as a listener would hear them "live" in concert), without the use of studio effects, edits, or overdubs.

"Introversions" released 1/11/2016

"Colorful Radiation" released June 1st, 2017

Christopher Sluka has been an aviation enthusiast all his life.
He has a Masters Degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle University
He currently holds a Commercial Pilot's License with Instrument Rating
and is a Gold Seal Certified Flight Instructor (CFI, CFII, MEI, ATP) by the FAA.
With over 5,000 hours, he flies and instructs in single-engine, twin engine (MEI), and complex aircraft.
He is the Chief Instructor for Learn To Fly San Diego, Montgomery Field Airport, San Diego, CA. An Airline Transport Pilot, he is also type rated in the CJ series of jet airplanes.
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