Local musician Martin Birke looked far beyond Sacramento to bring an international flair and depth to his latest project.
Birke founded Genre Peak as a electronic pop trio in 2004 but after a band mate moved to New York, he turned to the Internet to add to the core that includes guitarist Christopher Scott Cooper.
The result? Collaboration with influential British bassist Mick Karn (Japan, Kate Bush) and the Spanish electro-pop group Stereoskop as well as a new Canadian vocalist, Tara C. Taylor, found via MySpace.
Now Birke says, Genre Peak reflects its players exhilarating take on collaboration.
"I gave up my rock star dreams a long time ago," says Birke, whose past projects include Casualty Park, a synth pop duo that composed work for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the 1998 Joe Carnahan film, "Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane."
"Now there's a real joy in getting to work with people who have the same ideas I do - I think that's the success of the album."
"Preternatural" is available online at CDBaby.com and locally at The Beat and R5 Records.
Listen to the single "Wear it Well" at www.sacbee.com/ sacramentosingle.
Song: "Wear it Well"
Style: Densely layered, soaring electro-pop
Behind the song: "This song (originated) from a drum program I created several years ago," Birke says. "I went back to it with the idea of getting a new lead vocalist.
"I was tired of hearing my own voice (because) I always get compared to Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan, so I sent the rough demo to Tara," he says.
When Taylor sent him back her vocal demos, Birke knew he'd hit on the right sound.
"I told her, 'this is good - we need to get you down in the studio," Birke says.
"Wear it Well," he adds, served as the album's launching point.
"I hadn't consciously been thinking about doing an whole record but after that song, but that's the track that the album grew from - the rest of it just came so easy."
On the Web: www.myspace.com/genrepeak
Listen to "Wear it Well" here: