“Inside A Wall” loosely documents the experience of a young character living in West Berlin during the early nineteen-eighties. Ignoring perhaps more obvious tropes of cold-war espionage and the like, the disk begins with the narrator’s first arrival in the city and border-line negotiation (Sweet Breakfast, Believe Me), his nostalgia for the small-town love and life he has left behind (Huge Sky, The North Sea), his adventure in the city’s unique demi-monde (Things Are Strange, Memory, She Isn’t Here, Cafe Einstein) and his eventual realisation that it is indeed, time to move on (Unfortunate Paradise).
UK born Geoffrey Armes first visited West Berlin during the nineteen-eighties, and the flavour of his first few months there had a profound effect on him. One that stayed with him until some thirty years later he exhumed the notebooks kept during that period and re-vitalised the musical fragments conceived that first year. These constitute his new release, “Inside A Wall”.
“Inside A Wall,” is now long term NYC resident Armes’ first full on vocal release since “Noor,” 1976. Ranging from full-blooded rock numbers such as “Things Are Strange” to the Dub influenced “Believe Me,” and “She Isn’t Here,” to the world music tinged acoustic “Unfortunate Paradise” this release scans thirty years stylistic development that has happened in both music at large and Armes’ own artistic development. Armes puts his own indelible stamp on genres past and present, rendering a stylistic melange of his own creation that reverberates with a sense of history as well as fiery modernity.
Although an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, who has often played everything on both his releases and those of other artists, this time producer Armes chose to include performances from other musicians, some also in NYC, others as far way as Wales. Most of these these players have become the core band now performing music from “Inside a Wall,” live in East Coast club venues. Armes juggles this with producing and recording other artists in his Manhattan based studio and his work as composer/improvisor/accompanist at the Neighborhood Playhouse.