Every electronic musician is eventually advised, by helpful neighbors or well-meaning relatives, to look into doing soundtrack work. Along with being the most obvious recommendation ever, it is also the most naive as making music for the movies is the desire of just about every musician and so competitive as to be achieved by only a select few. From the seclusion of his studio, Jeff Greinke has been making music for use in film, dance and performance art. The album Soundtracks (67'13") compiles six commissions which are fully realized ambient works in and of themselves. This album may, at first, come across as somewhat uncharacteristic of Greinke's more well-known output, concentrating on the gentler side of his creativity. But Greinke brings to these projects his own unique sound and personality, especially in the darker moments. These pieces are more than just a catalogue of textures and processing systems. His music has always been about ambience, climate and mood; compelling through its subtlety, and as a soundtrack composer, Greinke is off to a good start. The works on Soundtracks are all custom tailored and specific for each project. Video drafts were composed against. The music then went back and forth between Greinke and his director until reaching an accord. Overall, these distinctive and original works are haunted by vague references to other great independent soundtrack artists and 20th Century composers, but consistently manages to dwell at the fringes of this obscure genre and well outside conventional standards. Unlike many soundworld pieces, here the composer is fully in attendance during every moment. Each movement precisely nudged, paced and drifted into areas prescribed by a visual counterpart. The centerpiece of this album is the epic length "Oil and Water" (26'45"), a somber piece of beautiful harmonies and elegant timbres which slowly disintegrates into discord. Becoming a dark and moody meditation on slow and churning change, the track portrays an invented dreamlike environment - a place in the wild conjured by Greinke's cerebral and electronic atonality. Passing on through the subdued tones, the arc of this sonic journey rises to brighter, friendlier terrain... to a pronounced awakening. The mind has corridors surpassing material place and traveling this piece, and this album, is wonderful, even without the visual images it has been created in union with.
- STAR'S END/Chuck van Zyl 27 August 2004