A few years ago, i used to hang around this record shop on boulevard st-laurent. I went there almost every friday afternoon after work. In part i was drawn by the shop's eclectic inventory, but also because i found the store keeper an interesting fellow. I usually ended up talking to him about music in general, obscure record labels, up and coming artists, musical instruments and recording equipment, that sort of thing. I customarily walked out of there with something interesting to put in the cd player, usually something he had recommended.

Anyway, i picked up this album one day and it turned out to be one of his. I didn't know he made records, let alone expected to pick one up from the store's shelf. It made my newfound friend behind the counter even more intriguing.

To most, this will not be an easy album to listen to, but if you're into sound design and experimental electronica, it will be a fascinating discovery. First, none of the songs fit any particular music style or known category which, in itself, is just great. Then the compositions don't have any conventional or familiar structure which, again, is a refreshing revelation. The most captivating thing about this album are the human-like voices Mr. Kristian carefully makes his synthesizers spit out. I have rarely heard such clever synth programming and performance. Those interesting tones make his instruments come alive. Most compositions have a creepy atmosphere, no surprise there since he has also made soundtracks for a number of suspense/horror movies.

David Kristian is an uncommon composer, a tone magician of sort. He used to play live around the city for a while. I went to see him perform a few times and was always pleased with his shows. I would see him up on stage, hunched over his blinking machines that he manipulated so well, big headphones securely placed over his bouncing head. Unfortunately his gigging days appear to be over, so it says on his website. His time is now strictly occupied composing soundtracks.

To find out more about David, i encourage you to visit his website www.davidkristian.com

Album:  Beneath the valley of the modulars

Artist:  David Kristian

Label:  Alien8 Records

Released:  1999


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