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Room Tone

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Album Review

There may not be two David Kristian albums significantly alike, but Room Tone really stands out. First, it is much more abstract than anything else the artist has released; second, it captures him at a creative peak. Forget the beats and all the techno spirit; here, Kristian focuses on very low frequencies quietly rumbling on the threshold of auditory perception, mixing in loops of textural analog synths. Conceived (it seems) as a single 70-minute work, the piece has been carefully sculpted to achieve a spellbinding level of estheticism. "Cinematic" is a word too often used in many contexts, but this music is undeniably projected like a film. It triggers images in your mind — images that will change depending on the acoustic properties of your listening room, because the tones come alive once unleashed, bouncing off the walls and vibrating. The work has the provocativeness of Ryoji Ikeda and Carl Michael von Hausswolff's music, but despite its high level of abstraction, it remains easier to listen to, more inviting. Tracks like "Dog Dreams of Running" and "Memoryard" stand on their own as beautiful pieces of experimental ambient — and in general, fans of drone music will find much to love here. Other moments bring to mind Tangerine Dream before they were signed to Virgin Records. But it is as a whole that Room Tone reveals all the scope of Kristian's talent. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Based in Montreal, David Kristian has looked far back into electronic music's past to unite his vision of soundtrack music and experimental electronics. Inspired by the first completely electronic film score, 1956's Forbidden Planet by Louis and Bebe Barron, Kristian recorded a 1997 album (Cricklewood) as a tribute to the radical sound experiments that the Barrons used to record it. Kristian's recording career began in the early '80s while working at a cable-television station in New Brunswick. Deciding...
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Room Tone, David Kristian
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