David Kristian, Sawdust Sinedust Squaredust
David Kristian has released a number of CDs, and his songs appear on compilations by Worm Interface, Schematic, and a bunch of other reputable IDM labels. So Kristian's work is well-known (at least, in the weird world of electronic music). That said, I was actually surprised by the music I found on this release. Unlike the intense, beat-laden, frenzied music one would expect to find from a Schematic artist, I found complex yet quiet music that, while exploring various levels of rhythm and melody, nevertheless maintained an almost atmospheric or even ambient approach. The title is a pun on the word sawdust and the saw, sine, and square waveforms that are the building blocks of electronic musical composition. In other words, whereas sawdust is the fine, chewed-up remains of a dead tree, the saw, sine, and square dust heard here are the fine, chewed-up remains of electronic music. So instead of a bunch of hard beats, loud noises, and screeching FXs, we get soft, almost invisible 808 and CGD beats that hover above and behind large atmospheric soundscapes of deep, often dark synth sounds. "Pegel" is a good example of this. It starts out with a scattered, even dusty rhythm that pans back and forth, disappears for a few moments, then returns, accompanied by a growing organ melody that keeps growing and growing, even as the beat picks up more sounds. Pretty soon the melody and the beat are intertwined, with some CGD distorting into the melody and some synth sounds picking up tempo to become rhythm. It seems like a simple song, but it isn't. There are at least six or seven different patterns working together here, and the fact that they all seem to make sense together is a testament to Kristian's skill as a musician. This is an intelligent work from an established artist whose work is as good and as intelligent as electronic music gets.
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