David Kristian

My Three Suns

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Vol. 3 in Piehead Records' 2002 series of limited edition CD-R albums, David Kristian's My Three Suns gets the picture of a lemon-meringue pie for its cover. It's a suitable choice. Under all the sweetness of his careless melodies and IDM beats, one finds the acidity of the sound treatments, the bite in the demeanor of these 13 tracks. Resolutely analog in its sound palette, this album was mainly conceived with Applied Acoustics Systems's Tassman software synthesizer. That means it has the warmth and flexibility of old synth sounds allied with the combinatory art of the digital age. My Three Suns sits more toward the techno-dance end of Kristian's spectrum. Catchy tunes arise from the stacked loops, beat prevails over texture. Compared to the magnificent Room Tone, it can't help but feel a bit trivial, although fans of the artist's early days will appreciate. And its accessible stylings notwithstanding, it remains the product of a highly skilled artist able to construct electro-pop gems. Digging under the surface, one finds strange, unsteady sounds and menacing atmospheres. A highlight is reached in "Whirtle Bear," where pitch-shifting chords accompany a screeching line that sounds a lot more like one of Judy Dunaway's balloons than any electronic instrument. That's not enough to give My Three Suns a distinctive flavor. Released in conjunction with I8U's Grasshopper Morphine, it sounds surprisingly unchallenging when compared to the latter.

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