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Kristian, Shalabi, St. Onge

Kristian, Shalabi, St. Onge - Kristian, Shalabi, St. Onge

Kristian, Shalabi, St. Onge
Alien8 - 2001

Michael Panontin
A gathering of the "garde" - avant-garde that is - is usually a momentous event, especially in Montreal these days. On this CD, electronics composer David Kristian sidles up to Shalabi Effect members Sam Shalabi on guitar and oud and Alexandre St.Onge on upright bass to rather underwhelming effect.

Kristian's ambient sounds should by rights dovetail with Shalabi and St. Onge's chilling experimental soundscapes. But here there is a gnawing sense of tension, especially to the stringed instruments, which are bowed rather than plucked. For instance, the opener 'Dirt Well' is an eerie drone of bowed bass and guitar, foreboding to a point, but ultimately confounding. Likewise with 'The Heart of a Mouse', which loops some intriguing glitch squeaks, but suffers a similar fate, coming off more as a whimsical throwaway track than as serious composition. As a sound effects record this is interesting stuff, at times even riveting, but taken as a whole Kristian, Shalabi, St. Onge is a bit of a claustrophobic headfuck.




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