David Kristian Sampling the Goods
Published Feb 01, 2000"I'm not upset that they did it, because I do enjoy their work, but one of the reasons I'm not too crazy about being sampled is because I don't like sampling myself. Sampling is OK, but appropriation is a grey area."
Montreal's David Kristian is referring to Jedi Knights and Jega's nicking of a "spacy synth pad" he fashioned and used on a track a few years back on his Discreet-released Clubfoot EP. His most recent releases on the Alien8 imprint -Cricklewood (his tribute to the 1956 movieForbidden Planet ), Woodworking (remixes from Kid 606, Solvent, and others sourcingCricklewood ) and Beneath The Valley Of The Modulars (material from '94 to '98) - have since included a blunt "no sampling allowed" in the liner notes. Kristian, however, isn't too proud to admit that he has committed the sin of sound stealth in the past. "I would sample things from anime films like mangas, because I could not recreate the exact same voices or same atmosphere, and it was also a nod to the style, but I realised at some point that it sort of cheapened my tracks, because when I listen back, those are the things that I wish I could remove."
Now that he's moved on from sampling others, he's sampling himself - literally. "I do use sampling, but I sample sources in my studio. Like I'll use my own voice for a choir, create something, or record sounds outside and use those." Kristian is adept at a variety of styles of electronic music - from drum & bass, downtempo, and minimal techno, to experimental electronics, drones, and sound washes - and he's started his own company, David Kristian Sound Design, to deal with the resulting work offers in film composition. His forthcoming Room Tone album on Alien8 lets us in on this new career move, one with which Kristian is especially pleased.
"When you're working on a film," he says, "one day it might be a snow-scape with a chase scene or [the director] might ask you for the sound of burning spider webs - you have to come up with that and it's really challenging."