Christian, John

John Christian is a UK based electronic musician. Since 1995 he has been a member of airsculpture who play improvised electronica broadly in the "Berlin School" style.. As a solo artist, John's music inevitably has a lot in common with his work with AirSculpture but presents more composed, structured soundscapes. Many tracks have layers of sequences that mesh in a complex fashion that is hard to achieve within the improvised band framework.
Christian, John
John Christian - Glis Glis

Artists: John Christian
P: 2021

John Christian is one of the three founding members of UK's Airsculpture. One of the finest EM trio's in this day and age of Electronic Music. With Airsculpture they made awesome great music and gave many live performances in the last 25 years (the formed in 1995!)
As a solo artist, John's music inevitably has a lot in common with his work with AirSculpture but presents more composed, structured soundscapes. Many tracks have layers of sequences that mesh in a complex fashion that is hard to achieve within the improvised band framework.
John about the music.For a long time, I've been exploring electronic music, learning through trial and error. My biggest conclusion in this time is that the defining principle of EM is timbre. If the sounds used aren't amongst the most important elements of a piece, then it's not electronic music, it's music that just happens to be created with electronic instruments.
Gils Gils is very much in line with this philosophy. I began setting up sounds on my Eurorack modular recording as I went. Over time I added more voices, refined what I had, and practiced playing them - recording all the time. Superficially it's just a simple sequencer album - the origional idea was to have no keyboard parts just abstract sounds and rhythms - but the timbral focus is key, with sound parameters continually changing by manual tweaks and modulation.
The three tracks are taken from five of the best takes from these recordings. After living with them for a while I decided they needed some keyboard parts as well, so for two of the tracks I spent some time recording overdubs. The interplay between the mechanical pulse of the sequencer and the imperfect human element is another of my touchstones and it adds an element of life to them. The title track is unadulterated, leaving its interesting quantised pitch sweeps in the foreground.
As well as developing the music I was working on a video setup with the intention of being able to livestream. This hasn't yet worked out well enough to use live but there is a video recording of the first section of Russel's teapot - just the sequencer parts.


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John Christian - Sol Invictus

Artists: John Christian
P: 2015

Berlin School sequences made by the musician from Airsculpture. Moody Atmosphere and some melodic parts inside. Nice second release by John.

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John Christian - Susbarbatus

Artists: John Christian
P: 2009

Susbarbatus was released on 31 October 2009 at Hampshire Jam 8 where John was performing as part of AirSculpture.

Susbarbatus is John's first solo album, or second if you count the home-made CDR "Bohunt Sabotage".
The original intention was to follow up Bohunt quickly with an album based around cleaned up versions of that material. This didn't quite go to plan! Three years later, half the tracks on Susbarbatus are related to this material but in significantly polished form. The remainder is brand new music.
Stylistically the album inevitably has some similarity to John's work with AirSculpture. The backbone of the album is a set of sequencer driven tracks, mixing moody atmospherics with expressive melodic lines. It is much more structured, though, with more in the way of well defined melodies.
It should appeal to the established AirSculpture fans and maybe to others who find the AS style too free form.
Two tracks diverge from this pattern: "Brane Storm" is deep-space ambient, and "Antiquark" is a gentle sequencer track that perhaps invokes Steve Reich rather than the Berlin school.

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Matthew Stringer (Perge) - Changing Landscapes (2CD)

Artist: Matthew Stringer
P: 2018
Melodic Electronic titles in the John Dyson, Wavestar, Michal Shipway, Robert Fox style.
Not that retro as on his Perge releases but with very nice melodies and more contemporary.

19,90 EUR
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Schwingungen Radio auf CD - Edition Nr.243  08/15
Schwingungen - Radio auf CD
Edition Nr.: 243

5,00 EUR
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Schwingungen Radio auf CD - Edition Nr.316 09/2021
Schwingungen - Radio auf CD
Edition Nr.: 316
5,00 EUR
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V/A - Beyond Me

Artist: Vidna Obamana, Steve Roach,
Thom Brennan

P: 2001
The sleevenotes read like a veritable "who's who" of current synth artists: Paul Ellis, Nemesis, Free System Projekt, Robert Carty, Rudy Adrian, Kubusschnitt, Dave Fulton, Synthetic Block, Paul Nagle, Arcane, John Christian (from AirSculpture) and Ramp. This project was borne from the internet chat group "beyond_em", a thriving source of news, information and general gossip which has hundreds of subscribers, including the artists here and many more. As Paul Ellis, the co-ordinator and "guy to blame", as he describes himself, says on the sleeve ".....I was surprised by the number of other musos on the list and the high quality of their work. I threw out an idea where one musician would pick up the musical thread of the previous musician and make an album that way......"
'Beyond Me' is the result, a virtual embarrassment of riches. There is so much tempting music on this album you really won't know where to start. The majority of tracks are new, only the Arcane piece has appeared previously on the 'Alterstill' CDR, and Paul Nagle's track has appeared in remixed form on 'Blue Book'. Just before I dive into the tracks, one mention for the sleeve graphics especially the inside cover featuring cartoon cameos of all the artists - it's very cleverly done.
Fittingly Paul Ellis gets the show on the road with a fantastic piece called 'Into the Liquid Unknown' (8.19). It features magnificent sequence contortions which are sometimes left to twist and mutate in isolation, at other times accompanied by perfectly judged silken pads. Next up is 'Nemesis' with 'Siloportem'(7.25). A punchy beat underpins expert sequencing and some classic mellotron sounds. Again it's a top notch synth outing, and blends perfectly with the former piece, and the next track for that matter - 'Pharos' (5.27) from 'Free System Projekt. This really does bring to mind mid 70's EM with mellotron timbres painting a patchwork of sound which could be straight from 'Phaedra'. Half way through the piece those trademark FSP pulsations start up and we are on another roller coaster of rampant moog style sequences and epic synth textures.
Robert Carty contributes 'Outside Influences' (5.10) which opens with strange alien utterings before a slow but mammoth beat appears around which all manner or electronic detail is layered. It sounds slightly tribal, Aztec culture comes to mind, such as the more atmospheric work of Richard Burmer. Next it's Rudy Adrian with 'Secrets in Sahara Sands' (6.42) which carries on the atmosphere and style perfectly, yet stamps a very different interpretation with a choppy sequence and ethereal synth layers. Kubusschnitt's 'Vantage Trick' (6.18) will surprise (and disappoint) no-one, being a classic slab of retro sequencing with electric guitar angst pitched perfectly in the mix. Dave Fulton's 'Falling Away' (5.32) takes the baton, a strangely beguiling collection of electronic throbs and drones while 'Flash of Attention' (1.45) by Synthetic Block is a brief but perfectly formed cameo which features syncopating oscillations.
Paul Nagle's 'Adventure' (8.37) opens with a marvellous arpeggiating sequence and an infectious melody. John Hickey contributes foreboding words before "the cave closes" to allow Arcane's 'Alterstill part 3' (6.00) to be unleashed. If by some twist of fate you haven't got this track, the situation needs to be rectified immediately. First aired at Jodrell Bank, this is possibly the only track which has ever left myself and Dave Law speechless at the same time.'Heathkit Interociter' (4.12) by John Christian is a fascinating and quite unique sequence based track - wonderfully inventive in construction, very melodic and hugely entertaining. Finally Ramp serve up 'Rapture of the Deep' (6.21) and this has to be heard to be believed - atmospherics from the Gods.What an album! No matter what your taste in EM this has it all, in one cohesive high quality package. Buy without hesitation. (GG)

13,90 EUR
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