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. Indeed airsculpture were at the heart of the resurgence of this style along with groups such as radio massacre international and redshift. Not limited to retreads of the '70s Berlin sound, the band have established a distinctive style based around powerful sequencing, expressive melodic improvisations, deep space ambience and always real hands-on performances.
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.
Susbarbatus is a self-released 6 track album. The first two tracks (Los Ashes and the title track) are based on the material on Bohunt Sabotage, but in much improved versions. Brane Storm delves into deep space ambient teritory. After the delicate melodic Forest of Weaver's Beams we return to the Bohunt material with a live recording of Mangrove from the HJ5 set. Finally Antiquark is a complex multi-layered sequencer excursion reminiscent of modern minimalist compositions.
Plied with beer, John agreed to play a solo concert at Hampshire Jam 5. Bohunt Sabotage is a recording taken from the rehearsals for that concert which was made available as a home produced CDR to give the HJ audience something to take away with them. The set was built around preset sequences but the development and improvised played lines are completely different to the live performance.
The recording is a single take, and is a little rough in places but is a good representation of the HJ set. One section, Los Ashes went especially arwy so has been added as a "do-over" track. This same piece, further developed, forms the first section of the track of the same name on Susbarbatus.
Bohunt was released as a numbered limited edition of 100 CDRs, and is no longer available.
John's first published solo work was "Heathkit Interociter", which appeared on this compilation album produced by the members of the Beyond EM mailing list. It was a painful gestation; after a few years of working with airsculpture the old conventional home studio was no more and all the effort seemed to be going into producing a working recording environment rather than producing music. Happily a software update was finally stable for long enough to put this track together. The end result is a quirky sequencer driven track that in some ways gives a hint of what is to come.
Samples streamed by soundcloud (Flash required):
The title track from Susbarbatus is a development of the opening section of Bohunt Sabotage. This fragment has been quickly lifted from the SMD site - I'll get round to a putting a fresh bit up shortly!
Antiquark is the closing track on Susbarbatus. It is a multi-layered sequencer piece, with slowly evolving patterns shifting in and out from a delicate soundscape. Antiquark has frequently been compared to Tangerine Dream's Risky Business soundtrack (and in turn the minimalist compositions of Steve Reich) although it was not created with that in mind; the track just evolved that way. The piece presented here is an early mix, somewhat shorter than the album version and with fewer elements.