Music Review: Kristian Day – Ambient Martyr: Selected Works of Kristian Day

Kristian Day Ambient Martyr album coverTo truly appreciate a musician who composes film scores, you need to watch a movie from the composer. I found 100 Tears on Netflix instant play and watched cleavers through the skull, cleavers through the stomach and even cleavers through the groin to put some context into Day’s music. In 100 Tears, his work is quite good, but since Ambient Martyr is a stand-alone CD not affiliated with any movie, it must stand on its own. This review stems from that perspective.

Ambient Martyr harkens back to the late eighties, when affordable synthesizers first hit the market. The few kids lucky enough to have one wowed everyone around them with the technical marvel at their fingertips. They played beats in the background while cycling through every sound effect available. They played the same tune in different ways, adding new beats and changing the voice. Ambient Martyr mixes that experimental feel with modern trancelike music.

Therein lies the problem with this album. Few tracks ever get past that experimental feel. Most of them are not really songs. They are snippets, intros, and outros. They are mood-setters. They portray an emotion, but seem incapable of standing on their own.

The album is not without merit. Made in the Summer includes a nice acoustic guitar track, and Who Sleeps Anyway gives us a nice groove.  Henry is a psychedelic trip into madness that builds over time, climaxes, and then concludes with a cool old-time organ melody. Ambient Martyr showcases Day’s talent, but doesn’t make it as a stand-alone album. 

Track List:

  1. Soul House (live)
  2. Protozoa Drops
  3. Kool Aid Party
  4. Die Kapellenliebhaber
  5. Made in the Summer
  6. Henry
  7. Buddha Machine and Radio I
  8. A Lake With Strong Shoulders
  9. Buddha Machine and Radio II
  10. Lifted from 30 Years Ago
  11. Late Night Dew Drops
  12. Who Sleeps Anyways?
  13. Stalker
  14. Sun Glows Red
  15. They Called Her One Eye
  16. Gemini
  17. Sun Set (for piano)
  18. Old Movies
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About Leo Godin

Leo Godin is a writer and music lover. His stories twist and pull your emotions like a like a six-year-old eating a half-melted Sugar Daddy. Learn more about his stories and musical tastes at leogodin.net

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