Kristian Garrard has a background in computer synthesis, sound manipulation, jazz drumming and guitar. KRGA aims to combine the sounds of any and all instruments into thick swarming clouds of tones using self-built sampling software.
His album ?June? is a varied work that plays with nearly every extreme of sound, be it silence, minimalism or deafening noise. It is equal parts: warm, ambient, calming, but in certain areas: harsh and uncomfortable. A consistent theme is that of destruction. For every pleasant sound at work here, there is a destructive opposite to take it away. Depending on the individual this could be a good or bad quality.
The album?s opening track ?DM? is an engaging piece that delights in playing with flickering fragments of sound. Multiple lines of slow, drawn out chords build upon each other with layering textures until dissolving into an extended crackling hiss. This could be a difficult piece to love, as it enjoys lulling the listener into many a false sense of security, systematically building micro atmospheres and then destroying them to the point that the luxury of falling into any groove or finding a happy place is refused. I find this disregard for the usual conventions of dynamics: slow build ups, and fade out endings refreshingly positive, in that it keeps the listener busy and engaged with the sounds rather than becoming mere background music.
?June? the title track, spreads itself out with a contemplative nature making the most of its eighteen minutes; slowly introducing panned percussive shakers with a tiny rhythm presenting itself for an instant before slowly mingling with the harmonies and disappearing. ?A? is the closer: a brooding wave of ambience bursting fourth, the piece carries itself along with harmonious melodic drones before being slowly devoured by its own granular digital treatments.
The mileage KRGA gains from the treatment of such simple instrumentation is impressive. The album doesn?t overstay its welcome, and the various sonic extremities are well balanced. 7/10 -- Zac Keiller (13 May, 2008)