Kristian Shalabi St-Onge
Kristian, Shalabi, St-Onge

Track Listing:

Dirt Well
Building a Rope
Little Feck
Insistant Falls
My Name is Lemuel
The Heart of a Mouse
Tinkle Reptile


david kristian - kristian, shalabi, st-onge CD
  Alien8 Recordings

Kristian Shalabi St-Onge performed at the 2001 Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville. The Trio was also voted #4 by Orderly Chaos, in Exclaim!'s 2001 year end issue. 

Here's an excerpt of a review of Kristian, Shalabi St-Onge's record launch performance, which appeared in the fall 2001 issue of La Voce Del Popolo:

"Watching this trio of improvisers, was perhaps the highlight of this meeting... David Kristian was undoubtedly the most theatrical, lurching over his electronic boxes with wires, mysterious blue goo, and with a maniacal grin. St-Onge sitting cross legged beside his bass, passionately grinding away at the strings on the bridge, plucking away at everything including the pickup. All the while, Sam Shalabi methodically stroked and tapped at his two stringed intruments." 
- Crys Cole (Voce Del Popolo)

"The pieces on this album are very delicate, sometimes merely comprised of a dissonant pluck of a string or the hum of an acoustic bass, which materialises from an existential vacuum of silence... An excellent recording."
- I. Khider

 You might imagine that if you combined the twisted electronics of David Kristian, the virtuoso playing of Sam Shalabi and demented avant fuckery of Alexandre St-Onge, the result would be an insane soup of aural mayhem. The first commercially available release of this Montreal-based improv supergroup is actually quite the opposite. Taking the low-end route, the album's first tracks feature nearly subsonic rumblings from Kristian while Shalabi and St-Onge — on oud and upright bass, respectively — are almost having a contest to see who can out-quiet each other while still tactfully coloring the music. Continuing on, the electronics seem to shift into a more vibrant mode, taking center attention as opposed to underscore, with a repetitious crescendo, almost like waves crashing while the stringed players do their best to keep up. This stops for a bit while the electronics take the wheel completely, but it soon returns to a clearly observable interactive trio, as the stringed instruments are bowed and plucked while the electronics return to a grumbling sub-bass hum. Fans of improv and Shalabi Effect, Kristian or St-Onge's stuff will most likely have this record already but those new to the scene wouldn't suffer having this in their collection. -
Jon Whitney (The Brain)

On attendait avec impatience la réunion de ces trois grosses pointures de l'avant-garde montréalaise. Le réputé électronicien David Kristian montre les aspects plus atmosphériques de son travail, dans la lignée de Tacoma Narrows Bridge et, surtout, de Room Tone. Mais il sert ici d'appui à deux musiciens acoustiques, dont l'omniprésent Sam Shalabi, qui pince les cordes de son oud comme s'il s'agissait d'un koto japonais, et Alexandre Saint-Onge, qui, bien que de plus en plus habitué aux explorations électroniques, retrouve avec bonheur sa contrebasse dont il tire de lents grincements qui évoquent les moments plus calmes de son groupe Klaxon Gueule. Moins immédiat et mélodique que le disque de Shalabi Effect, mais tout aussi planant, ce premier disque du trio vous entraîne dans des contrées à l'air raréfié.
- Nicolas Tittley (Voir)

"While this record is improvised, the mood of each piece is so integrated and clearly defined it feels more like studied composition. St-Onge's upright bass provides the anchor with unsettling drones, scuffs and plucks. Kristian fills in dark colors on an analog synth, sometimes with gurgling modulation, and other times with quaking bass tones. Shalabi, meanwhile, provides much of the texture, picking and scraping his way on guitar and oud. It's an odd combination on paper, but the three work together as a single six-armed beast intent on conjuring black, brooding atmosphere."
- Mark Richard-San (Pitchfork Media)

Kristian Shalabi St-Onge was voted #4 in the Top 5 Orderly Chaos records in Exclaim!'s 2001 year end issue.