NEW YORK-based bassist and composer Tristan Kasten-Krause likes to mix it up, see a little of the creative world.
As well as being active on the Big Apple’s DIY and experimental scenes, he’s also played in Oklahoma!, in a production running on Broadway, which gives you any idea of his breadth and scope culturally.
He is, as the former will show, a musician who delights in collaboration; and with his debut album, Potential Landscapes, he’s enlisted the help of collaborators from across the experimental spectrum, not to fit in and do his bidding, but to bring their feel and to send Tristan’s delicious dronescapery skyward.
He’s dropped his curtain-raiser single, “Dawn Looming”, which we’ve embedded for you below – a delight of longform sustain, deep bass surge, music for a new day.
Tristan says: “’Dawn Looming’ opens the album with a gentle repetition that floats with the delicate radiance of sunrise.”
For this track, he worked with guitarist Brendon Randall-Myers, conductor of the Glenn Branca Ensemble, and percussionist Matt Evans, two musicians he’s known since 2014.
Tristan also meshed with Tigue’s Matt Evans, Marateck, Cloud Nothing’s Jayson Gerycz, and Lisel, among other underground scions.
They improvised and recorded their pieces in isolation, and sent them to them to Tristan, who manipulated, played over and arranged them.
Potential Landscapes, the album, was recorded between 2018 and 2020, structured around meetings with collaborators scattered across the country. The sound they create is deceptively serene, longform meditative; Tristan drew on influences ranging from Éliane Radigue, Phil Niblock and Alvin Lucier.
He formed each piece on the album by uniting the fragments of music his collaborators sent him, shifting pitches and removing breath and bow strokes.
“Dawn Looming” comes with a visual dimension, created and directed by Derrick Belcham, who says: “Tristan approached me about creating a visual accompaniment to his beautiful composition.
“We decided on images that captured aspects of the ‘looming’, or abnormal refraction at a horizon line.
“The film was created using an analog technique of prepared textural objects manipulated in physical space and captured through a series of reflecting, refracting and diffracting substances by a digital cinema camera. No digital manipulation was applied in post-production beyond the sequencing of the individual scenes.
“It was a true pleasure to dive into the murky depths again for this deep and engaging track.”
Tristan Kasten-Krause’s Potential Landscapes will be released digitally and on CD and vinyl by Whatever’s Clever Records on April 23rd; each LP comes with a handpainted rainbow. You can pre-order your copy now at Tristan’s Bandcamp.