Kristian Day
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Kristian Day

Des Moines, Iowa, United States | INDIE

Des Moines, Iowa, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative New Age


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Like the sequence of events in a captivating murder mystery or dramatic horror film, Kristian Day’s new album, “Dub in Deep Red,” takes the listener on a cinematic musical journey that builds with tension until it reaches a grand finale on its eighth ambient, instrumental track. It’s an effective way of making music for the 25-year-old Des Moines man who also works as a film producer and director.

“A friend of mine called to tell me that he envisioned a midnight beach theme to the album. He pretty much nailed it,” Day said.

From the album’s cover art of a setting sun on the ocean’s horizon, to the opening, pulsating songs of “Summer Heat” and “Adrenalin Along the Bay,” to the scene-setting ambience and psychedelia of “Too Much Wind Removed From My Face” and “I Can Hear You Breathe,” to the seductive thrill of “Your Toes Curled in the Sand,” to the heart racing “As the Sun Sets Past the Light House,” to the eerily climatic “I Fell Asleep in the Boat House,” Day’s second album unfolds like a ’60s beach flick with a dark twist.

“When I recorded this album in 2009, I was watching several beach party films,” said Day, who admits to having a crush on veteran film star, Annette Funicello, from classic movies like “Beach Blanket Bingo” and “Beach Party.” “I was trying to capture the 1967 hallucinogenic feel of the beach like it was a three-act film.”

Day’s sense of musical cinematic scope is largely influenced by his film work and owning his own production company, Modern American Cinema. A freelance cinematographer and sound designer, he attended the University of Colorado at Denver in the music industry studies program and counts avant garde musicians like Brian Eno, Boyd Rice and Martin Denny among his biggest influences.

In 2006, he began recording soundtracks for films “100 Years,” “Am I Evil” and Ron Atkins’ “Mutilation Mile.” He also provided sound design for the 2007 “Saw IV” music video of Solidium’s “Trapped.”

Then in 2008, Day began directing and producing his own films, including 2010’s “Vessel” and a documentary on Des Moines artist-musician “Brent Houzenga: Hybrid Pioneer.” This month, he wraps up shooting for his forthcoming documentary, “Capone’s Whiskey: The Story of Templeton Rye.”

“I look at everything as a painting, including my music,” Day said. “When I make my music I want to be able to close my eyes and see something.”

The astute listener can hear Day’s penchant for drama and high art. “Dub in Deep Red” was recorded during one eight-hour session that included him playing bass and drums and providing all the sound effects and field recordings. Day carries a TASCAM portable recording device that he uses to capture “environmental feedback,” a term coined by another one of his heroes, actor Barron Christian, whom he met while working at a Colorado gas station at age 18. He also uses an EMS VCS3 vintage synthesizer (without keys).

“I like tweaking knobs and creating sound colors and luscious soundscapes,” he said. “I like music that can set a mood and has texture.”

Day said that his new album might appeal to movie makers as well as conventional music fans. Later this fall, he hopes to perform its songs live in a pitch black room.

“If it fits, it could work for a film. But the film would have to come first,” he said. “The music could be used now or 20 years from now.”

When Day isn’t making films or recording solo albums, he collaborates with local guitarist, Mike Fraser, on a music project called the Curly Haired Jokers. Later this year, the two men hope to release a 7-inch vinyl record.

The filmmaker-musician also plans to release a back catalog of recordings, including a compilation of film soundtracks and “noise tapes.” Plans are also underway for him to shoot a music video for a Fort Dodge hip-hop group and to document artist James Bearden on film.

“Sometimes it’s tricky to keep projects separate, but it all inspires me,” he said. CV - Cityview Magazine


Ambient Martyr: Selected Works of Kristian Day (2011/MP3 Release)
Dub In Deep Red (2011/CD)



Kristian Day attended the University of Colorado at Denver in the Music Industry Studies program. His interest in music came from listening to avant garde artists such as Brian Eno, Boyd Rice, Merzbow and others. While still a teenager he built custom sound generators and homemade microphones.

In 2006, he began recording soundtracks for films such as 100 Tears (2007), Am I Evil (2007), and Ron Atkins' Mutilation Mile (2009). He also offered sound design for the Saw IV (2007) music video of Solidium's 'Trapped'.

In 2008, Kristian began directing and producing his own movies. His short films have played all over the world including Austria, Greece, and Italy. His films have also been screened at various festivals in cities across the United States including Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.

In 2010 Kristian directed shot the feature film "Vessel" starring author and public speaker Frank Meeink and his first documentary Brent Houzenga: Hybrid Pioneer (2010) which was the first film in his Made in Iowa documentary series. This was followed by Capone's Whiskey: The Story of Templeton Rye (2011).