David Kanaga

Flower Walk EP

David Kanaga sounds like a pretty interesting guy. The musical source for Kanaga's latest EP comes directly from Stravinsky's ballet Petrushka; a story about a puppet made out of straw and sawdust who comes alive and develops human emotions. Earlier releases include free music for computer games, compositions written for three drummers and three saxophones (??), loops you can commission/design rules for for $5 and entire remix EP composed entirely from free jazz samples and Lil' Wayne's weed-clouded, free associating intros and outros (plus remixes of "Fireman" and "Stuntin' Like My Daddy"). 

For only creating downloadable music for the past couple years (with a couple of new releases a month)  it is almost impossible to track where Kanaga's deviations into improvised free jazz/experimental compositions or kitsch mash-ups are going to wander next. As an introduction to his work Flower Walk works wonderfully. Looped samples of woodwinds, brass and flutes stutter effortlessly through the submerged beat palate of Person Pitch's breezy oscillations and How To Dress Well's skittish drones and wounded, dual-tracked falsetto. Sampling exclusively from a ballet lends itself to the semi-pastoral feel of Flower Walk and is perhaps the only legitimate venue for the flute (that flute!!) in pop music. But while Flower Walk may at first seem relentlessly sunny, Kanaga's hiccuping beats and gurgling 8-bit electronics pull it into the same questionably dark alley that seems like a good short cut but is littered with hypodermic needles and not-yet-dried blood.

As bandcamp and similar name-your-price sites continue to be a repository for more and more artists to release their musical diversions from their day jobs, I sincerely hope that we see more artists like David Kanaga. Nowhere does Flower Walk seem chintzy or even cheap. It is dense, deep and highly mysterious. I would highly recommend downloading this...and throwing the guy a few bucks for his trouble.

Ryan H. 

You may purchase this album (and like a dozen more) on David Kanaga's bandcamp page.

David Kanaga's homepage (lot's of free stuff here)

David Kanaga's blog (even MORE free stuff here)

November 22nd, 2010