[reviews] afe114lcd
ur + craig hilton: i will be the light

chain d.l.k. []
webzine, italy, june 2009

I think that Afe Records is becoming the new Amplexus, with the odd size, aesthetically pleasing packaging.

I have reviewed two other albums from Ur and they specialize in noisy atmospheres, but I had not heard of Craig Hilton. Evidently, he has collaborated with the likes of Maurizio Bianchi and MSBR, and this shows through from the opening moments of the album.

Where Ur is more restrained in their noisiness, "The Path Beneath" unloads from the very beginning, only then dropping the volume to draw the listener in.

The music crackles like fire and noise bursts into the quiet, foreboding atmosphere like someone operating a grinding wheel in a cavernous factory building. Eventually, the noise builds to a deafening crescendo, only to end in spastic bursts of noise. The silence after these assaults makes you quite aware of what you have just listened to.

"Essential Salt" follows a similar trajectory, with noise that gives way to atmosphere. This track incorporates long periods of silence, but after the opening track, the listener is waiting to be assaulted by noise. However, we are met with a soothing wash of heavy drones with a bit of noise beneath the surface, rather than a outright blast of noise. Nicely done.

The title of "I Will Be the Light" is taken from Timothy Leary's description of wanting to have his remains shot into space and burn up in the atmosphere in a flash of light.

This track slowly transitions from ambient noise to a more consuming wall of noise in such a way that you wonder when you began listening to a noise track and just as gradually transitions back to dark ambient soundscapes.

This album uses moments of silence and quiet to draw in the listener and provide a sense of motion in the composition. Despite Ur's self description that they are all about free improvisation, this album feels like a meticulously crafted composition. This album is limited to 100 copies and weighs in at about 57 minutes.