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

heathen harvest []
webzine, usa, september 2009

Ur is a name I have been keeping track of for a while. Gladly having both "Trieb" and "Triadic Memories", I was happy to put my hands on their second album on Afe Records, this time working together with Craig Hilton for three tracks.

"I Will Be the Light" is their work, growing from sporadic vibrations to epic and monuments of sound. With Hilton on their side, their sound is enhanced and make their album a slow and an even richer fist to the bowls than usually.

The improvisational group Ur, with Federico Esposito, Mauro Sciaccaluga and Andrea Ferraris collaborated with Craig Hilton in two ways in this album, two ways that are distinct from each other and can be recognized throughout the album. Hilton can be heard playing alongside Ur and adding his musical effort to theirs, while on other parts he literally played with their music, manipulating it to his liking.

Both "The Path Beneath" and "Essential Salt", who were manipulated by Hilton, are beautiful in the way they develop. The organic-sounding layers of low trumpet or trumpet like drones, as heard in "Essential Salt" are making the high pitched shrieks that accompany them sound even more majestic. A plague of locusts is literally being played over the low drones of the (Salty, if you will) ground. Ur manage to sound ceremonial without the usual gimmicks of ritualistic music.

"I Will Be the Light" is a different matter entirely. Sounding powerful and dramatic from the first moment to the last. With metallic screams over a low melody that grows more and more intense as each second passes. It seems like the last track grows very emotional and while it begins very slowly and heavily. It will end with the feeling of spreading infinitely into space. Almost begging to be heard in complete darkness and at full volume, this third part of the album can charm you with the slow, whale-like breathing of its begining and the way it becomes a stellar overdrive sonic sun.

Those who know Ur already should not waste their time thinking whether to get this album or not. They know what to expect and actually this is even better than the expectations. Those who do not know Ur will find this album a beautiful and interesting way to introduce this band.

Since Craig Hilton has the last word on each of the three tracks of this album, I can safely say he has done a great job and showed how well he can manage other people's music (He might have done this in the past as well, but I am not familiar with other collaborations he might have had). A great album for a band you should put your eye on!

[Oren Ben Josef]