Zaft 020  Free Death / Stolen Light  Split

Track Listing:

  1. Free Death: Remy
  2. Stolen Light: Symphony for Marimba Opus II

Some of you may remember Free Death as the one with two very interesting tracks on Merry Christmas. He has also put out an excellent 3" CD on Crunch Pod Media. Free Death makes the only noise that I have ever called "beautiful." Stolen Light's piece is a very harsh treatment using nothing but my marimba as sound source. By far some of the harshest stuff that I have created. An interesting aspect of this recording is that I used the exact same sound source in making the Goose piece for the Ovum / Goose split. It's amazing how different two identical sounds can become when you beat them in different ways. It became an interesting experiment. Each copy comes with a stenciled card from Free Death.

Here's what Nicolas at Recycle Your Ears had to say:

Fifth release in the Zaftig Research split series with, this time, Free Death (whose "Rémy" is the third release, after a 3" on Crunch Pod Media and a track on "Battery Sentinel 2") and Stolen Light (Mr Zaftig Research). Same artwork and concept as the previous four CDRs of the series, with a small extra in the form of a playing card with "Remy" written in bloody red paint. I don't know if Free Death know this, but "Rémy" is the name of a murdered kid whose case was extremely gruesome and famous in France in the 1980... This track ("Remy") is almost impossible to describe. It's 32 minutes long, lo-fi, and evolves a lot. It feature about everything you can find in electronic music (beats, scapes, blips, breaks, loops...) distorted, saturated and tweaked, plus some elements that might be accoustically recorded (some echoed percussions, for example). The level of noise in itself is not so prominent (moreover in comparison to Stolen Light's track), but I still don't know how to call "Remy" but "noise". It's really weird and doesn't get bored thanks the fast evolution in the track. It also sound a bit improvised, but everything is well put together, ending in a pleasant track. Then comes the madman Stolen Light, with a continuous noise track that once again reach an incredible density. This is white noise with variations, a incredible wall of noise with things screaming behing it and kicking it. This is also the kind of track you can really not listen to at a very loud volume without being totally insane. Pure saturated noise is what awaits you with "Sympathy for Marimba Opus II", for 30 of aural aggression. If you're not a noise fan, this is really not for you but if you wake up to Merzbow and go to bed with Lefthandeddecision, then you should check this out. A really loud and tense track, all the contrary to Stolen Light's side project Goose and its ambient pieces. This is a split CD full of dynamic and diversity. Contrasting with the more ambient previous ones, this one has a noise flag flying high, and should rejoice those of you whose ear have been carefully perverted (you're warned). It's limited to 50 copies (as all the other Zaftig splits), so you might hurry.

Here's what PTR at Re:mote Induction had to say:

This is the fifth in the split series from Zaftig Research this time with Stolen Light rather than Goose, paired off with Free Death. As usual the two artists have a roughly half-hour slab of time/sound to work with. The art is again consistent with the series, though this time there is a playing card included, which appears to have the name of the Free Death track spray painted across the surface.

Free Death's Remy starts with a burst of notes, jarring sounds that repeat while a more subdued chatter of clashing noise builds. This noise takes the background, a chunky, air filtered loop. In the fore noises are more stray - calls, squeals and strokes - some of the most consistent having a mechanical, factory suggestion. As this continues the sound becomes more integrated, so that it is a densely layered barrage - mixing outright noise with hints of possible contrasting melody and deliberate construction within that. Glooping liquid sounds mix with bell strikes mix with traffic jam chaos mix with level crossing and train passage. A chattering sound scape of mish mashed elements, integrating the range of sounds into an overall flow. At times this can stream down to a repeating hum and rumble or it can be a complete mish-mash of spot the sound source. Through this we get some nice contrasts and overall a nice textures process.

Being the Stolen Light follow up to Symphony For Marimba Opus I, Opus II starts as a howl of noise. This swirls for some time, a great twist of restrained but ferocious sound, stippled by a static wash. The turn of the sound is subtle, other layers coming in, but the overall sound is tightly woven together - this means that the other elements come more as hints than announcements - suggestions of notes. Like much of Brett's work as Stolen Light or Goose the top level sound of the track has a certain consistency, not given to unexpected change. But with that he works the textures and the feel of each piece, the extent of the layering meaning that shifts in volume provide as much extra detail as will sneak in over time. Pushing the volume up accentuates and reveals, while testing the limits the listener can endure. Turning volume down removes details, but at the same time also manages to accentuate those aspects which remain. As it progresses it gains a greater ferocity by increments, almost unnoticeable as a process, but a more pronounced outcry can be heard.