Zaft 025   Aluminum Noise / Stolen Light   Split

Track Listing:

  1. Aluminum Noise: Another Masked Grotesque
  2. Aluminum Noise: No Instant Forest
  3. Aluminum Noise: Hidden Meditator
  4. Aluminum Noise: Things Have Learned to Walk That Ought to Crawl
  5. Aluminum Noise: Rapid Information Transfer - Overload Sensors
  6. Stolen Light: Steel on Glass
  7. Stolen Light: Oliver
  8. Stolen Light: Collaboration with Rebecca

Aluminum Noise is an amazing artist. This release was originally going to be the debut of a new side-project, Bad Karma. He decided not to do this, instead calling it the "Bad Karma Sessions".

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

It is with the American solo act Aluminum Noise that Stolen Light has chosen to share the bill of this seventh volume of Zaftig Research's split series.

If the first things I heard from Aluminum Noise were sad and based on the use of a guitar, this project has lately taken a much noisier and more electronic direction, for example with the "Totally fucking lost" album. And this also the kind of material we get on this split CDR. The two first tracks are really heavy and powerful, in a Lefthandeddecision kind of way. The third one, starting slowly, builds little by little towards a good old big wall of noise, and the fourth is a very nice piece that reminds of a very slow explosion, continued on the slightly more rhythmic but as gritty and scraping fifth track. Overall, Aluminum Noise plays harsh noise with a lot of bass and a very overdriven sound, that might remind of the current Californian noise scene, but with a somewhat destructured but solemn and crushing sound.

Stolen Light, then, shows once again a lot of evolution and maturity. Along with the split with Wilt, this one is really a nice improvement compared to this act's early material. "Steel on glass" is a track that fits well with Aluminum Noise's bubbling and almost rhythmic noise, while "Oliver" sounds like somebody screaming angrily through a distorted mic in an empty warehouse. And, finally, "Collaboration with Rebecca" is a very harsh and distorted assemblage of noise, linear but extremely intense.

As always, this split is not for the faint of heart, and you have to be into harsh noise to enjoy it. But then, it's a good one, with solid track from both parties. Aluminum Noise plays an original kind of noise material, while Stolen Light keeps getting better and better. Another fine split.

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

Aluminium Noise provide 5 tracks on this Zaftig Research split release, subtitled the Bad Karma Sessions. Which starts with a solid sound crash to represent Another Masked Grotesque, straight off with rapid tears of high pitched sounds quickly added to this agitated noise flow. Focussed moments off stabbing peaks through the constant layers, growling mechanics and bass strain taking their turns also. Ragged trains of sound, rough and resolved switch for moments, ending with a pattering. A dunt and distorted background vocal sample set up the seesaw loop of Non Instant Forest (Only Sensual Arts). Layering into an echoed and reinforced form, creating an increasingly intense form. A strong bass line works a taut strum, purity through the ongoing chop. Starting to cut through in a way that increases the vibrancy, in turn triggering a greater structural inference to the shifting noise detail. Over driven in full on noise, then gaining drop outs that give the track more of a faltering wave - exponential rise to peak then straight drop, repeat to final chug.

A high tone is put through delay and looped in Hidden Mediator (the longest of Al Noise's tracks), a flutter leading to a distorted bass note, and clipped repetition. Which layers into a metronome cycle, strobe catching the shifts of the stroke in an audible manner within the abrasion. The pace increases gradually, becoming a low stream tinged by bass oscillation. In turn densening with a force, ground sparks present in the new mass; a higher tone calling through to mark the growing disquiet. A steady constant stream of brittle noise, with tonal drift through the core offering a certain warmth. Eventually the noise starts to fade and this core comes to the fore. Fluttering with a rotary sound, layering so that there is a persistent, solid level contrasted by a more transitory degree which shifts about we have the rise of Things Have Learned To Walk That Ought To Crawl. Merging to a degree which is choppy then cut through by a more distorted equivalent. Waves work out of synch, one level pure and edgy bass, another structural noise, another deeper bass drone. Acceleration clear, intensifying and emphasizing the feral potential layering with lashing noise and chunks of overloaded sound. Beats crash in Rapid Information Transfer/Overloaded Sensors, distortion laden, see saw pulses adding to the form. High sounds flitter, shifting garbled sounds that take over from the noise. Giving way in turn to a garble of vocal sample, central to which is the phrase "big brother is watching". Return to noise territory comes with a steady grind, the form is then played with in the form of chops and drops. Working with phases of rhythm and barrage.

Steel On Glass is so obviously Stolen Light, while it is still in a noise territory the texture of the sound is different. Concentrating on textural surface fluctuations, which definitely have a noise proportion but they are uncomplicated in detail - pure flow that doesn't rely on layer density. Shifts in pace are effective here as the subtle changes in tone. Following that is Oliver, which starts with stray sounds through silence, building to a greater mechanical grind - drill bit sounding like a visceral outcry that strikes straight to the listener's core in a memorable fashion. Between the silence and sudden grinds a definite balance of extremes is formed with incredible, effective results. Though it is perhaps a little long at 17 minutes, as the listener starts to get used to it. Stolen Light's Collaboration with Rebecca is lashing and crunching, straight out sonic barrage in rushing detail. Stark contrast to Oliver. Working from the initial peak Collaboration with Rebecca gradually resolves, smoothing out into a cleaner stream - still speckled with turbulent motion at high speed. Increasingly diffuse, patchy as the flow continues, then further into static.