Zaft 016   R4 / Goose   Split

Track Listing:

  1. R4: 4192
  2. R4: Banishment
  3. R4: Selig, Ruiner With Thick Skull Given Iron Hand Control
  4. Goose: Waiting for the Judgment

Many of you may know R4 as Barry Scheffel, the man behind the label Fusion Audio Recordings. Some of you may remember seeing him on the Merry Christmas compilation as well as the highly praised 3CD box set. R4 does some interesting stuff to say the least. This offering is rather minimalistic. The first and second tracks sound like amplified hum that drills its way into your skull. I remarked to my brother that at one point I was listening to the aural equivalent to a Chinese water torture. Those of you who know me realize that I mean this in the best possible way. The Goose stuff is dark ambient, but a bit heavier and more oppressive than previous Goose releases.

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

This is the second release in the series of split CDRs from Zaftig Research, after the Cat / Stolen Light one. Same packaging and concept with, this time, R4 (the project of Fusion Audio's chef Barry Scheffel) and Goose (a side project of Stolen Light / Zaftig Research), delivering noise for more than an hour. R4's first track, "4192" is a continuous and a bit too repetitive wall of distortion, very encompassing but a bit too long for my taste. "Banishment" is more subtle, with shorter sounds, but stays very noisy and introduces well the much longer "Selig, ruiner with thick skull given iron hand control", which starts with a loop of less noisy sounds and then evolves into a calmer, more soundscapish very good track. As always with R4, you don't know what to expect, and the result is very pleasant. Goose's tracks is a very appropriate sequel to R4's third one, as it is a long, "bubbling", and deep soundscape. Made of very deep drones and a lot of echoes, this dark "Waiting for the Judgment" is very different from Stolen Light's walls of noise. More emotional, darker, somewhat nauseous and changing in a very subtle way, this is also quite an accessible track that would fit well with the recent "Droning in C" CDR. The second CDR of the series is, like the first one, an interesting item for people into new noise and drones. Both artists are good, and the last two tracks are really enjoyable. A satisfying split release.

Description from the Rectrix catalog:

Some very minimal noiseambience from R4, some of his best and most subdued work. Goose gives another fine, long droney performance. Very nice to read or relax to.

Here's a review from PTR at Re:mote Induction:

Following from the first split by CAT/Stolen Light comes the second in Zaftig Research's split series. This time featuring Barry Scheffel from Fusion Audio Recordings with his R4 project alongside Lunceford's other project Goose. As with the first release this is a CD-R limited to 50 copies with each artist allocated about 30 minutes each.

R4 has 3 tracks, starting with the buzzing 4192 - bare strokes heard between the nodes of the oscillating core. While this has a certain edge to the sound it is mostly a smooth effect. As is sometimes the case the listener has to evaluate whether there are some really subtle changes going on here or whether the constant hypnotic repetition elicits the perception of fluctuation. After more than 6 minutes of that we move on to Banishment - which seems to go for similar effect. Setting up a stroking, scrape of a rotation with a higher whirring layer. There are clear low rumbles at regular periods - dull sub-strokes to the core. Minor fluctuations can be heard, having little effect on the consistent minimal effect of the track. The impressions of change increase with progression - taking on an almost jangling chime, an incessant, persistent sound. The third piece is the longest of the three, Selig, Ruiner With Thick Skull Given Iron Hand Control. Given that this is about 20 minutes long it is fortunate that it is less minimal than the previous two as I suspect that the length for those was about right. Instead this piece builds from that start, looping and layering the sound of electronic bubbling. The texture of the electronic sound goes through mild shifts, heightening your sense of its vibe. Layers which are closer to the core in sound type add depth and add to the feeling of flow. Occasionally there is a clicking added to the mix, and at times the pacing will change mildly.

Goose opt for one long piece, Waiting For The Judgement. Which starts as a slow distant trail, in an inwards loop. Building as a steady rumble, low and still unpronounced. Within this there are slight crackles. Stylistically this could probably be compared to Stolen Light's Midnight Train - but rather than go for an overwhelming and solid constant it is stripped down to a bare sound. The structure is still more noise than ambient, especially as sections build - but it is a diffused noise so that if Stolen Light were a solid molecular structure, Goose here is gaseous. Actually sitting just now it occurs to me that I'm just not listening to this loud enough - at full volume it's a more agitated endeavour. One which starts to affect the sound coming through my headphones - causing more crackle and the threat that it could all break up. Though even with that the overall sound is consistent.