URWELT - Distant Galaxies Collide

URWELT is the duo of Anthony Di Franco (Ramleh, JFK, ex-Skullflower,) and Kevin Laska (Novatron, Transitional, Godflesh live sound engineer).

"Distant Galaxies Collide" is the debut LP from the duo in this formation and continues their respective and collective journeys toward exploring expansive and immersive sound.

UK noise veterans unite in new project;

Urwelt is the newest project of UK musicians Anthony Di Franco and Kevin Laska. Di Franco is a member of legendary psych-noise squad Ramleh, founded in the early '80s amidst the UK's early industrial and power electronics scene; he is also a solo artist with releases under the names AX and JFK. (Of JFK's brand new 2021 album, Avalanche Zone, NYC band Uniform tweeted: "An early contender for record of the year... A heavy electronics masterpiece by one of the genre’s most enduring artists.")

Laska is known to many as Godflesh's principal live sound engineer. He makes music via his own project, Transitional, with albums released on Justin Broadrick's Avalanche Recordings label, and teamed up on a split with Broadrick's JK Flesh project in 2019. He has been a member of the relaunched Ramleh.

Di Franco and Laska first teamed up in the late '90s; their collab, Novatron, melded noise and drone and yielded one album, New Rising Sun, in 2000. Two decades later, the two are at it again: new project Urwelt picks up where Novatron left off and ups the intensity by powers of ten.

On debut album Distant Galaxies Collide, opener "Pure Celestial Eyes" sets the tone: demonic distortion, hypnotic loops, and a slowly intensifying synth-swell combine to create a vivid experience that absolutely dominates the listener for the track's entire 14-minute running time. Urwelt's combination of squelching noise and rapturous drone could be likened to a mix of Tangerine Dream and Sunn 0))). The tones underlying the chaos transform the pieces into structured compositions that evoke terror, euphoria, and shades in between. As the album title suggests, Distant Galaxies Collide's soundscapes can easily bring to mind the incomprehensible expanse of outer space and although the sound is modern it is perhaps rooted in some interstellar landmarks of the late 1960s: Pink Floyd's psychedelic star-hopping and the sound design of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, to name two.

Di Franco states: "Our work has always been rooted in speculative imaginings of the universe's origins and the primordial forces that formed us. Primitive, tectonic, colossal and impersonal forces that continuously mould the universe around us. Atavistic traces of the primordial roots of the universe that lie within us. We conjure up imaginary visions of this and then try to create soundtracks for the visions."

In describing the visions behind Distant Galaxies Collide, he offers this: "The individual and universe become one. There is a union with the void. The hallucinatory sight of the inexorably slow inter-dismantling of colossal galactic superstructures, intertwining, destroying and then re-birthing within one another becomes an ecstatic projection by the individual."


1) Pure Celestial Eyes

2) Zephyria Thorus

3) Ancestral Gaze

4) Distant Galaxies Collide