Tim Catlin & Machinefabriek
4. Glisten 1
9. Glisten 2
cd on Low Point, November 2009
But available digitally, here
I discovered Tim Catlin's music when doing some research on prepared guitars. His album 'Radio Ghosts' made a big impression on me. How lucky I was, to be able to do this collaboration with him. Tim sent me loads of recorded guitar parts, for me to edit and build songs with. Great fun, and the result is a very playful record.
More info and samples here
Glisten is the first collaboration between Melbourne guitarist and sound artist Tim Catlin and prolific Dutch producer Rutger Zuydervelt. Apparently Catlin recorded the pieces at home in Australia and then sent them off to Zuydervelt for more processing and overdubs, and it's resulted in an album that is a really interesting fusion, quite different than either have previously produced. That said on certain pieces like the opener Strain or even the later Glisten 1 you can hear Catlin's stately drones as the bed of these ambient works. Catlin prepares his guitar with all manner of imaginative implements, often playing with a e-bow or small fan, then processes these sounds. The other night improvising live at the Make It Up Club he was rubbing a giant comb across the body of the guitar, making it sound like frogs. However there's nothing as disordered on display here, where he's creating these gorgeous experimental drones, closer to the work on his previous Radio Ghosts (23Five). Though he also plucks and plays notes in a picking style, offering a quite diverse range of techniques. What sounds and textures Zuydervelt is bringing to the work is a little less defined or identifiable, though there are these moments of processed electronics that seem suspiciously like his handiwork. Due to its subtlety and lack of bluster (aside from the final third of Haul in which the sound builds into white noise) the peace of Glisten serves to lower the heart rate and also train the ears to operate on a micro level, to appreciate even the smallest gesture. It's an incredibly still work of understated beauty, the layers of sound coming across in slow gentle carefully controlled waves, demonstrating the experimental can also be both elegant and restrained.
For this, another co-operative work, after all, he was initially sent no more than a couple of Guitar-recordings revolving around various instrumental techniques by Australian artist Tim Catlin. Remarkably, there doesn't seem to have been any clear-cut separation between editing the material and shaping the album here: All nine pieces are of stringent minimalism, focusing with mantric sharpness on a single idea and never following it for longer than its natural conclusion. At the same time, it is this almost obsessive concentration which binds these outwardly unconnected scenes into a silent vortex of frightful gravitational power. Like a stumbling sleepwalker driven by shamanic visions, the album progresses from one neon-lit sound episode to the next and with each step, the intensity of the work increases to a point where madness and utter excitement can no longer be separated.
In a way, none of these sequences ever really goes anywhere, a sensation underlined by a quartet of shorter tracks taking the album from its middle to final installment 'Glisten 2'. Instead, the music rests in the moment in a succession of surreal scenes. The eery, unreal feeling conveyed by the majority of the material only serves to emphasise the occasional moments of pure and undilluted beauty seldomly consisting of more than a few glassy Guitar-arpeggios and a deep, sonorous Bass-swell or a warmly radiating field of harmonics. At a mere 35 minutes this is a concise effort, but that takes nothing away from its haunting and unsettling impact and its addictive qualities, which, in itself, must be considered a compliment of the highest order in relation to an album of such determinedly uncompromising intensity.
Glisten combines the collaborative talents of Melbourne, Australia-based Tim Catlin (guitars, effects) and Machinefabriek (additional sounds and editing by Rutger Zuydervelt from Rotterdam) on nine tracks of low-key soundsculpting. The tracks are spectral and noctural in spirit, and the album's thirty-five minutes often resemble psychic disturbances pushing their way into semi-consciousness. Apparently Zuydervelt happened upon Catlin's work, specifically his 2007 Radio Ghosts release, when he was researching information on prepared guitar, and a subsequent partnership developed. With respect to production process, Caitlin created prepared guitar recordings of diverse character (from experimental to conventional picking), and then passed them on to Zuydervelt for further manipulations. The two gravitate towards understatement in their focus on the minutiae of the guitar and the broad sound field that can be extricated from it. The nine tracks feature ripples and vibrations ('Flutter') and spectral drones of soft gamelan bell tones ('Glisten 1'), and while the electric guitar is dominant , the acoustic has a moment in the spotlight too ('Arpeggio'). With its childlike tinkles floating over darker tones, 'Ghostbox' introduces a macabre ambiance that calls to mind the disturbed mood of The Turn of the Screw. Glisten is largely a subdued, 'headphones'-styled album, though 'Haul' proves the exception to the rule when it rises from an initial organ-like drone episode to one where the guitar first simmers, then smolders, and eventually snarls before abruptly terminating. That loud flourish is conspicuous by being the only one of its kind on this otherwise carefully controlled collaborative outing.
Sommige mensen hebben meer dan 24 uren in een etmaal zitten. Dat moet wel. Neem Rutger Zuydervelt die als Machinefabriek aan de lopende band per strekkende meter releases uitbrengt. Het meest opmerkelijke is dat de kwaliteit een almaar stijgende lijn toont. Glisten is een samenwerking met de
Australische gitarist Tim Catlin die het beste in beide heren naar boven haalt.
Catlin maakte met geprepareerde gitaar en een arsenaal aan effecten, maar ook kalm fingerpickend de basistracks die hij naar Zuydervelt stuurde. In de Machinefabriekbehandeling werden extra geluiden toegevoegd, plus overdubs uit de Nederlandse koker. Zuydervelt zorgde bovendien voor de uiteindelijke productie en edits van de plaat.
De gitaar en de vele klankwerelden die daaruit te halen zijn, staat voluit vooraan op Glisten. Vanuit die positie ontwikkelen beide artiesten hun geluid en geluiden. Tot in detail worden de mogelijkheden verkend en grenzen opgezocht. Dit leidt niet tot een gierend fuzzalbum vol snelle solo's en ander zelfbevlekkend machogedrag. Glisten is een bijkans introspectieve plaat die bol staat van zachtmoedige, vervoerende ambientsoundscapes, langzaam uitwaaierende klanktapijten en diepliggende drones.
Schijnbare speelse eenvoud en even speels plezier kenmerkt het album over de volle lengte. De prepared guitar bepaalt de koers, de heren volgen en geven soms een tikje om bij te sturen; zelf orenschijnlijk ook genietend van de spontane resultaten. Het intense palet aan klankkleuren maakt Glisten tot een ware sonische ontdekkingstocht en wederom een overtreffende trap voor Machinefabriek.