Machinefabriek with Anne Bakker
1. Scene 1
2. Scene 2
3. Scene 3
4. Scene 4
5. Scene 5
6. Scene 6
7. Scene 7
8. Scene 8
9. Scene 9
10. Scene 10
11. Scene 11
12. Scene 12
13. Scene 13
14. Scene 14
15. Scene 15
16. Scene 16
17. Scene 17
18. Scene 18
19. Scene 19
20. Scene 20
cd/dl on Zoharum, November 2018
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Machinefabriek, or Rutger Zuydervelt, is one of the most prolific artists in the field of contemporary experimental music. However, unlike many musicians with extensive discographies, the quantity goes hand in hand not only with the quality but also diversity. "Short Scenes" (the sixth album by Rutger on Zoharum) is a mixture of electronic textures and neoclassical violin parts enclosed in twenty miniatures.
Rutger Zuydervelt on the album: ”Short Scenes” came to life when working on a soundtrack with violinist Anne Bakker. Taking a series of her improvisations as a starting point, I started to edit and construct them into new songs - no pre-conceived plan, just being lead by these violin recordings. Still working in the ”soundtrack modus operandi”, the resulting tracks are short and concise. None of them ended up being used in a score, but from the very beginning I felt these little vignettes would form a darn fine album. And here it is.”
Rutger Zuydervelt and Anne Bakker have often worked together before, on memorable releases like Halfslaap, Deining and Crumble. Their new collaboration on Short Scenes came to life when working together on a soundtrack.
Like on With Voices, there was no preconceived plan for the album – short violin improvisations of Anne Bakker were the starting point for further editing and constructing. With the violin as the main instrument, backed by adventurous electronics, this is as much ‘contemporary classical’ music as it is ‘contemporary experimental’ music.
The 20 tracks (or ‘vignettes’) are short (totalling 40 minutes), but effective: “we were still working in the ‘soundtrack modus operandi.'”
“None of them ended up being used in a score, but from the very beginning I felt these little vignettes would form a darn fine album. And here it is.”
A darn fine album, indeed. Once again.
While being rather prolific, the average quality of Machinefabriek's is quite high and so it balances the recognizable sound palette of most of his releases with excursion in other territories as this one. This release is based around the reconstruction by Machinefabriek of the musical phrases played by Anne Bakker on violin and viola; reasonably the original music was tonal and almost classical in nature. While this collaboration started for a soundtrack, Rutger Zuydervelt recorded a series of improvisations and then he reworked them to obtain a more concise form.
The twenty scenes which compose this release are very short, usually under two minutes, and the main concern of Rutger Zuydervelt is the arranging of the lines in the aural field and the underlining of the long notes seldom used as a background for the phrases. There's also in many scenes an impressive use of silence to prepare the rise of the notes and something similar to the crackle of the vinyl to give an evidence to the listener that this is recorded music. As the scenes goes by there's a sense of a journey because, with every scene, there's a slight modification in the obviously rather monochromatic sound palette oscillation between drone based moments and more melodic ones.
This is a release that will perhaps be better received by fans of modern classical compared to other classes of listeners, and they will be exposed by far more subtler sounds masked by a rather familiar melodic framework. It's worth a listen.
Op het prestigieuze innovatieve Poolse label, dat “new experimental art” hoog in het vaandel heeft staan, brengen ze nu de cd Short Scenes uit. De titel zegt eigenlijk vooral wat over de lengte van de afzonderlijke stukken en niet zozeer over de totstandkoming ervan. Daar waar de één graag bouwt met lego of knutselt met klei, daar gaat Rutger Zuydervelt aan de slag met de viool- en altvioolimprovisaties van Anne Bakker. Zij levert in feite de bouwstenen, die door Zuydervelt dankbaar gereconstrueerd worden en met een elektronische en analoge lijmtube tot 20 samenhangende composities worden omgevormd. De lengte ervan varieert van een ruime minuut tot een krappe 4 minuten, waarbij de korte stukken overheersen. De output is daarbij zeer afwisselend doch consistent, van (dark) ambient en neoklassiek tot drones en experimentele elektronica. Die worden echter wel op zo’n ludieke, subtiele en bovenal spannende wijze gebracht dat het geheel je moeiteloos meevoert als een boeiende film, zij het dan met muzikale scenes en de (alt)viool in de hoofdrol. Beide zetten hier in ruim 40 minuten weer iets neer dat net zo bijzonder en biologerend als fijnbesnaard, diepgravend en wonderschoon is. Zonder ook maar enige scene te trappen, is een volgend klapstuk van deze twee wel weer een feit.