1. Huiswerk 1
2. Huiswerk 2
3. Hilary (with Hilary Jeffery)
4. Jeffery (with Hilary Jeffery)
5. Ontrafelde Tonen 1
6. Ontrafelde Tonen 2
7. Ontrafelde Tonen 3
8. My Funny Valentine (with Gareth Davis)
9. Oh Doctor Jesus (with Gareth Davis)
12. Dances Des Loops
cd and download on Zoharum, February 2014
Order the album at
Bandcamp (also in digital format)
A cd compilation of material previously released between 2008 and 2013, on vinyl, tape and compilations. Sort of a follow-up to Bijeen (Kning Disk, 2007).
Short playing time formats like 7-inches and 3-inch cdrs are great to work with. More then on regular albums, the durational limitations are useful to experiment with and to create really focussed, cristallised pieces.
Most of these tracks focus on a very limited palette of sounds. Hilary and Jeffery for example, are constructed using solely trombone recordings from (you guessed it) Hillary Jeffery (of the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble). Huiswerk 1 and 2 were made using a simple setup of electric guitar and sampler. And probably a suprise in my discography are 'My Funny Valentine' and 'Oh Doctor Jesus', two jazz classics, in collaboration with bass clarinet player Gareth Davis. All these sets of songs have a very specific quality to them.
These tracks are among my personal favorites. Most of 'em aren't available on a physical format anymore, so it's great to gather them on the album 'Dubbeltjes'.
The tracks are presented as pairs or trios, as they appeared on their original releases. It's up to you, the listener, to either experience these combinations seperatly, hear the album in continuous play, or use shuffle mode to make new combinations.
I’m not familiar with Machinefabriek‘s work, but on the strength of this release I think a little extra digging into the man’s back catalogue is required. Dubbeltjes (Dutch for dimes) is a collection of small wonders culled from 7″ and mini CDr rarities recorded and released by Rutger Zuydervelt between 2008 and 2013, the tracks being re-presented here in pairs and trios, reflecting how they originally appeared. As compilations go, it’s a really focused piece of work, intentionally honing down the goods to a limited sound palette and fitting into the restrictive time constraints of the two formats without sacrificing any potential in drama.
The album shimmers with a controlled sense of destiny, the microcosmic details Dubbeltjes conjures feeling fresh, intriguing, leaping off the page in sulphite electron smarts as on “Huiswerk 1″ and “2″ where simple guitar strums are braised on a sampler’s cut-up logics. The symphonic slur of “Hilary,” whose stretched tones linger like a mirroring mirage, full of dysphasic slip and lovely bass depths; the retracting breaths on “Jeffery” preferring to pull at your cranium in a bamboo of tapping brackets adding a disquiet gristle to the dispersing drones: there’s plenty to wrap your head round here.
The “Ontrafelde Tonen” (“Unraveled Tones”) triptych that follows initially jolts the mood with what sounds like somebody digesting a contact mic, a disturbing gastric-choked bubble that bursts into the ghost choir of the second part. Here, a grieving phantom, cascading in spectral surges, staggered retractives, tapering ear drifts of disembodied grace leaves a stress-fractured third to unleash a kinetically destructive concoction of wooden creaks, metallic washes and crumpling keels in a shadowy P16 D4-like vibe with brief snips of voice occasionally gasping through an eerie imbalance and glassy debris. This mascara-snakes your mind brilliantly, and opens you up for the sufi-like melancholia of “My Funny Valentine” and “Oh Doctor Jesus,” where clarinet harmonies are gift-wrapped in a cheese-wire tracery of electronics.
“Ax” starts all jellyfish-like, garnished in teeny guitar glints slowly succumbing to a banquet of modular nails and waving pulses. The dusty run-out turntablism of “Eeuw” plies a similar tang, twined with tranquil wedges of guitar until the whole looping gymnasium is sedately immersed into a fat reddening of horizon. It’s a brilliantly varied album that leaves the best to last in the shape of “Dances Des Loops,” where separated samples lacuna in a collusive waltz of differing textures, everything sync-slipping nicely, fed tiny touches of disharmony before vanishing into silence.
12 tracks from Rutger Zuydervelt whom I knew from different collaborations among many others with Steinbrüchel, Jaap Blonk, Aaron Martin, Peter Broderick, Frans de Waard, Simon Nabatov, Mats Gustafsson, Steve Roden, Gareth Davis, Stephen Vitiello, Michel Banabila and Tim Catlin and with filmmakers such as Makino Takashi, Mike Hoolboom, John Price, Paul Clipson and Chris Teerink, Edward Burtynsky. Composer of dance scores for Alix Eynaudi and Kris Verdonck's EXIT , Ivan Pérez' Hide And Seek (Ballet Moscow) and Alexander Whitley's The Measures Taken (for the Royal Opera in London).
Strinkingly as it is Rutger's music from the years between 2008 and 2013 doesn't seem to follow any clichees of typical post-industrial of improvisational key of the stuff that comes first to my mind when you think of collaborative artist of such genres. First and second tracks has a lot of inter-textual guitar work using feedback and loopey effects - gives plenty of space and disquiet without overburdening it with drones. Third track is an echo of symphonical music in an ethnic context with clear reference to soundtracks and scores he made - the main theme bursts out of reed wall of sound and has a transparent structure. Reeds dominate also the fourth track which has a grieving, melancholical feel to it and it heavily reminds me of works of Grisey. Fifth track is a counter balance to the previous ones - there's a great deal of preparations and field recorded stuff heavy treated with a slight touch of electronics - minimalistic yet meaningful - it evokes the best stuff that Joe Colley a.k.a. Crawl Unit recorded to give just a hint. Sixth track is a complete surprise - a choiry evocative track minimalistic as well which gives good structure to the track that might step off into a pompous realm of neo-symphonical ambient. Track number 7 is a good breather of post industrialistic preparations and ambiency of solid field recorded treatise. Track that follows - number 8 - is a nice a bit sonorous melancholical meditation on reeds. Really nice clarinet. Which is also a case of track 9 plus slightly distorted harmonies in the background. Track 10 brings subtle guitar improvisations again with a field recorded background a bit modified by electronics. Track 11 is a smooth turntablistic etude on scratch derivacy and again very subtle background stuff. The final blends all the elements nicely - a treated distant choir, field recorded background noises, squelches of turntable and a very high sense of composition.
I really loved this album. It has a great sense of responsibility - a mature artist who knows how to keep his stead and organise his vision into a wholeness which even here - on an album who is just a compilation - reads and listens as an musical entity not just odd elements thrown together into a melting cauldron.
Thank you Maciej from Zoharum for this excellent release!
Zo af en toe worden die korte werkjes gebundeld, hetgeen veelal tot een fraaie overzichten leidt, waarvan Weleer (2007), Bijeen (2008), Daas (2010), Veldwerk (2011) en Diorama (2011) sterke voorbeelden zijn. Ook nu brengt hij met Dubbeltjes weer eens een bundeling van mini releases en compilatietracks. Dat zijn de 7”/3” cdr Huiswerk uit 2008, waarop Machinefabriek nog een fijne mengelmoes van gitaarambient en glitch brengt. Dan twee tracks van de Hillary / Jeffrey Tape uit 2010, waar naast de dreigende experimenten van Machinefabriek het sfeervolle, nachtelijke trombonespel van Hillart Jeffrey te horen is. De uit 2012 afkomstige 7” Ontrafelde Tonen is hier ook met 3 tracks vertegenwoordigd en gaat van musique concrète naar neoklassiek. Ook Jazz Standards (2011) dat hij samen met klarinettist Gareth Davis heeft gemaakt is hier present, waarin elektronica en jazz prachtig hand in hand gaan. Ze brengen hier het door Richard Rogers en Lorenz Hart geschreven “My Funny Valentine”, dat in de uitvoering van Chet Baker en Frank Sinatra ooit heel anders heeft geklonken. Daarnaast laten ze hun visie op George Gershwin’s “Oh Doctor Jesus” horen. De laatste drie tracks “Ax”, “Eeuw” en “Danse Des Loops” komen respectievelijk van de 3” cdr Nerf (2010), de compilatie Mind The Gap #100 (2013) en de compilatie Villa Fiasco: The Act Of Sampling (2012), die ieder weer een bijzondere experimentele kant van Machinefabriek belichten. En dan heb je met deze bijna 48 minuten krachtbundeling weer een geweldig overzicht in handen, dat iedere cent dan wel dubbeltje waard is.
Here at Vital Weekly a lot of music released by Machinefabriek is discussed, but there is a lot more than doesn't make it here, as Machinefabriek is also very active in the field of highly limited vinyl, lathe cut and cassette only releases. Luckily he is well known enough to have every now and then a compilation of these rarities, such as 'Dubbeltjes' ('dimes'). Here we have two pieces from compilations plus two 7"s, a lathe cut 5", a cassette and a 3"CDR, twelve pieces in total. Of these, I reviewed the lathe cut 5" with the jazz standards 'My Funny Valentine' and 'Oh Doctor Jesus' (Vital Weekly 789), which didn't sound like jazz anyway. One of the nicer things about such compilations as this one is that all of these pieces are relatively short and to the point and we hear Machinefabriek occasionally experimenting with form, such as 'Ontrafelde Tonen 1', which is more like musique concrete than his signature ambient guitar sound, which are present here, such as in 'Ax'. All of it gets a place in here, with a nice variety. At forty-eight minutes not the longest of anthologies you could imagine, but it's compiled to be entertaining, listenable and varied, all of which in the comfort of Machinefabriek's drone inspired music.
Apart from Rutger Zuyderveld himself, I don't think there will be many people that can keep up with Machinefabriek 's release output. It's easy to lose track of the numerous CD's, 3"-CD's, cassettes, digital albums, vinyl singles, USB-sticks and whatever other release format possible. So we're lucky that every now and then a compilation album is released combining some of this (often hard to find or sold out) output.
"Dubbeltjes" (subtitled "Gathered Eccentrics 2008-2013) is a demonstration of the many faces of Rutger. Though all tracks have his characteristic approach, the sound of each track is very different. Just compare the guitar from the Huiswerk 7-inch, the trombone sound drones (as performed by Hilary Jeffery), the abstract thunder and choral samples of "Ontrafelde Tonen".
And that's only the first half of this amazing compilation album - you haven't even heard the haunting rendition of "My Funny Valentine yet (featuring Gareth Davis on bass clarinet).
Rutger Zuydervelt is a Dutch graphic designer who’s been very active in the field of experimental sound design and graphic design for about two decades. He has performed solo or as a composer for various artistic installations, and has done soundtracks for different types of visual performances (films, theatre and dance). Zoharum has collected tracks previously released in small collector’s editions, thus giving us the pleasure to settle back and taste some of this factory machine’s delicate flavors.
Zuydervelt’s treatment of sound lies mostly on economical effects and a punctilious concern for the slightest detail. On “Huiswerk” 1 and 2 he uses guitar accords as scarcely as possible, only to render acoustically the vibrations of the chords and to set the impression of a fragmented, illusory vision. There is no technique to lead the trombone sound on “Hilary”, only the impulse to metamorphose sound into space; in this the artist comes to evoke gracious pieces of classical ambience somehow akin to the grave lounge of Polish composer Gorecki. This sacred minimalist sound of the trombone achieves a contrasting atmosphere on “Jeffrey”, where the droning effects paint a picture of Turner-esque impressionist sound colouring. In terms of underground music it may sound like a remix that Troum did on some Bohren & der Club of Gore track. In fact, these double-faceted tracks originate from the trombone notes of Hillary Jeffery of the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble.
Three tracks named “Ontrafelde Tonen” 1, 2 and 3 follow. Innocuous field recordings, various types of voices and different aural chain reactions engender a mysterious and engaging mental participation. As usual, the manipulation of the sounds is succinct, fluent and beautifully stylized.
“My Funny Valentine” and “Oh Doctor Jesus” are two jazz classics (a “surprise” in his discography) performed in collaboration with a bass clarinet player. The reinterpretation reduces the intensity of the original songs almost to extinction, all the more embellishing the very core of the tracks and conferring to them a newly exotic flavour.
The Dutch musician uses various types of electronic equipment, fluently designing sounds like on a computer. Like in Japanese, now defunct, Aube’s musical experiments, “Ax” shows how simple and yet attractive his performance is. In the same manner, “Eeuw” and “Danse des Loops” evolve on the same mood and theme, subtly modifying the intensity and creating sound images that are almost graphic.
“Dubbeltjes” is a pertinent introduction to the work of this polymorphic artist, and for those already acquainted with his music this Zoharum compilation is an excellent release, gathering various aspects of Zuydervelt’s discography.