Neil Welch & Rutger Zuydervelt
download/cdr on Confront, November 2015
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I had sent Neil (who impressed me with his duo Bad Luck’s album ‘Three’) an electronic ‘backing track’ to improvise on, with the idea to keep my part intact as the spine of this new piece. But once I received Neil’s recording, things turned out differently. While toying around with his saxophone improvisation, I noticed it was full of fantastic details, and wanted to emphasize these. I tried overlaying looped parts, with wonderful results. So the original idea went out the window, and I decided to solely work with Neil’s improvisation.
I approached ‘Tides’ as a continuous stream of sound, maybe comparable to Brian Eno’s ‘Thursday Afternoon’ or ‘Neroli’, but far less soothing. The 38 minutes on the release can be seen as a chop from an infinite, miasmic flow of smelting saxophone phrases.
Machinefabriek turned the tables on his own production technique. He was to provide a foundation (a ‘backing track’, in the official release language) for Welch to improvise upon. However, upon receiving Welch’s responsive work, Machinefabriek proceeded to work upon it some more. The result, as heard in this four-minute advance listen of an eventual 38-minute release, to be titled Tides, makes any discernment between background and foreground imprecise at best. There is a dense blur between the original work and what Welch provided. In part this is because Welch’s work is often heard with several parts layered in a manner that an individual player couldn’t achieve live, except with looping equipment. In part it’s because the horn often dissolves into the greater noise, leading to something akin to John Zorn fronting a Ligeti concerto. But the real beauty of the resulting piece is how segments of Welch’s work were themselves improvised upon by Machinefabriek, who took the nuances and used them as source audio for his own efforts. Welch’s work was, in turn, as much a foundation for Machinefabriek’s efforts as was Machinefabriek’s for Welch’s. It would be interesting, down the road, to be able to listen to what it was that Machinefabriek sent to Welch in the first place.
Mister Machinefabriek Rutger Zuydervelt (tevens Cloud Ensemble, CMKK, DNMF, Piiptsjilling, Shivers) zoekt met enige regelmaat de meest interessante artiesten op om mee samen te werken. Zo ook nu de Amerikaanse freejazz saxofonist Neil Welch, die solo geweldig kan improviseren en dat tevens laat horen in Bad Luck en Rich Pellegrin Quintet. In feite was het met Tides eerst de bedoeling dat Welch lekker los kon gaan op het elektronische stuk dat Zuydervelt had gestuurd. Nadat hij de track echter terug krijgt blijken er zoveel details in te zitten dat hij pardoes overlays van de geloopte stukken heeft gemaakt. Hierdoor is er een constante stroom aan geluid ontstaat. Het is een uiterst experimenteel werk vol loops, drones en improvisaties, maar blijft door alle prachtige sounds, verrassende geluiden en wendingen goed te volgen en je gewoon 38 minuten lang in de houdgreep neemt. Dat alles is ook nog eens gestoken in een fraai metalen box, waardoor het in alle facetten een kunstwerk is geworden.