Machinefabriek – Assemblage

[Reviewed by stark]

Here’s the sound diary of a prolific Dutch experimental musician Rutger Zuydervelt. Even if you’re a fan, it would be difficult to get all the original releases, so it’s good to have all these pieces in one place. By the way, I would like to meet Machinefabriek’s admirer who’s got everything Rutger has ever released. Is there any?

Obviously, there’s not much of a style coherency here, but the good thing is that with all his inclinations towards analogue generated experimentations, Rutger never forgets about a certain cinematic feeling. Couldn’t be otherwise, as he often creates music for illustrative purposes for various theatrical performances, movies, museum exhibitions and installations. So you get some experiments, often improvised, sometimes even with the echoes of musique concrete, but it is always covered by the ambient vibes, so it doesn’t distract you from the main point of interest – a movie, an exhibition, etc. But, even if they are not destined to be complementary to other forms of art, but are made as a stand-alone musical compositions, they barely absorb your whole attention. In many parts it is sort of relaxing music, I guess. Hardly complex, often based on one or two sound sources and breathing with a certain warmth. Me, I feel comforted when I hear them. Like “Sluither”, the longest track – ascetic to the limit, yet peaceful and soothing.

But since it’s a compilation gathering the songs from various occasions between 2010-2016, other atmospheres are able to creep here and there as well, also the more sinister ones, like “Meltdown”. They never drag me out of my comfort zone though and finally I came to a conclusion that even though it is Rutger’s audio scrapbook, it may be a good introduction to the project for the people not familiar with it. I just warn you, if you’ll like his music here, there’s really a lot of exploring ahead for you.

Zoharum, ZOHAR 134-2
CD 2017

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