Its not too often that an artist is able to amass such a cohesive body of work from sources that were originally not intended to function in relationship to one another. But somehow Rutger Zuydervelt?s, Machinefabriek was able to cull twenty-two tracks from numerous 3? inch releases and have them work together to create a very cohesive musical experience. The music itself is rather diverse in nature drawing from a rich palette of both electronic and acoustic sounds that weave their way in and out of one another. ?Weleer? is entrancing body of work that manages to toy with the established boundaries of sound, music and noise.
Throughout ?Weleer,? static, whether subtle or overpowering, plays a constant role within the construction of each composition. Its this utilization of static that leads toward the thought of how much interference plays an important role within Zuydervelt?s work as whole. Sounds are never allowed to overstay their welcome, they are constantly morphing, being pushed to the edge of breaking and finally overpowered. Interruption what keeps the ideas flowing and fresh and it is through static that the interruption is so often introduced; yet oddly it never becomes a crutch, or flows into excess.
Another constant element at play within the Machinefabriek sound world is the constant juxtaposition of the hand into works that very much sound like they are machine. Basically Zuydervelt is constantly making the listener aware that there is a human being behind all of this. This aspect, like the static, is handled in ways that run the gamut from subtle to purposefully heavy-handed, but always interjected in a manner that is thought out and graceful. Some of this simply stems from Zuydervelt?s choice of instrumentation; pianos, hammered dulcimer etc. But there are other points where it really is the actually hand interjecting itself into the work, the best example of this is ?Hieperdepiep,? which begins with the insertion of a cassette and ends with the cassette being manipulated. Through the manipulation snippets of the song flash by, forcing the listener to question where he stands in relationship to the work.
Questioning aside, between the insertion and manipulation of the cassette ?Hieperdepiep? offers up all aspects of Machinefbriek; elements of the hand, static interference, acoustic instrumentation, choral voices and black swathes of noise. The movement and layering of sounds are expertly combined, allowing the fragmentation of each movement to drift in and out from one another, while maintaining a cohesive and interesting whole that reveals a deep contemplation of the sounds being created.
The two discs are really held together by the thoughtfulness put into each track and how each track works off of the next. Compilation album or not, ?Weleer? is a beautiful and complex work that deserves some deep and concentrated listening. 10/10 -- Cory Card (29 January, 2008)