Machinefabriek Ė Veldwerk (CD Cold Spring)

Cold Spring continue bringing us collections of out of print and rare Machinefabriek tracks with Veldwerk their third Machinefabriek release.

I really enjoy the work of Rutger Zuydervelt and this third album is every bit as compelling as Daas and Vloed.

To me the pieces on Veldwerk show more of the ambient/musique concrŤte and abstract side of Machinefabriek thereís less emphasis on melody and music and more on feel and mood.

The album is bookended by Slovensko I and Slovensko II which are from a 7Ē released on Champion Version in 2010. The tracks are field recordings taken during a trip to Slovakia that have then been treated and processed. So you end up with a sort of aural account of the trip. Bits seem to have been quite heavily treated, such as what sounds like a recording of rusty gates and others bits (snippets of speech and dogs barking) sound quite pure and untouched.

Rusland was put out as a self-released 3Ē CDr and is a collage of live recordings and field recordings made whilst Rutger was in Russia. Itís a deceptive piece as it sounds very minimal as it slowly builds up layers of single notes (almost like Dylan Carsonís guitar work in Earth) but at the same time itís building up its atmosphere and intensity until a more prominent slowly mutating drone takes the piece over and some field recordings join in the proceedings with snatches of voices appearing here and there. The recurring sound of a single deep resonating note takes the track to its conclusion.

The Breaking Water was a commissioned piece for the International Film Festival Rotterdam and is another piece with location recordings. This time of Rotterdamís Erasmus bridge. It includes recordings taken from on the bridge, below the bridge and also incorporates sounds of the river the bridge crosses.  On the whole despite some ominous sounding groans and creaks this is quite a gentle relaxing piece with the bridge and river sounds mixed together with what could be processed guitar or maybe synths  but there is a moment about half way through when everything gets quite frantic, loud and fast paced. Itís almost of if Rutger had dropped a microphone into the river itself and what we hear are recordings of the river trying to swallow the microphone.

Floor and Radio is exactly what it says it is. Itís a piece recorded for the installation 'Licthung' in Radolfzell, Germany and what we get is the squeaking floor in the guest house and the distorted signal and static from the radio. It sounds like a fairly straight recording of the two without processing and has perhaps echoes of Pierre Henrys  Variations for a door and a sigh. Itís probably the weakest piece on the album but you have to take that in context with how strong the other pieces are.

Apollo is the longest track here and was recorded as a soundtrack to the film ďIn your StarĒ which from what I can gather is an animation. Anyway the soundtrack is made up of field recordings, NASA radio transmissions and added electronics which are fairly minimal drone type sounds. The whole piece creates a lovely slow brooding atmosphere and the intensity of the piece increases as other sounds are brought into play.  The middle of the track subsides in to a very light other worldly sort of sound reminiscent perhaps of the type of sounds you might associate with floating in space until after a couple of minutes the previous drone and filed recordings resurface eventually tapering off to leave the last five minutes of Apollo as a more stripped back affair with far more influence given to the field recordings and what sounds like radio sounds.

With the three Machinefabriek releases Iíve heard on Cold Spring itís pretty difficult to find anything but good things to say about them. For someone so prolific Rutger really does manage to maintain a very high standard. DB