Boomkat Product Review:
Even by his prodigious standards, four separate releases in a single week is probably a record for Machinefabriek's Rutger Zuydervelt. Having already offered up three incredibly limited 3"CDs, here the Dutchman appears in collaboration with a group of musicians he's no stranger to: Leo Fabriek, Wouter Van Veldhoven and Soccer Committee's Mariska Baars. Zuydervelt is the common thread between all of the players - he's the only one who appears on all three of the tracks here. All you more earnest Machinefabriek completists out there might recognise the sleeve, or indeed the tracks themselves from their prior outings on awkward, highly limited edition formats: 'Birthday' and 'Tegendraads' (with Fabriek and Van Weldhoven) both appeared on the Live Edits cassette, and 'Clay' (featuring Baars on vocal and guitar) was a self-released 3"CD, though all tracks have been remastered by Ian Hawgood for the purposes of this issue. Zuydervelt submits to atmospheric drones and roomy atmospherics on 'Birthday', calling on Leo Fabriek's stretched out harmonium tones for instrumental assistance while Van Weldhoven supplies melodica and tape edits. It's a taut and occasionally rather tense affair, contrasting the gentle, faintly romantic piano-based electroacoustics of 'Tegendraads', performed by the same line-up. This is almost certainly the most immediate and unreservedly beautiful thing here, and the fact that it's been tinted with a slightly lo-fi aesthetic makes it all the more poignant, somehow. The Zuydervelt/Baars double-act offers 'Clay', whose airy, waifish beginnings hardly prepare you for the ascent to fiery dissonance by the halfway point: it's the sound of drone music burning up on re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere - though the flame peters out almost as suddenly as it arrived, leaving only a whispered vocal sustain and a trail of mushy tape hiss. The three pieces compliment each other beautifully, and this new, compiled format feels like an entirely justifiable reissue. The original editions certainly deserved a much wider audience than their scarce quantities permitted first time around, though even this one's restricted to 1000 copies.