Boomkat Product Review:
This is without any shadow of a doubt the loveliest transmission from Machinefabriek this year - and by far his most introspective, beautiful work to date. This time round its a full-length album housed in some of the loveliest packaging we've seen and is a collaborative venture, this with namesake and Julie Mittens drummer Leo Fabriek (presumably no relation). This latest work recalls the gorgeous Huis 3"CD in that the music occupies a more organic, cinematic grounding than his more customary drone abstractions. While Zuydervelt himself takes up guitar, banjo, effects and a primordial analog synth that goes by the name 'Povtronic', Leo Fabriek takes centrestage at the piano. The album announces itself with the crackle and gradual bowed guitar of 'Het Waait Over' before settling down into the atmospherically charged 'Polderlicht', a conjugation of lighter-than-air piano and filtered ambience. Taking up a greater bandwidth is 'Wolken Boven Cronesteyn' which features electronic eruptions that sound like a cross between Pan Sonic-style primitive synthesis and an ocean liner firing up its fog horn. 'Pluimen' is the shortest (and typically) the most beautiful of all the pieces here, setting Leo's meditative piano figures against what sounds like backwards banjo phrases and a backdrop of rainy field recordings. It's all exceedingly pretty, but never in a trivial, purely superficial way. Instead it makes for a passage of calm before the gradually rising storm of 'Karrewiel', whose engine room drone threatens to devour Leo's previously dominant keystrokes. In its boisterous coda, the piece is wrought with the howling of noise oscillations and detuning synth tones. After the stately, elegiac sounds of earlier movements it all comes across as a destructive final dirge, purposely shredding up the ominous serenity of the preceding tracks. Still churning out releases at a rate that simply shouldn't be conducive to music of this calibre, Machinefabriek actually seems to be on an upwards gradient at the moment, and Fabriek & Fabriek must rate as being one of the very finest releases in this preposterously ample catalogue.