Boomkat Product Review:
Of this week's batch of Machinefabriek 3"CDs, Nerf is arguably the most accessible and conventional within the context of Rutger Zuydervelt's wider catalogue, though the man himself suggests this might be the most minimal music he's made to date. Here, the Dutch sound designer spins compositions from acoustic and electric guitars with a touch of editing via laptop, though certainly for the bulk of the disc, any electronic equipment used takes a backseat role in the productions. 'Sluimer' is a twelve-and-a-half minute exercise in sparse, freetime progressions, constructed as much from pregnant silences as it is from Zuydervelt's guitar. For much of the time he strikes the instrument in such a way as to leave the chords hanging like loose threads, disconnected from whatever came before and whatever's around the corner. After you've spent a sufficient amount of time with the piece a kind of quarter-speed logic becomes apparent that lending a mournful, contemplative tone to proceedings. 'Ax' is far more electronic, ushered in by hard-panning, heavily filtered chords that instil a warm and muffled drone effect. Soon, textural details begin to emerge and you get a stronger sense of the guitar's natural timbral qualities. Unavoidably you start thinking of early Fennesz, but that's never been a bad thing. Finally, with 'Nerf' Zuydervelt goes out on a real high, venturing more into Oren Ambarchi's territory with a slab of resonant low end drone harbouring tiny sub-currents of melody. Adding plenty of texture the strings vibrate unevenly and with bristling, almost percussive side effects that lend a far harsher - and consequently, richer - quality to the piece.