Boomkat Product Review:
In the '2008 Preview' piece published recently on these pages, it was projected that Machinefabriek was likely to release in the vicinity of twenty albums over the course of the year, based on 2007's form. If I've counted correctly, this would be the fifth release by Rutger Zuydervelt to find its way into the Boomkat office so far in 2008, meaning that he's already a quarter of the way towards that figure, and we're barely a month into the year. Ranonkel marks a break in form from the recent output however, avoiding all sense of this being another ephemeral transmission from the Machinefabriek hard drive, and instead sounding like a fully formed bonafide album, a worthy follow-up to the Marijn full-length released on Lampse in 2006. As an introductory statement 'Trouringh' serves as proof that Zuydervelt has well and truly brought his A-game to the table this time around, combining the very best of his microsound work with an explicitly tuneful instrumental element. Fizzing glockenspiel tones light a melodic causeway across a minuscule, infinitely graceful backdrop of high frequency sine tones, crackle and slow chords. It's a real keeper, definitely among the very finest of Zuydervelt's compositions. If you've grown a little sceptical of the Machinefabriek quality control system of late, here's the antidote. A series of more streamlined drones follows, although the overall feel is one of methodical, well thought out composition rather than off-the cuff tonal layering: 'Stofstuktoon' resonates like an orchestra of perpetually sustaining Tibetan prayer bowls, eventually sliding away into near silence populated only by a protracted static hiss. Over the course of 'Ranonkel 1' you'll hear interjections of acoustic guitar flirting with electronic signals, revealing a gradual, unfolding melodic trajectory. After 'Andermans Thuis' has dabbled in slightly more ominous waters, via what sounds like some gentle contact mic recordings, 'Ranonkel 2' offers a palette-cleansing ninety seconds of beautiful sinusoidal stretches, leading into the album's final seventeen minutes: 'Zink'; an immense, panoramic ambient piece featuring Zuydervelt's full armoury of techniques. During its first half you'll hear blurred acousmatic artefacts clashing with submerged string textures, eventually escalating into the kind of heady guitar manipulations and shimmering electronic timbres you might recall from Taylor Deupree's Northern. The finest Machinefabriek outing of 2008 by some margin - you'll be returning to that opening piece in particular again and again. ESSENTIAL PURCHASE.