Boomkat Product Review:
Machinefabriek produces two contemporary dance scores for choreographer Yin Yue, released on Phantom Limb’s soundtrack label Geist im Kino.
"Machinefabriek - Rotterdam-based musician and designer Rutger Zuydervelt - describes his newest record Re:Moving (Music for Choreographies by Yin Yue) as “an album with a bittersweet taste.” The two pieces that make up the album were scheduled for dance performances ultimately cancelled by COVID, leaving Zuydervelt’s soundtracks, for all of their elegance, beauty and emotional gravity, without an audience. After lengthy conversation, Zuydervelt and NYC-based Yin Yue agreed that the music, even without the choreography that birthed it, deserves to be heard. And thus, accompanying the stunning artistry of the scores comes a reminder of the cruel realities of a world gripped by pandemic.
Even before commissioning Machinefabriek for original music, Yin Yue was a fan. She has used his work for performances and classes, drawing a clear thread between Zuydervelt’s advanced, unusual sonics and love of nonstandard rhythms with her own highly inventive choreography and acute understanding of bodily movement. After trading videos of choreographic sketches and “numerous Skype calls,” Yue and Zuydervelt eventually set out on their first collaborative project, A Measurable Existence, originally planned for premiere by New York’s Gibney Company in April 2020. The piece reflects the discovery of self by interaction with others - an unintentionally prescient irony given its lockdown-enforced cancellation. “It’s about parallel journeys that intersect, repel or collide.
The dance doesn’t shy away from drama, and the music doesn’t either,” Zuydervelt writes. His score begins with a staticky thunderstorm of synthesis, glitching rain drizzling around electrified stabs and cracks that eventually yield a pounding rhythm. “Gibney Company dancers Jesse Obremski and Jacob Thoman’s powerful performance is matched by a driving and cinematic soundtrack, resulting in a compelling immersive trip.” he tells us. The thunderstorm gives way to shimmering, yearning sunlight before turning again to darkness for a thumping middle section of scorched drums and brooding industrial simmer. The intensity eventually, finally, lets up for a warped VHS coda, all bleary and warbling with faded chords."