Machinefabriek – Weleer (Lampse)


A veritable treasure trove of mangled electronics and dark drones, the double album Weleer cobbles together the peaks from Dutchman Rutger Zuydervelt’s some thirty 3″ CD-R releases. The work does more than simply save one from the underbelly of collectors hell, however, as it represents a fascinating exploration of compatibility. Employing numerous compositional techniques and subtleties of attack, Zuydervelt promiscuously blends disparate elements to summon a haunted music that is edgy, dynamic and volatile. In short-circuiting so many poles, Zuydervelt’s drone-based compositions undergo a viral effect whereby anomalies and aberrations proliferate like algae. These symptoms in the form of looping electronic snarls and deep ripples of high-end frequency not only fascinate for their violent release of energy amidst an environment of few signposts, but they endow the compositions with a formidable gravity and density.

In minimalist fashion, compositions begin with rigorous and inexorable attention to microscopic detail, moving from simple notes, to clusters, and finally to repetitive thickets of pure clatter. By means of this very acceleration and haphazard merging of trembling particles, a counterwave comes surging back from within the heart of the track, pulverizing it with showers of sharp electronic glitches and scything drones. Though acting as moments of rupture and destruction, these symptoms work with and exploit the depth of field, providing variation in timbre and texture, and thereby holding the piece in check. Both mechanistic and human in its flawed, fragile nature, such pieces finely portray the involution of technology and people into each other.

Other works are less frantic, focussing more on minute fluctuations in pitch and their effects on the hazy percussion. ‘Lief’, for one, restores some sense of ambiguity in its lengthy and dense multitracked construction. Even so, every calm or neutral moment eventually falls into a different spiral of stakes. See ‘Bye Bye Boat, Bye Bye Building’, for instance – as its tonal washes calmly glide across the stereo spectrum, scuttling piano and cut and paste techniques send it twirling into an increasingly surreal tale of screwballing noise and oddball samples jutting out from every which angle. The album cuts out rather than ends, devoured by its own voracious sounds – its manner of hiding and exposing these absences proves consistently compelling.

Max Schaefer


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