LYNCH, JULIAN Music For How Mata Hari Lost Her Head And Found Her Body (Soft Abuse) 7" 9.98
Latest from this hazy psychedelic dreampopper, and a bit of a left turn for sure, as these tracks are original instrumental compositions created as the score to a film, the music here borrowing heavily from classic Indonesian music, as well as incorporating some serious classic free jazz as well, the opening track alone should be enough to convince you that this is not a normal Lynch record. The gamelan rhythms, the moaning horns, the looped cyclical arrangements, the label mentions that all of these elements are woven into Lynch's bedroom psych, and there is in fact a little of that that finds its way into each of these tracks, the production is a bit fuzzy, there's one track with some cool wah wah effects, but the psych element definitely takes a backseat, letting the distinctive rhythms and melancholy melodies drive these songs, they are pretty fantastic, even removed from the visuals, some seriously cool and mysterious, Indonesian influenced free jazz gamelan psychedelia. Nice! Comes with a download code.
"Natalie Barney's Salon" MPEG Stream:
LYNCH, JULIAN Orange You Glad (Olde English Spelling Bee) lp 19.98
First full length (as far as we know) from this sometimes Ducktails collaborator, who seems to be making his move lately for some solo recognition, and he's bound to get it, occupying as he does a sonic station similar to Ariel Pink, Gary Way, John Maus, Ducktails (obviously) and that whole new breed of warped lo-fi sunshiney downer pop. Thankfully, Lynch brings his own take on THAT sound, creating something much more washed out and abstract and haunting, with sorrowful vocals, throbbing Joy Division-y basslines, gnarled super effected wah wah psych guitar, and of course, LOADS of murky haze. The vocals tend toward a delicate falsetto, often hovering over whirring synths, warbly organs, skittery drums and almost always some crazy weirdly wild and almost unhinged sounding guitar squalls. A seriously strange mix of hushed jangle balladry and wild psych freakout. There's also some strange electronics, a little drum machine, some distinctly new wave stretches, even some tropical sounding calypso moments that betray his Ducktails past, and of course plenty of abstract tweakery, but at its very core this is pop music, a bit fractured and fucked up for sure, but still plenty dreamy and drifty and divine.
M AX NOI MACH Creeper (Ormolycka) cassette 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. It's funny, lately it seems like every time we discover some cool new record by some super obscure artist, it turns out that the dude who runs tape label Ormolycka has already put something out by them, way before we even knew who they were. Whether it was the creeped out witch house of Modern Witch, the fucked up aggro hip hop of Death Grips, the twisted electro pop of Pictureplane, the weirdo Southern crunk of Lil Ugly Mane, or what we have right here, the crunchy, ultra distorted industrial beat heavy electro dirgery of the oddly monickered M Ax Noi Mach, aka Philly noisemaker Rob Francisco. Not sure of the exact chronology, but we're guessing Ormolycka were all over this guy when we first laid ears on the In The Shadows lp on White Denim. Regardless, any of you who snagged that lp, are definitely gonna want this too. A dense blast of distortion drenched lumber and crunch, the beats like caustic blasts of grey noise and crusty buzz, all wreathed in thick black clouds of analog synth noise, swirls of hiss and whir and hum and plenty of feedback. Sounding like Techno Animal covered by Amps For Christ, or super obscure noise-hop combo Fever (whose record on DHR is one of our favorite records ever), the sound here lurches from noisy Wolf Eyes-meets-Godflesh stomp, to cool minimal noise drenched mesmer, and from experimental electronic minimalism to spaced out heavily layered dronemusik, primitive and noisy, the sounds manage to fall into patterns that reveal themselves as weirdly melodic and super mesmerizing, the 'songs' constantly devolving into dense tangles of processed electronic noise that while brutal and punishing, somehow remain groovy and tranced out, the sort of rhythmic psychedelic noise that we can't ever seem to get enough of. Like all Ormolycka tapes, SUPER LIMITED (only 100 copies we think!)...
M AX NOI MACH In The Shadows (White Denim) lp 13.98
BACK IN STOCK!! We had never heard of the oddly monikered M Ax Noi Mach, aka Philly noisemaker Rob Francisco, but it was brought to our attention that if we were digging Finnish power electronic hypnodirge weirdos Will Over Matter, we really oughta check out this guy, and holy cow, while it's definitely not the same thing, it definitely pushes a lot of the same buttons, total lo-fi beat heavy post industrial noiserock club music for sure, the sort of shit noiseheads would be blasting if they had any sort of booming system. Just check out opener "Creeper", with its brittle crunked out beats, super distorted tweeter punishing clipped hiss, the howled feral vox, a total gristly groove that kills. Think Will Over Matter collaborating with Wolf Eyes on some sort of alternative universe club banger, and you wouldn't even be close. The second track sounds like some sort of cold wave DHR mash up, stuttering trashcan beats, the warbly bass groove, peppered with a killer skipping skittering high end break that DESTROYS. There's definitely some serious Throbbing Gristle worship going on, but via Philly club music, and there's some glitchy post Whitehouse chaotic crunch, like "Devil City" which definitely sounds a lot like Will Over Matter, a thick grinding murk pulsing away, and peppered with caustic blasts of white noise drenched feedback/vocal freakouts, a thick ugly groover that would be a guaranteed dancefloor clearer. Then there are tracks like "Fetico", which finds much of the high end peeled back, the skree blunted, the rhythms muted and murky, multiple vocals laid atop one another, whispers, spoken, slooooowed doooooown gurgle, a dizzying tangle over that loping stuttersludge loop, the follow up, "Hallowed Eyes" is equally stripped down, a fuzzy pulsating low end throbs beneath some clipped house-y skitter, about as groovy and anything on the record gets, the melodic element supplied by what sounds like amp buzz, and a switch being flipped on and off again, it's like some sort of Dead C electro, which is fine by us, we could listen to shit like this endlessly, and at 6 minutes it ends WAY too soon. The rest of the record cranks it back up again, a barrage of lo-fi DHR pound, gouts of growled angry bellowed vox, sheets of Metal Machine Music chopped and screwed into hiccuping expanses of grind and gristle, clouds of angry crunch and dense swirling hiss wrapped around robotic drum pound and muddy mechanical grooves, everything filthy and crusty and blown the fuck out, a glorious chunk of rhythmic electronic punishment that we can't seem to stop listening to. LIMITED TO 406 COPIES. Housed in swank printed cardstock jackets.
"Creeper" MPEG Stream:
"Charelenni's Father" MPEG Stream:
M, SACHIKO Detect (Antifrost) 3"cd 9.98
Austere sine-wave tones, clicks and silence from Japanese experimentalist Sachiko M, known for her work solo and in the avant-pop trio Hoahio as well as with collaborators like Otomo Yoshihide (in Ground Zero, ISO, Filament, etc.). This cdep (in the irresistable 3" format) fits firmly into her ouvre of barely-there, barren electronic soundscapes of blips and non-blips. Is it zen art? is it conceptual bullshit? Depends on your tastes, but it seems quite lovely for those whose ears are attuned to such efforts. On the new, potentially interesting Greek label Antifrost.
M. KOURIE Dreams Of M. Kourie, the (Chrome Peeler) cd 12.98
The mysteriously titled record, The Dreams Of M. Kourie, is actually the work of local dronelord Nathan Berlinguette, who manned the bass in techgrind outfit Creation Is Crucifixion, as well as exploring spaced out dronescapes with his partner Travis Ryan (of Cattle Decapitation) in the now defunct 5/5/2000. We listed the 5/5/2000 reissue recently, a collection of newly discovered tapes of old old recordings, a haunting world of dronelike nihilism and inner space exploration. With The Dreams Of M. Kourie, Berlinguette takes up where 5/5/2000 left off, setting a course for the heart of a black hole, and taking the scenic sonic route to get there. This is the sound of stargazing, a blackened landscape of warm shimmer, that almost imperceptibly shifts and contorts, each new shape even more abstract and more black than the shape before, tracing a minimal path that simultaneously drifts beneath the sea, through subterranean caverns, amidst the vacuum of space and through the impossibility of alternate universes, the pieces and parts and sounds and arrangements are not in and of themselves mysterious, there are soft rumbles, and warm chordal swells, glistening abstract melodies, drifting gauzy shimmer, but the way they are put together, the way the sounds fall into one another, subtly mix, or rest atop one another, these are the things that turn sound into emotion, these are the aspects that are impossible to explain but precisely what make this journey special. Eyes closed, laying in tall grass, atop a lonely hill, a night as clear as glass, the air warm and humid, watching a million years of starlight shift and shimmer. So nice. Packaged in a simple two panel black sleeve, printed in metallic gold ink.
"And Woke In Spring" MPEG Stream:
M., SACHIKO Imaginary Soundtrack (Out One Disc) cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
M., SACHIKO / KAFFE MATTHEWS / ANDREA NEUMANN In Case of Fire Take the Stairs (Improvised Music From Japan) cd 17.98
Recorded live in Japan on St. Patrick's Day of 2002, the line-up for this electronic / improvisation performance has Kaffe Matthews on sampler / laptop, Andrea Neumann on prepared piano, and Sachiko M using sinewaves and a contact microphone. Neumann's use of the piano is rather unconventional as she performs exclusively within the piano itself, scraping and plucking the strings with metal objects and motors, avoiding the keyboard altogether. Sachiko M, who has become a ubiquitous presence in the ever-growing field of electronic improvisation, is qualititatively active in her manipulation of her raw sinewaves. But Matthews has placed herself at the center of activity, controlling the tightly looped samples culled from her collaborators and building loose structures of pulses, clicks, and rhythms within this extended performance.
M., SACHIKO / TOSHIMARU NAKAMURA / OTOMO YOSHIHIDE Good Morning Good Night (Erstwhile) 2cd 21.00
M.B. Evidences Volume 1 1980 (Final Industrial Music) (Vinyl On Demand) 5lp 99.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Anyone familiar with the Vinyl On Demand label is probably well aware of how utterly amazing their releases are, how well researched, gorgeously packaged, and of course how limited and difficult to track down. We managed to get three titles, all of them amazing, we only have one copy of each, and wanted to give some of our mailorder folks a shot and snagging one of these. So a brief description follows, and we only have a single copy so first come first served. M.B. Maurizio Bianchi. Check the aQ site for tons of reviews, as we gush all about one of our favorite industrial music makers EVER. Dark drones, haunting buzz, primitive synths, busted tape machines, old turntables, delay pedals, all woven into something truly divine. Contains all of MB's tape music from 1979 and 1980, for the first time ever on vinyl. Five lps, housed in printed hand numbered sleeves, pressed on thick vinyl, all in a gorgeous printed, black box embossed with metallic text. WE HAVE ONLY ONE COPY!!
M.B. (BIANCHI, MAURIZIO) + NIMH Together's Symphony (Silentes) 4cd 73.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. There's not much reason to belabor the point on this one. Simply put, it's limited to 300 copies and we only have two of these boxsets kicking around. Needless to say, it's a fine example of Maurizio Bianchi's return to the glacial power electronics and sustained drone concussions that dominated his earliest experiments in the '70s and '80s. As for NIMH, that project is the work of Italian avant-guitarist Giuseppe Verticchio whose work in softened ambience has drawn comparisons to Steve Roach and Aidan Baker; and in working with Bianchi, he does offer some elegiac guitar and piano works to accompany Bianchi's hypnotic gray / black drones. If it's not out of print, it will be soon. We might be able to get a few more but it sems unlikely...
"Niddah" MPEG Stream:
"Recovered Memories" MPEG Stream:
"Back To Laudomia"
M.B. / MAURIZIO BIANCHI Mectpyo Bakterium / Genocide O.T.M. (Menstrual Recordings) 2cd 27.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Maurizio Bianchi is one the pioneers of Italian Industrial music, transforming the psychedelic electronics of the likes of Conrad Schniztler, Cluster, Eno, Neu!, etc. into a chilling, dark theater of cancerous sounds that had become the template for the countless dark ambient / industrialists who followed. His story is a peculiar one, as he was incessantly productive throughout the late '70s and early '80s until he unexpectedly stopped in 1984. This musical cessation served to heighten the mystique around the man, as rumors and falsehoods swirled around his legacy, followed by numerous bootleg tapes and LPs of his rarities. While Bianchi has resurfaced once again with new material (some of questionable quality), this 2cd set is a collection of the classic Bianchi sound. Mectpyo Bakterium was an album originally released on LP back in 1982, and then later in 1998 through the Alga Marghen reissue campaign of his major records. The second disc is a collection of extremely rare tracks, including several that had made their way into the public domain as bootlegs. Mectpyo Bakterium is a bleak piece of electronic expressionism, with shivering tones and slashing bursts of clinical noise meandering through minefields of grim atmospheres. As it was originally released on LP, the two main tracks of this album are each side-long excursions that mutate and fold on top of themselves, beginning at very dark, very grim launching points and ending up in an entirely different mindframe, having rotated through dour melodies, squalid noises, funeral drum machine marches, and further bleak electronics. It makes sense for this to be a worthy contemporary of TG, Cabaret Voltaire, and Whitehouse! The Mectpyo Bakterium disc also features two bonus tracks - the same featured on the 1998 cd reissue. The second disc entitled Genocide O.T.M. culls tracks from three sources -- the Japanese bootleg Anthology 1981-1984, the acetate 7" of Genocide Of The Menses, and the Leibstandarte SS MB 2 LP. It's hard to know where that Leibstandarte SS MB track came from, as it's not credited to either of the Come Organization LPs, but the track here "Zyclombie" is a very dark, noisy construct of accreting hiss and lazer-drill droning. Bianchi in top, noise-mantra form. The tracks from the Genocide Of The Menses 7" continue in this same vein with equally impressive results. Neither of the two tracks credited as "Neuro Habitat" actually come from the album of that same name, but are woozy tape excursions with rudimentary drum machines and slow-motion noise bellowing. These tracks are pretty rough around the edges, and the sound quality could have been punched up a bit. Aside from these odd-ball cuts, the whole set is a remarkable document of just how good Bianchi had been back in the day. We only have a handful of these which we got from Mr. Bianchi himself. It remains to be seen, if we'll be able to get more copies in!
"Sterile Regles" MPEG Stream:
"Zyclombie" MPEG Stream:
"Genocide Of The Menses 1"
M.I.M.E.O. Music In Movement Electronic Orchestra (Perdition Plastics) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The debut of Keith Rowe's (AMM) improvised electronic ensemble that includes Fennesz, Pita (Mego), Phil Durrant, Jerome Noetinger (Metamkine), Richard Barrett, Justin Bennett, Cor Fuhler, Yannis Kyriakides, Gert-Jan Prins, and Thomas Lehn is a radical investigation into powerbook digital damage balanced with cacophonous guitar, violin, and piano.
M2 Sinecore (Mille Plateaux) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Our first encounter with Panacea's M2 was on his remix album of the Ant-Zen catalogue, where he transformed the Ant-Zen sound into an aggressive minimalism much closer to a steroid-pumped version of Raster clan's digital clickery. Now "Sinecore", much like the remix project, is an album of clinical tension. M2's cerebral metronomic structures clang with rhythmic sinewave modulations and rigid digital tones, yet a sputtering collage of mutant flanges and dadaist arrythmia disrupts the insistency of the pure tones and clicks.
M83 Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts (Mute / Gooom) 2lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Now available on vinyl! We hadn't even heard of this band until a handful of customers started mentioning them, so we figured we'd best check it out, and guess what? Turned out to be pretty fucking amazing. A huge slab of fuzzy shoegazey electronica-flecked dream pop. We've been listening to this nonstop since it came in. It's not really that new, but it's so good, we figured better late than never. Imagine the post rave swirl of the Orb, mix in the muted warmth of Boards Of Canada, the lalala Neu-worship of Stereolab, the catchy new wave of New Order, then wrap the whole thing in a thick shimmery distorted haze a la My Bloody Valentine and you'll be close. Now imagine that concoction as the soundtrack to the love scene in some super bizarre Anime. You know, the part where the girl is going into space because she can't live on earth because her tentacles keep killing cute little pandas, and her boyfriend is a giant panda, but they love each other so much her tears turn into jewels that the pandas can eat to make them invincible. It's that heartbreakingly good. This will totally hit the spot for electro geeks, shoegazers, pop kids, and everyone in between.
"Unrecorded" MPEG Stream:
"Run Into Flowers" MPEG Stream:
M83 Digital Shades (Vol.1) (Mute / Goom) cd 14.98
We probably reference M83 in reviews more often than No Neck Blues Band or SUNNO))) (okay, maybe not SUNN), which makes sense since they, almost more than any other group we can think of, totally typify that gorgeously washed out synth heavy warm shimmery bliss that infuses so much of the music we love. Their sound is seeped in gauzy smears of new age-y blur and hushed layered soft focus ambience, and even on their last record, the super eighties shimmer pop of Saturdays=Youth, that shimmer was always right below the surface, adding a distinctly otherworldly vibe to the songs. Digital Shades (Vol. 1) in not a proper album per se, more of a project, undertaken by Anthony Gonzalez, aka M83, between recording sessions, exploring a more stripped down, ambient and new age sound. Originally released as a digital download (hence the title), Digital Shades is finally available as an actual release, the first in a series. Playing more like fragments, or rough sketches, the songs on Digital Shades are simple and space-y, often only one or two notes, a simple melody, a breathy buried vocal, stretched out into long mesmerizing streaks of sun dappled drift. You can almost imagine these as backing tracks for soon to be M83 tracks. Remember when Pet Sounds mania was happening, and that record was released in all sorts of different permutations? Well, one version contained a whole bunch of gorgeous harmony vocal backing tracks, that once removed from their songs, sounded so strange and angelic and haunting, and such is the case here. Loosed from any sort of structure, these pieces are allowed to float and hover and swirl and slowly unfurl into sprawling expanses of billowy dreamy dronemusic. Sweeping and cinematic, yet somehow still minimal and intimate. Bird song surfaces here and there, as well as some brief snippets of more traditional M83 vocalizing, but those moments are brief, leaving just long streaks of soft sound, to unfold slowly, to blossom into delicate shapes, and to glisten in the light of a thousand suns. Admittedly, Gonzalez is paying homage to Brian Eno, and that's not difficult to hear at all, even in more traditional sounding M83 recordings, and lots of these pieces also sound quite a bit like some lost Twin Peaks Angelo Badalamenti mood music. Absolutely gorgeous. Maybe too minimal and blissed out for some, but for those of you (us!) with a soft spot for delicate drone-y new ageish ambience, and soft shimmery drones, a la Eno, Harold Budd, Popol Vuh, IASOS, Ariel Kalma, and the like, this is absolute heaven.
"Waves, Waves, Waves" MPEG Stream:
"Coloring The Void" MPEG Stream:
"Sister [Part 1]"
M87 Noctilucent Threnodies (Supernal) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Not to be confused with the fuzzy shoegazey bliss of AQ faves M83, M87 are a mysterious dark ambient drone outfit on the same label as Benighted Leams, Contra Ignem Fatuum, Drudkh, and Meads Of Asphodel. That alone should have you pretty psyched to see what sort of weirdness these guys conjure up. We'd be tempted to say M87 are an anomaly in Supernal's predominantly black metal roster, but some of our favorite releases on Supernal were on the ambient side of things, the weird medieval drones of Dark Ages and the crumbling pummeling SUNNO)))-like dirge of Fall Of The Grey Winged One. M87 are a much blissier affair. An outer space drift that hovers and floats, wide open expanses of shimmering static hum and glistening effervescence. The liner notes proclaim "There are no keyboards or guitar synthesizers on this disc" so we can only assume this is ALL guitar, which makes it even more impressive. Released way back in 1999, and only now finally making it to the AQ list, M87 definitely explores similar sonic territory as Fennesz, Ambarchi, Tim Hecker, Dean Roberts and the like. The opening track is a thick static blur, like standing in the middle of a busy train station, the sound of the people, and the trains and the spaces cavernous reverb building into a massive swirling whir. This dense proto industrialism surfaces elsewhere on the record, each time, adding more to the mix, buried clangs, or muted melodies, but these caustic sonic clouds are just interludes, long ones granted, drifting darkly and offering an aggressive contrast to the rest of the record's serene and beautiful soundscapes. Warm, rich, dark, dreamlike, ominous, otherworldly, each track, like some exploration of a barren alien planet, or some mysterious abandoned city, a series of abstract isolationist drones, whose textures and melodies, which once existed, have now melted, spreading out into thick pools of shimmering sound, each offering a twisting distorted reflection of the haunting world beyond.
"Mu Cephel" MPEG Stream:
"M8 (Lagoon Nebula)" MPEG Stream:
MACCHI, EGISTO I Futuribili (Roundtable / The Omni Recording Corporation) lp 27.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. While we're eagerly waiting for the supposedly imminent release of another rare Macchi title on vinyl, Voix, we thought we'd relist this one Omni did earlier this year, we have just a few copies left! What we said when we first got a hold of these: The Omni Recording Corporation has been killing it lately in a string of essential vinyl reissue collaborations with the Australian Roundtable label, focusing on rare library, lounge and private press exotica. We recently listed the Orchestra Peter Thomas Orion 2000 lp of tripped out sci-fi grooves, and this week we have two extremely fine examples of Italian library music from composer Egisto Macchi and his more well known group that included Ennio Morricone, Gruppo D'Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. I Futuribili (The Futuristic) was recorded in 1972 for the Gemelli Library and is one of that label's rarest releases. Along with the ritualistic Voix, this is also one of the composer's most essential. Marked by a spacious sound environment and high-relief recording techniques, Macchi takes the listener on a surreal trip of suspenseful strings, big metallic washes, tinkling bells and plaintive electroacoustic atmospherics. Mysterious, and alluring but not necessarily foreboding, these pieces could easily be the soundtrack for a horror or sci-fi film or even a planetary documentary. But what's most interesting about library music composition as opposed to composing a soundtrack is that soundtrack composers compose to the visuals of a director, while in library music, it's the other way around. We're drawn into visualizing the music and creating a larger storyline through the sound design. And while this may sound cold or abstract on paper, Macchi instills a lot of warmth, depth and beauty into these pieces that envelops us in an exquisite sound world, unlike any we've heard in British library music such as DeWolfe or KPM. Limited to 500 copies, these are likely be the last we get, so don't snooze!
MACCHI, EGISTO Voix (Roundtable / The Omni Recording Corporation) lp 27.00
We'll pretty much get anything on the Roundtable label right now, as they in collaboration with The Omni Recording Corporation, have been on a winning streak of reissuing on vinyl the most farflung and obscure library records, documentary soundtracks and other psycho-cinematic sonic ephemera from far off corners of the globe. Trouble is, they have been especially hard to get, and even more difficult to get enough of for us to list. We've literally been waiting for these latest two releases for nearly a year and our hopes of ever getting them were diminishing by the week. And all of the sudden, we got the news they were on the way and we were so seriously psyched! Two Italian library gems, one of haunted choir compositions from Egisto Macchi, founding member of the mighty Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova con Sonanza and the other from the wonderfully named Alessandro Alessandroni who is perhaps more well known as Ennio Morricone's guitarist and whistler! (Yes, whistler, of course he had to have one!) Both are pretty essential for lovers of seventies dreamy, otherworldly, acousmatic psychedelia! Roundtable/Omni previously reissued Macchi's I Futuribili last year, and that missive of exotic outer space soundscapes was deeply mysterious and alluring, but not nearly as much as this one. As the title suggests, the compositions here all centered on voice, but not as you may think. This is the voice detached from the body expressed in haunting electronic choral effects and spectral concrete ambience that ranges from the percussive and urgent to the pastoral and ritualistic, always with a keen ear towards a brilliantly dynamic sound design. Pretty much the defining blueprint for Demdike Stare's entire sound, this has been considered a holy grail among collectors and comes with the highest recommendation. Limited to 500 copies. Don't Miss Out!
MACE Circulations (Sub Rosa) cd 14.98
Circulations is an instrumental album in four sections, for four instruments: drums, guitar, harp and clarinet. And tape. Which we'll explain in a second. First though, let's just say: this is so GREAT. But it's been tough to review. 'Cause there's a lot of explaining to do. And it's the sort of thing where, yup, the construction of the music IS interesting, but reading about it sorta might make it sound like an academic exercise. Which it may be, in part. But our point is, that even if you don't know how it came about, academics aside it's a really really great listen! Like a crazy soundtrack, sort of (a lot of this would be perfect for some freaky '70s Italian horror/sci-fi/suspense flick). Sometimes bewilderingly dense, at others beautifully melodic and simple. There's a chaotic tangle of sounds but it's carefully crafted, moving through (and returning to) many moods. You'll encounter moments of heavy distorto-percussion frenzy that sound not unlike Village of Savoonga, This Heat or Dead C. Passages of pretty melody carried by the harp or the clarinet. Intense, echoing drumscapes. Shimmering textures, loud stabs of skronk guitar, placid strings, stirring arpeggios, glitchy stutter. It's very dynamic indeed. Sometime simple and serene, sometimes seriously scrambled and spliced. A complex assemblage of sounds constantly morphing and mutating... But let's give the background on this, 'cause we're sure that some of you will be intrigued. Basically, the deal here is that young French composer Pierre-Yves Mace (who has one other album out, on Tzadik), wrote out four solos for the four instruments (drums, guitar, harp, clarinet). The musicians in question recorded these solos. Then Mace took those recordings and created four processed tape-collage backing tracks to accompany each of the original individual solos, which were then slightly revised and performed again over the tapes that Mace created. Thus four movements, created in four stages, for Percussion/Tape, Guitar/Tape, Harp/Tape, and Clarinet/Tape. (It says "tape" here, so we will too, though we suspect a computer was involved at some point, not just old-fashioned cut and splice procedures.) The 'solo' instrument is the focus of each track, but you'll hear from all of 'em throughout the disc. Fortunately, Mace's talents extend beyond this disc's conceptual framework, however interesting. While it's fun to listen and try to pick out the sounds from each solo that have been processed and transposed and otherwise recontextualized in the taped accompaniment (you'll be cross referencing from one movement to another, looking for traces of a guitar lick or clarinet motif heard elsewhere), the end-result music is just as interesting and enjoyable without even thinking about how it was created. It stands on its own as a highly-charged, detailed and often gorgeous instrumental piece of music, which could be a brilliant electro-acoustic improv session, kinda like Ground Zero or Supersilent or those Spring Heel Jack improv projects, that blend live instruments with live electronics and sampling (self-sampling in this case). But with a 20th (21st?) century classical feel. And it's definitely composed and purposeful. Very impressive. There's certainly been a few great releases lately from the Belgian label Sub Rosa (Tibetan Buddhist Rites, Mitchell Akiyama's Small Explosions That Are Yours To Keep) and now this. Recommended!
"1st Movement For Percussion / Tape" MPEG Stream:
"4th Movement For Clarinet / Tape"
MACEDA, JOSE Gongs and Bamboos (Tzadik) cd 16.98
When Tzadik says something like "one of the most original and underappreciated composers in contemporary music" it should be taken with more than one grain of salt, yet the presentation of Philipino composer Jose Maceda certainly holds up to such critical praise. Well versed in both the temple musics of Southeast Asia and the conceptually minded compositions of Varese and Xenakis, Maceda explores an interesting form of minimalism using very large ensembles performing upon Southeast Asian instruments. "Pagsamba," for example, is a massive composition for 100 bamboo flutes, 100 bamboo, 100 bamboo clappers, 100 wooden bars and beaters, 100 bamboo scrapes for 100 instrumentalists, 8 gongs with stopped sounds, 8 gongs with free sounds, 5 male vocal quintets, and 100 mixed vocals. Whew! In a score that seems rather open-ended and no apparent lyrics to the free-floating vocals, "Pagsamba" has more than a few similarities to "The Great Learning" by Cornelius Cardew. "Suling-Suling" is another piece of extended minimalism for a 30 member ensemble for flutes, bamboo buzzers, and flat gongs with a composition that again is somewhat open-ended. As the performance of "Suling-Suling" was done by the Mills Contemporary Ensemble, it has much more of that "stumbling down the stairs" feel. The final piece "Colors Without Rhythms" (as perfomed by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra) is a piece for intertwining percussion, vibraphone, harp, strings, woodwinds, etc... recalling Terry Riley's painterly "In C."
MACHINEFABRIEK Bijeen (Kning Disk) cd 14.98
"Borghesia Remix" MPEG Stream:
"Piano.Wav" MPEG Stream:
MACHINEFABRIEK Daas (Cold Spring) cd 14.98
For a while there, barely a list would pass without something new from Machinefabriek, but it's been a little while now since we've gotten something new to review, and while this is not strictly a new release, it does feature ONE brand new track, and collects a handful of older, out of print tracks, which were previously available on either cd-r or vinyl, and gathered here, all the tracks, new AND old, play out like an album, all woven together into a haunting sepia tone dronescape, fans of folks like William Basinksi and Philip Jeck and Leyland Kirby who have yet to discover the magical sonic mystery of Machinefabriek would do well to start here. The new track is based on original recordings of Richard Skelton, aka A Broken Consort, deep rumbling mournful cellos, woven into haunting dronological landscapes, melancholic and gauzy, dusty and washed out, Machinefabriek takes the cellos and adds a patina of soft focus blur, pulling notes into long stretches of mesmerizing shimmer, creating a truly haunting, and truly lovely soundworld of loss and reflection. "Flotter" was originally released as a 3" cd-r and is a single track, 22 minute mini-epic, a sweeping cinematic trawl through murky dreamy drones and blown out soft focus buzz. A slow building, constantly shifting, tidal like drift. Huge black swells wash over glimmering glistening shimmers, distant keening drones and a pulsing low end rumble. It's like some sort of Pop Ambient, slowed way down, the fuzzed out dreaminess becoming granular, each note, each layer, every element of the music becoming tiny visible microscopic musical molecules, madly vibrating in little clouds, wreathing the proceedings in an ever mutating swirl of ambient blur, like wisps of smoke, or little clouds of insects... While beneath the surface lurks something dark, a melodic malevolence that permeates the whole disc, ominous, minor key, mournful, a washed out sorrow, a strange haunting creepiness, lending the track an air of sadness, of loss, but at the same time, the sound manages to be strangely warm and inviting, a little alluring, the soundtrack to some dark personal tragedy long forgotten, a sound that lulls you, pulls you under, and leads you off to some strange land, long after your eyes have closed and your spirit has been loosed. The whole track culminating in an ultra minimal coda of near silence, but close listening reveals all manner of barely audible filigree, lowercase buzz, muted crackle and gauzy melodic shadows... "Koploop" too, was originally a 3" cd-r, and once again utilizes a strange arsenal of sound making devices: memo recorders, mixing deck, effects pedals, guitar, banjo, organ, laptop as well as violin and cello (provided by guest musicians), Machinefabriek weaves a breathtaking world of tranquil ambience, all summery shimmer, warm wispy warble, soft languorous drones that flow and pulse like the tides. Near the end it opens up and becomes some impossibly expansive sprawl, almost choral sounding, like some homespun piece by Arvo Part, the strings emerging to flutter and flit, like butterflies after a rain storm. So lovely. "Onkruid" was originally released as a split lp on A Room Forever, as an expensive and deluxe boxset, featuring actual art photos on the cover, and pairing up two artists, given a side each, one for music, the other field recordings. Machinefabriek's musical contribution is definitely one of the dreamiest most beautiful pieces we've heard from him, a distant glistening shimmer, over a warm whir of slow surfacing melodies, muted buzz, and breathless soft focus drift. A looped landscape of pastoral shimmer. Part way through the track builds in intensity to a sort of soft cacophony, but quickly drifts back into bleary eyed dreaminess. The track goes on for what feels like forever, ending with a stretch of serene low end murmur, laced with muted sonar pulses and a deep ominous blurred melody that sprawls right beneath the surface. And finally, "Grom", which we never even managed to get for the store, was another super limited 3" cd-r, and combined lapsteel, loop pedals and effects into a haunting almost Morricone-esque driftscape, all atmospheric twang, hushed barely there thrum, a slow building smolder, that builds to something like Nadja style doom, briefly, before shifting back into more dark tranquility. An incredible collection, and for most folks, it might even be the first time hearing most, if not all of these tracks, and even if you did manage to get some of the cd-r's, this proper cd collection, with the new track, and the gorgeous packaging, is like a still well worth it and totally recommended. Essential dreamdronedriftmusic for sure.
"Daas" MPEG Stream:
"Flotter (extract 1)" MPEG Stream:
"Flotter (extract 2)" MPEG Stream:
"Koploop (excerpt 1)" MPEG Stream:
"Koploop (excerpt 2)"
MACHINEFABRIEK Dauw (Dekorder) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Yep, another Machinefabriek, but as we've repeated over and over in the past, we've dug pretty much everything we've heard, and this new one is no different. In fact if anything, this might be a good one for folks who have been overwhelmed by all the various cd-r's and collections, as this is one of the few proper albums, a collection of songs, written and recorded as a whole, to be listened to as one single album. To be totally honest, it doesn't sound all that different than some of the other releases, but repeated listens does reveal a distinctive sonic thread running through these 5 songs, all dark and brooding and beautiful. warm whispered whirs, strange scraped strings, bits of buzz and softly plinked piano, snippets of strings woven into the dreamy drift, looped samples wreathed in crackle and hiss, slowly blurring into soft shapes and sounds, not unlike something by Tim Hecker or Philip Jeck, strange abstract percussion, bits of crunch and rumble, acoustic guitar, the title track bordering on folk music, although appropriately abstracted and blissed out. The record closer is gorgeous, a sprawling minimal epic, 25 minutes long, guitar harmonics adrift in a sea of shimmering soft drones, slowly building, smoldering and glowing warmly, the various tones twisting and stretching out into more layered drones, eventually growing quite active, the guitars stuttering and processed, crunchy and crumbling, almost like Oval, before easing back into the dark swirling background, a deep resonant whir, drifting through a field of percussive thumps, distant chimes, and random room sound, before disappearing completely. Quite lovely for sure, fans will definitely need this, and if you've been holding off, wondering which of the many Machinefabrieks to finally check out, this might just be the one...
"Porselein" MPEG Stream:
MACHINEFABRIEK Flotter (self-released) 3" cd-r 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Not one, but TWO brand new records from the amazing Machinefabriek. This self released, single track, 22 minute mini-epic is a sweeping cinematic trawl through murky dreamy drones and blown out soft focus buzz. A slow building, constantly shifting, tidal like drift. Huge black swells wash over glimmering glistening shimmers, distant keening drones and a pulsing low end rumble. It's like some sort of Pop Ambient, slowed way down, the fuzzed out dreaminess becoming granular, each note, each layer, every element of the music becoming tiny visible microscopic musical molecules, madly vibrating in little clouds, wreathing the proceedings in an ever mutating swirl of ambient blur, like wisps of smoke, or little clouds of insects... While beneath the surface lurks something dark, a melodic malevolence that permeates the whole disc, ominous, minor key, mournful, a washed out sorrow, a strange haunting creepiness, lending the track an air of sadness, of loss, but at the same time, the sound manages to be strangely warm and inviting, a little alluring, the soundtrack to some dark personal tragedy long forgotten, a sound that lulls you, pulls you under, and leads you off to some strange land, long after your eyes have closed and your spirit has been loosed. The whole track culminating in an ultra minimal coda of near silence, but close listening reveals all manner of barely audible filigree, lowercase buzz, muted crackle and gauzy melodic shadows... Packaged in an oversized full color jacket, housed in a vinyl sleeve, and pressed on a cool black mini cd-r...
"Flotter (extract 1)" MPEG Stream:
"Flotter (extract 2)"
MACHINEFABRIEK Hapstaart (self-released) 3"cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Wow! Another cd-r from Machinefabriek, who seems to be in some sort of competition with his sometime partner in sonic crime, Jasper TX, who seem to in the throes of trying to out release each other. But that is most definitely not a complaint. We're all winners in this contest. But for those of you keeping score, it's 6 to 5 Machinefabriek, but heck, that's only counting the ones we got here. Anyway, we're just happy to have more Machinefabriek to listen to. This 20 minute 3" bucks the usual trend of most 3" cd-r's and instead of offering up one ultra long sprawling epic, splits his 20 minutes into 11 bite size pieces, which actually suits the sounds on Hapstaart as well. Unlike the blissy gauzy ambience of his other releases, on Hapstaart, Rutger Zuydervelt, the man who is Machinefabriek, pushes his sounds to the extreme, ending up with a disc that has more in common with Ryoji Ikeda than it does any of his drone bliss peers. The whole disc seems to be based on a massive, barely audible low end thrum, that pulses and throbs subtly over the course of the 20 minutes, sometimes dipping to near silence, other times threatening to blow the speakers. Textures and layers are ultra minimal, with the volume turned waaaaaaaay up, you can hear these little drones twist and shimmer. The record is peppered with bits of crackle, of little pops, brief exhalations of hiss, or static, crumbling sine waves, intense streaks of jagged high end, but these intrusions are typically brief, fading out as fast as they appeared, only to leave the records active ultra low-end to slither almost silently on its way. An awesome slab of microscopic sound. Headphones recommended!
"track 5" MPEG Stream:
MACHINEFABRIEK Huis (self-released) 3" cd-r 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Once again, like clockwork, it's time for another short sweet blast of fuzzy sounds from our favorite sonic overachiever Machinefabriek. We recently made Weleer, a collection of long out of print self released Machinefabriek cd-r's record of the week, and it seems as if already, Mr. Machinefabriek Rutger Zuydervelt is already hard at work preparing for a second volume. For those of you not content to wait, this here latest gem is another 3" cd-r, but instead of one looooooong piece, this is 10 tracks crammed into less than 20 minutes -- but they all sort of play out as a single piece with different movements. One of the prettier, more delicate discs we've heard from Zuydervelt, Huis is heavy on the piano, always drenched in reverb, and often allowed to drift aimlessly over fuzzy backdrops. The best part of Huis, and maybe the most subtle, is the presence of extreme amounts of bass, huge rib cage rattling swells, throbbing barely audible tectonic shifts, adding a strange weight to the delicate soft focus drift. Steel string guitars fade in and out, sweet music box melodies, melodic fragments, glitchy and washed out. Compositionally, the most dramatic development is a strange stop start rhythmic remixing, each little snippet of warm fuzzy ambience, is chopped into strange rhythms, a slow motion pulse, almost like someone is pressing pause and play on your cd player creating weird throbbing abstract arrangements. Bizarre for sure, and at first it sounds like your cd player is on the fritz, but soon you get sucked into the subtle rhythm and the whole thing reveals itself as weirdly hypnotic and so lovely. Another sparkling sonic gem from the seemingly infallible Machinefabriek. And as always, crazy limited, we got a bunch but will probably sell out fast. So you know what that means...
"Welkom Thuis" MPEG Stream:
MACHINEFABRIEK Huiswerk (Ketchup Cavern) 7" 9.98
Not one, but two new Machinefabriek releases this time around, both on the smaller side, a 3" cd-r elsewhere, and this one song 7", both great as always, both limited as always, and depending on how full your Machinefabriek shelf is at home already, both quite possibly essential. This new single features a single track spread out over two side, a gorgeously minimal guitar workout that reminds us of another aQ fave, Part Timer, with it's sleep guitar figures, wreathed in digital glitch, bits of crackle and streaks of hiss, every now and then a thick distorted guitar surfaces, only to drift off again, leaving lots of space for that lonely guitar to drift through. Stuttery, skipping, sudden moments of near silence, but all peppered throughout a slowly unfurling expanse of warbly woozy fractured folk, soft and pretty, spacious and minimal, the glitchiness mostly adding texture, rarely interrupting the song's dreamy drift. LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!
MACHINEFABRIEK Koploop (self-released) 3" cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another brief but fantastic little self released 3" cd-r from the ever prolific Machinefabriek, aka Rutger Zuydervelt. We won't go into too much detail, as obviously fans already know they need this, and folks new to the gorgeous soft sounds of Machinefabriek could do worse than starting with this relatively cheap introduction. And as always, this is super limited, we only got a handful, and that might be all we can get. Once again utilizing a strange arsenal of sound making devices: memo recorders, mixing deck, effects pedals, guitar, banjo, organ, laptop as well as violin and cello (provided by guest musicians), Zuydervelt weaves a breathtaking world of tranquil ambience, all summery shimmer, warm summery warble, soft languorous drones that flow and pulse like the tides. Near the end it opens up and becomes some impossibly expansive soundworld, almost choral sounding, like some homespun piece by Arvo Part, the strings emerging near the end to flutter and flit, like butterflies after a rain storm. So lovely. Packaged in a mini 3" sleeve, strikingly designed, also includes an URL where you can download an alternate version of Koploop...
"excerpt 1" MPEG Stream:
MACHINEFABRIEK Lenteliedjes (Type) 7" 7.98
This new series of 7"s from the Type label looks to be pretty amazing. Even just based on the first two releases. A new single from Paavohaarju reviewed elsewhere on this list, and this here single from former AQ Record of the Week honoree Machinefabriek. The Machinefabriek cd was released on a label called Lampse, who we have decided is our perfect label. Every release is somehow in some way distressed, whether it's electronic, or lilting pop, everything is buried in hiss, or record crackle, the sound is murky or blurry, everything has that foggy distant sepia toned vibe that we can never get enough of, like Jeck or Basinski or Tim Hecker, Machinefabriek creates a mysterious sound world that hovers like a dear memory or a hard to recall dream. This 7" is a strange one, as each side is split into 4 distinct fragments, each dark and dreamy in their own way, but also quite brief and way too fleeting. It's almost like a sonic slideshow, with just a few moments to glimpse each image, each sound. Side A starts off with some sort of wheezing harmonium, a music box like melody, with a haunting low end lullaby lurking beneath, the next movement begins with chiming bell like melody, lilting and dreamlike, under a glaze of static and crackle, all beneath a warm swirl of synth buzz and disembodied spoken word, part three is all strummed steel string guitar swathed in rumbling melodic grit, quite sweet and sad, and finally a sort of redux of the first track with a warm wash of forced air, a whirring mournful melody. The second side begins with a jaunty ice cream truck melody bathed in gentle chimes, all over a gently buzzing drone, part two is a swirl of shimmering guitars and chirping birds, the guitar sounding quite a bit like the intro to the Smiths' "How Soon Is Now" only stretched way out, while above drifts more buzzing steel strings and random found sounds. This slowly gives way to a murky soundscape with distant percussion, all crumbling and dark, drifty and dreamy but strangely ominous, and finally a mysterious little coda of chiming acoustic guitar, simple percussive thud and barely there glitch. So nice.
MACHINEFABRIEK Machinefabriek's Stottermuziek (self-released) 3" cd 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Super limited, self released ep from one of our favorite proponents of what we've decided to call fuzzy dreamdrone soft noise. Well, actually, we only decided to call it that just now, but it does describe the sound of Machinefabriek perfectly, as well as his Lampse labelmates Jasper TX and Gultskra Artikler, all of whom traffic in similar droney drift... On Stottermuziek, Machinefabriek explores similar territory as on his AQ record of the week Marjin from back in May. A dark dreamlike journey through a swirling soundworld of minimal whir and hum, shimmer and sparkle. Super soft shuffling swells of barely there sound, bits of hiss and whirring white noise surfacing here and there, strings woven into soft smears of sound, crumbling slightly distorted melodies drifting to and fro like some alien sonic tide, buzzing steel strings over a muted distant percussive throb, all delicately arranged into a gorgeous soft focus sonic landscape. Packaged a bit like the Celebrate Psi Phenomenon releases in sleeves made from old wall paper, in little 3" plastic pouches with a sticker affixed to the front. And as with most things like this... VERY LIMITED!!!
"Donderwolk" MPEG Stream:
MACHINEFABRIEK Marijn (Lampse) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We love noise. Not the face melting super nova amp destroying ear shredding noise of Merzbow and Wolf Eyes, although we do dig that too. No, we're in love with -noises-, the sounds of sound, from the warm whisper of nature, the whoosh of the wind, the roar of the surf, the chirping of crickets and the croaking of frogs, to the clattery clang of industry, the roar of cars, the grind of machinery, the whir of air conditioning and and the thrum of vacuum cleaners, to the subtle sonic byproducts of sound reproduction and music making, the hiss of old cassette tapes, the warm warble of old 78's, the pops and crackle of lps, the digital glitch and fuzz of more modern musical malfunctions. On their own sure, we could listen to a symphony of frogs or the gentle hum of an air conditioner for hours, but preferably wrapped around some haunting otherworldly music, creating a glorious hybrid of subtle murky mystery. We've sung the praises of Philip Jeck and his creaking antique turntablescapes, the murky looped loveliness of William Basinski, the strange warm fuzzy pixelated guitarscapes of Fennesz, the dd that we just may have found ourselves a new favorite label. Murky and pretty and fuzzy and so so so pretty. Everything we've heard so far. Instead of looking at Lampse as just the label, one can almost picture Lampse as the actual artist, and each release an epic track from some massive hours long murky muted masterpiece Each of those tracks dense with subtly varied parts and movements, each its own entity for sure, but at the same time one piece of a larger and indescribable puzzle. Where Jasper TX was deeply rooted in soft indie rock jangle and sleepy bedroom pop (albeit swathed in a thick cloak of blur and grit), Machinefabriek approaches the same sound from a slightly different direction, each piece a lengthy slowburn epic, brooding gradually building ambience, grandiose washes of sound, the cinematic dynamicism of Mogwai or Earth, filtered through the looped hypnosis of Basinski, pianos and guitars rendered as abstract sounds, smeared and swirled into buried minor key melodies and and slow shifting chunks of sonic mood music. Marijn is Machinefabriek's sonic travelogue of a journey through the abyss, a soundworld cloaked in fog and draped in constant darkness. Our first glimpse of the other side is a gorgeous echoey world of record crackle and pop, of thick reverb and crunching creaking ambience. Like a beat up old record player stuck in the run out groove of an old 78, recorded at the bottom of an enormous cavern, eventually soft warm swells surface beneath the rainlike crackle, a mournful melody of delicate piano and whirring drone, the notes of the piano blown out so they distort and waver a bit like bad radio reception or some strange atmospheric interference. Some antique piano recital recorded on a wax cylinder and then broadcast from tiny blown out speakers in a huge empty warehouse, then broadcast over shortwave radio and finally heard through a battered pair of old headphones. The rest of the record, while not as obviously damaged (in terms of crackle and distortion and fuzz) is rife with sounds equally obscured and obfuscated, lilting lonely pianos and haunting music box melodies drift beneath some strange sonic murk, occasionally interrupted by strange crumbled digital interference and all manner of stuttery hiccuping glitch and skitter, as if some other piece of music is trying desperately to claw its way through. Eventually, the distortion and audio damage recedes just enough to allow a simple piano motif to drift softly and subtly across a soundscape of barely there drone and hushed melody. From far off in the distance, warm warbles and shimmering sheets of sparkling muted sound appear, glimmering softly, like the reflection of light in some undersea cavern, lit only by the glow of indirect sunlight, waves and ripples and strange patterns shiver and shimmy subtly. Then, a piano begins unfurling a funereal crawl, mournful and melancholy, before being slowly enveloped by a digital swarm, a swirling dizzying drone, until it's almost like a blinding white wave of fuzz and hiss, but beneath it all, a sad melody still lurks, just an echo, a shadow, a warm rich whisper behind a blinding roar. The final passage is a near 20 minute piano meditation, soft and smooth, notes drift and shimmer, simple but stately and sweetly sorrowful, nestled in a tangled bed of digital hiss, slowly swelling chordal hum and whispery keening drones, all beneath a distant whir like some alien orchestra tuning up, the soft cacophony building slowly into the thick wash of static and distortion slowly swallows the melody whole, until all that remains is a ghostly afterimage, a shimmery outline, a fuzzy faded memory...
"Kreukeltape" MPEG Stream:
MACHINEFABRIEK Marijn (Senor Hernandez / Roadburn) lp 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. One of our all time ambient drone favorites, available on vinyl for a super limited time. We love noise. Not the face melting super nova amp destroying ear shredding noise of Merzbow and Wolf Eyes, although we do dig that too. No, we're in love with -noises-, the sounds of sound, from the warm whisper of nature, the whoosh of the wind, the roar of the surf, the chirping of crickets and the croaking of frogs, to the clattery clang of industry, the roar of cars, the grind of machinery, the whir of air conditioning and and the thrum of vacuum cleaners, to the subtle sonic byproducts of sound reproduction and music making, the hiss of old cassette tapes, the warm warble of old 78's, the pops and crackle of lps, the digital glitch and fuzz of more modern musical malfunctions. On their own sure, we could listen to a symphony of frogs or the gentle hum of an air conditioner for hours, but preferably wrapped around some haunting otherworldly music, creating a glorious hybrid of subtle murky mystery. We've sung the praises of Philip Jeck and his creaking antique turntablescapes, the murky looped loveliness of William Basinski, the strange warm fuzzy pixelated guitarscapes of Fennesz, the dreamy electronic droneworlds of Tim Hecker, and most recently, the gorgeous post-rock dreampop haze of Swedish bedroom soundscaper Jasper TX. It's no coincidence that this record, the latest from Dutch sonic explorer (and former doom metal guitarist) Machinefabriek is on the same label as the Jasper TX. Both share a similar approach, burying gorgeous melancholy sounds beneath all manner of sonic disturbances and musical interference. After discovering the Jasper TX record, we looked a little deeper at the Lampse label and decided that we just may have found ourselves a new favorite label. Murky and pretty and fuzzy and so so so pretty. Everything we've heard so far. Instead of looking at Lampse as just the label, one can almost picture Lampse as the actual artist, and each release an epic track from some massive hours long murky muted masterpiece Each of those tracks dense with subtly varied parts and movements, each its own entity for sure, but at the same time one piece of a larger and indescribable puzzle. Where Jasper TX was deeply rooted in soft indie rock jangle and sleepy bedroom pop (albeit swathed in a thick cloak of blur and grit), Machinefabriek approaches the same sound from a slightly different direction, each piece a lengthy slowburn epic, brooding gradually building ambience, grandiose washes of sound, the cinematic dynamicism of Mogwai or Earth, filtered through the looped hypnosis of Basinski, pianos and guitars rendered as abstract sounds, smeared and swirled into buried minor key melodies and and slow shifting chunks of sonic mood music. Marijn is Machinefabriek's sonic travelogue of a journey through the abyss, a soundworld cloaked in fog and draped in constant darkness. Our first glimpse of the other side is a gorgeous echoey world of record crackle and pop, of thick reverb and crunching creaking ambience. Like a beat up old record player stuck in the run out groove of an old 78, recorded at the bottom of an enormous cavern, eventually soft warm swells surface beneath the rainlike crackle, a mournful melody of delicate piano and whirring drone, the notes of the piano blown out so they distort and waver a bit like bad radio reception or some strange atmospheric interference. Some antique piano recital recorded on a wax cylinder and then broadcast from tiny blown out speakers in a huge empty warehouse, then broadcast over shortwave radio and finally heard through a battered pair of old headphones. The rest of the record, while not as obviously damaged (in terms of crackle and distortion and fuzz) is rife with sounds equally obscured and obfuscated, lilting lonely pianos and haunting music box melodies drift beneath some strange sonic murk, occasionally interrupted by strange crumbled digital interference and all manner of stuttery hiccuping glitch and skitter, as if some other piece of music is trying desperately to claw its way through. Eventually, the distortion and audio damage recedes just enough to allow a simple piano motif to drift softly and subtly across a soundscape of barely there drone and hushed melody. From far off in the distance, warm warbles and shimmering sheets of sparkling muted sound appear, glimmering softly, like the reflection of light in some undersea cavern, lit only by the glow of indirect sunlight, waves and ripples and strange patterns shiver and shimmy subtly. Then, a piano begins unfurling a funereal crawl, mournful and melancholy, before being slowly enveloped by a digital swarm, a swirling dizzying drone, until it's almost like a blinding white wave of fuzz and hiss, but beneath it all, a sad melody still lurks, just an echo, a shadow, a warm rich whisper behind a blinding roar. The final passage is a near 20 minute piano meditation, soft and smooth, notes drift and shimmer, simple but stately and sweetly sorrowful, nestled in a tangled bed of digital hiss, slowly swelling chordal hum and whispery keening drones, all beneath a distant whir like some alien orchestra tuning up, the soft cacophony building slowly into the thick wash of static and distortion slowly swallows the melody whole, until all that remains is a ghostly afterimage, a shimmery outline, a fuzzy faded memory...
"Kreukeltape" MPEG Stream:
MACHINEFABRIEK Mort Aux Vaches (Staalplaat) cd 23.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We're really not sure what else to say at this point about Machinefabriek. This will be the 25th release in 2 years, and those are just the ones we carried and reviewed. That may seem like a lot, but they are all different, and all pretty great. He is definitely one of the modern masters of soundscaping, able to weave gorgeous landscapes of sound using whatever sound or tones or equipment are at hand, seemingly effortlessly. Live albums prove he can pull it off there as well. And this is in fact sort of a live record, recorded for the radio, released as part of VPRO's esteemed Mort Aux Vaches series, limited to 500 copies, and housed in a beautiful thick clothbound cardstock, hand screened sleeve, each hand numbered. And the music inside, as we would expect, is just as carefully and uniquely crafted. This three part, 35 minute piece seems to be based on guitar mostly, simple muted strums and subtle melodies, wreathed in effects and allowed to blur and smear into long stretches of soft shimmer, sometimes interrupted by bits of digital glitch or crackle, a bit of buzz, some abstract guitar twang, but those just seem to ground the proceedings in the moment, adding grit and texture so the music sounds more organic, like it's being played not produced. The second movement is another looped guitarscape, the main melody growing more and more faint and disappearing into a haze of crackle and soft static. The closing movement, is the most minimal, offering up a deep drone, rich with subtle layers, what sound like voices, shimmering tones, harmonics and overtones, muted scrape and buried buzz, haunting and ghostly, drifting glacially until disappearing in a brief flare of static. As always, very very nice. LIMITED TO 500 COPIES. We only have a handful...
MACHINEFABRIEK Music For Intermittent Movements (Soundtracks For Films By John Price) (self-released) cd-r 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. It's been a while since we've heard from Machinefabriek. Never thought we'd have to type those words. But it's true, after a relentless release schedule, it's been at least a few months since we've heard even a peep from Rutger Zuydervelt aka Machinefabriek, but as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and we were getting a little overloaded to be honest, too many releases to listen to let alone review. But listening to this now, we're reminded just why we were all so excited about this group in the first place. Zuydervelt has such a way with sounds, merging the pristine with the gritty and damaged, turning soft subtle shadings into dark crumbling mysteries. This cd-r collects a handful of scores composed for the International Film Festival in Rotterdam earlier this year, and harkens back to the Machinefabriek of old, back when we first discovered his Marijn record. Dark and doleful, soft shimmering ambience, smeared with tape hiss and subtle digital distortions, notes and tones drifting over a crystalline landscape of blurred murmur and strange crackles and creaks, everything gauzy and washed out, the sound gradually decaying, chords falling to pieces, a slowly collapsing house of sound, recorded in slow motion, and all the various elements fall to pieces, a gorgeous bit of decasia rendered in deep resonant rumbles and haunting ghostly melodies. Elsewhere dense squalls of static explode, the shards and fragments drifting to the ground like dead leaves, hailstorms of hiss fill the air with sizzling shimmer, piano notes flutter and flicker like dying stars, thick metallic strings rumble and reveberate, huge cavernous swells sprawl over a field of muted glitch, and the subtle whir of alien machinery, gong like tones ripple lazily through a gauzy moonlit haze, disembodied chords float weightless, the ghosts of songs, the spirits of melodies, allowed to flat freely, affording us just glimpses and overheard whispers. So good. All we needed really was a little break, and now with fresh ears, we're totally re-smitten by the gorgeous sounds of Machinefabriek. The bad news though, is that like always, this is crazy crazy limited. So when we run out, it's not entirely likely that we'll be able to get more...
"Camp Series 1" MPEG Stream:
"The Boy Who Died"
MACHINEFABRIEK Piano.wav (self-released) 3" business card cd-r 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. It's tough to begin a review of a new super limited Machinefabriek cd-r, without discussing the fact, that this guys is dangerously prolific. This is in fact, the 12th Machinefabriek release in the last year. That's a release a month! AND that's just the ones we know about. But what can we do, they're all great! And while some of these self released little gems do get gathered up on compilations (like the recent Weleer), lots of stuff falls through the cracks and continues to exist only in these handmade micro-editions. So if you're anything like us, and we're pretty sure by now you most definitely are, then you don't want to miss out on a single shred of Machinefabriek's gorgeous and mysterious world of sound... So here we have another 3" business card size/style cd-r (the first was the amazing Stofstuk, which for those of you who missed out, is also available on the remix 2cd Kruimeldief), a brief 5+ minute piece, created entirely using a found sample of a piano tone, hence the title, Piano.wav. And as you might expect, this is sheer loveliness, a simple tone, pitch shifted into a virtual piano, haunting melodies drifting over landscapes of muted crackle and hiss, gorgeous ringing harmonics, lush harmonies, lots of reverb and abstract shimmer. Very forlorn and cinematic, huge smears of soft low end throb beneath a delicate landscape of spare melodic fragments and abstract arrangements, dreamy and dark and so so nice. Like most of the other short form Machinefabriek releases, this is going to be very very taxing on your cd player's repeat button. WAY recommended. And again, as always, EXTREMELY LIMITED!
MACHINEFABRIEK Ranonkel (Burning World) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We've joked in the past about the uber prolific nature of Machinefabriek, but then every time we still manage to write a HUGE review, describing each song and all the sounds in explicit detail, but as this is the second of TWO new Machinefabrieks this week, and the 22nd we've reviewed in 2 years, not sure we can pull it off again. But we'll give it a go. What we can say, is that much like the A Room Forever lp box reviewed elsewhere on this list, the sound of Machinefabriek seems to be moving in a much more melodic direction, not that there wasn't always plenty of melody, but these latest forays into soundmaking sound less purposefully experimental, less abstract, and more songlike, more melodic, the opener is downright lovely, and sounds like it could be Godspeed or some Godspeed spawned outfit, a luxurious slow burn, and deep warm chords and glistening sprinkles of high end over the top, haunting and ominous and cinematic, might just be the best track we've heard from Machinefabriek. But heck, the rest of the disc is some pretty great shakes too. Long stretches of weary acoustic guitar, deep droning shimmer, warm reverbed piano, soft muted static, all culminating in the 17 minute closer "Zink", a pastoral underwater dronescape, that glimmers like sunlight through water, muted and effulgent, everything washed out and blurred, it's like Machinefabriek's version of Oval's Diskont, a dreamy extended drift, only where Oval kept their looped landscape going right until the end, Machinefabriek turns the track all dark and creepy, before fading to near silence, and finishing up with a brief stretch of whispered barely there melody. Quite possibly the prettiest Machinefabriek yet!
"Trouringh" MPEG Stream:
MACHINEFABRIEK Rusland (self-released) 3"cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Second of two releases from Rutger Zuydervelt, aka Machinefabriek. This 19 minute piece is a collage of live performances, woven deftly into one single organic soundscape, lots of space, and distant shimmer, simple reverbed guitars, deep Jeck-like swells of soft focus fuzz, dark low end rumbles that slip into a slow drifting loopscape of field recordings and warm melodic whirs, of smoother out record cackle and deep drones, brief moments of found sound, coughs, footsteps, eventually transforming into hushed whispery blur, peppered with thick resonant thuds, a muffled piano perhaps or an effected guitars, more mysterious voices, all very funereal and mysterious drifting off to near silence before finishing off with a woman singing a song in some other language. It's basically everything we love about Machinefabriek boiled down to a lean 19 minutes, the various performances fitting together like puzzle pieces, so much that it's impossible to tell where one ends and another begins. Incredibly nice packaging, an accordion like full color fold out, with gorgeous photos, and liner notes, includes a link to a website where you can download a 25 minute bonus track, of course, LIMITED TO 200 COPIES!
MACHINEFABRIEK Slaapzucht (Root Strata) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another gorgeous burst of glowing guitar experimentation from AQ fave Machinefabriek, and while the instrumentation on Slaapzucht is listed as electric guitar, e-bow, tuning fork, file, an electric toothbrush, minidisc recorder, melodica, loop pedal, laptop, mixing desk, lots of effects pedals and a little iron rod, it's obvious that this disc is all about the guitar. Not always overtly so, but such is the magic of Machinefabriek. Five of the six tracks here were previously released as ultra limited 3" cd-r's ('Slaap' and 'Zucht'), and are presented here for the very first time, along with a 22 minute bonus track which is basically like a whole 'nother record. The tracks from 'Slaap' revisit much of what we loved about the MF record we made record of the week a while back. A burst of crumbling amp buzz and electronic glitch gives way to haunting swells of gritty tones and soft shimmering whirs, all within shimmering clouds of distant glitch and muted crackle, building in intensity, while remaining muted and minimal. Ultra soft, glimmering soundfields marked by distant melodic sparkles and barely audible percussive events erupt into thick chordal washes, reverb drenched and swirling majestically before quickly fading away. Bits here and there resemble some long lost Oval track assembled from bits of guitar instead of skipping cds, but woven so seamlessly, they just sound like sweet soft swells of shimmering buzz over gentle strums and muted hums, occasionally building into dense dirges, thick and roiling, strangely lush, and bathed in all manner of crackle and grit. The two tracks from 'Zucht' are similarly haunting and beautiful. Bits of abstract hum are rendered almost choral, soft slightly melancholy chords drift and intertwine into long slow flowing drones, dense but warm and glowing. Crumbling, grinding whirs are transformed into gorgeously washed out pop ambience, thick soft sonic swirls, very aquatic, gently drifting and hovering, sounds overlapping and blurring into one another, so lovely. The final track, is an epic, slow burning build, as heavy and intense as it is soft and dreamlike. A landscape of ominous low end drift, tones stretched out into long smears of sound and laid atop other tones, allowed to shift and shimmer, to slip in and out of phase, little fragmented melodies surfacing here and there, little sparkling streaks of tonal color, gleaming from within the wash of greys and blacks, eventually building into some seriously fierce buzz, a huge crumbling blissed out doom, grinding guitars churning and roiling, but amidst angelic swirls of fuzzy breathy shimmer, impossibly straddling two worlds, simultaneously beautiful and brutal. So nice. Packaged in a gorgeous fold over card stock sleeve, screen printed off white on white. LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!
"Slaapdronken" MPEG Stream:
"Slaapwandelen" MPEG Stream:
MACHINEFABRIEK Stofstuk (self-released) 3" business card cd-r 4.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another in the recent deluge of self released cd-r's from Machinefabriek, aka Rutger Zuydervelt (a flow of continuous releases rivaled only by Machinefabriek contemporary and collaborator Jasper TX and his own seemingly never ending series of releases), but we're not complaining, not at all. Other than the hassle of the short form, of having to get up after 10 or 15 minutes to switch discs, we could listen to this stuff forever. In fact we're secretly hoping that Jasper TX and Machinefabriek will collaborate next on some 200 disc cd player, each slot filled with a collaborative 3" cd-r, for the ultimate in dreamy droney fuzzy ambient sonic overload. If only! But for now, it's the repeat button for us, and this, the latest (and shortest) Machinefabriek release yet. A little rectangular business card shaped 3" cd (still playable in most cd players) clocking in at an impressive 5:31, recorded with only a singing bowl, a contact mic, a vinyl record and a laptop, and originally created as a private pressing. Stofstuk is a one of the most gorgeous slabs of shimmery minimalism we've ever heard. And this is where the brevity is so frustrating. Music like this definitely deserves to sprawl and spread. Needs to. But for five glorious minutes, deeeeeeeep notes are loosed, lush and resonant, allowed to billow out like sonic ripples, every once in a while, some massive bass kicks in and washes over the listener like a huge slow motion wave, it's strangely transcendent, rich with intense emotion and sonic impact. Around these cavernous swells, various drawn out notes drift and shift, soft focus layers laid upon one another, gauzy and ephemeral, all hovering blissfully over a gorgeously muted field of barely there record crackle. Wow. Like a warm and dreamy Jeckian take on Raster-Noton, or some cosmic minimal meditation music. So totally beautiful. Pressed as a strange rectangular business card shaped cd-r, housed in a thick plastic jacket and a striking miniature black and grey sleeve. And of course, incredibly limited...
MACHINEFABRIEK Veldwerk (Cold Spring) cd 17.98
The art of field recording is deceptively tricky. With tiny digital recorders and a pair of decent binaural microphones, anybody can wander through a city center, capturing the sounds of an urban environment with incredible detail. Such audio tourism might be instructive on personal level, but as a statement beyond "Listen up everybody! I went to Thailand!" such recordings can be really dull. We approached Machinefabriek's Veldwerk with some trepidation, as these recordings are framed as "audio snapshots" based around travels to Slovakia, Russia, and Germany (plus some more close to home recordings from Rotterdam). Fortunately, Rutger Zuydervelt (the man behind Machinefabriek) uses those recordings as a jumping off point for his compositional abstractions, akin more to the psychogeographical work of Tarab or John Grzinich, but further augmented with his deft extended guitar techniques. While he never achieves the massive, Tim Hecker-ish swarms of melodic drone density Zuydervelt mastered on his epochal Marijn cd from Type many years ago, he uses those guitar drones still coated in blur and antiquated grit as radiant coronas of sound that echo through the decontextualized field recordings of various locations. The dramatic noise crunch of "Slovensko I" which opens the album is quite a jarring passage amidst a slow drifting loopscape of warm melodic whirs. "Rusland" (which was actually one of the micro-edition cd-r releases we got back in 2008), is a beautiful organic soundscape with lots of space, distant shimmer, simple reverbed guitars, deep Jeck-like swells of soft focus fuzz, and dark low end rumbles that slip into smoothed out record cackle and deep drones, brief moments of found sound, coughs, footsteps, eventually transforming into hushed whispery blurs, peppered with thick resonant thuds, muffled effected guitars, more mysterious voices, all very funereal and mysterious drifting off to near silence. "Apollo" - another microedition release which never passed through these doors - bristles with a quiet electro-static energy, with some of the field recordings coming to the foreground through watery churns, cargo-ship reverberation, industrial clank, and ventilator drones but always rendered as organic abstractions. We should have never doubted Zuydervelt, as he's once again presented us with an incredible album.
"Slovensko I" MPEG Stream:
"Rusland" MPEG Stream:
MACHINEFABRIEK Vloed (Cold Spring) cd 14.98
Originally released back in 2008 by Sentient Recognition Archive as a cd-r, Vloed is a collection of exceptionally good live recordings by the ever impressive Machinefabriek, who had one time been releasing something just about every week but now has slowed his output, so it seems. In any case, Vloed now features a 22 minute bonus track and slightly different edits of the other three tracks (presumably so that all four of these lengthy tracks would fit on one cd!). Here's what we said of Vloed a couple years back: All performances find Machinefabriek in fine form, offering up thick billows of warm guitar shimmer, fluttery staticky ambience, and at one point some uncharacteristically heavy super distorted metallic guitar, but here, it's not so much metal as simply a mighty drone, thick and throbbing and super intense. There are long stretches of near silence and super minimal high end drone, glimmering slow building crescendos, squalls of distorted choral buzz, warm whirring metallic reverberations, shimmery almost new age and dense black dronemusik, all the stuff we love about Machinefabriek, BUT, and this is what makes this disc so good, is that live, while still being dynamic and subtle, Zuydervelt also proves to me way more intense and aggressive than on his recordings. And thus, we must recommend!
"Allengskens" MPEG Stream:
MACHINEFABRIEK Vloed (Sentient Recognition Archive) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. BACK IN STOCK! We though it was gone gone gone but managed to get a few from the label, but these are definitely the last ones: As is the case with Aidan Baker and Nadja, it almost wouldn't seem like a proper aQ new arrivals list without the presence of Machinefabriek, aka Rutger Zuydervelt, so we're quite relieved to have both. Actually, all three. This latest Machinefabriek recording captures three live performances, all in Amsterdam, recorded between 2006 and 2008 all looooong, the shortest 16 minutes, the longest 22. All three performances find Machinefabriek in fine form, offering up thick billows of warm guitar shimmer, fluttery staticky ambience, and at one point some uncharacteristically heavy super distorted metallic guitar, but here, it's not so much metal as simply a mighty drone, thick and throbbing and super intense. There are long stretches of near silence and super minimal high end drone, glimmering slow building crescendos, squalls of distorted choral buzz, warm whirring metallic reverberations, shimmery almost new age and dense black dronemusik, all the stuff we love about Machinefabriek, BUT, and this is what makes this disc so good, is that live, while still being dynamic and subtle, Zuydervelt also proves to me way more intense and aggressive than on his recordings. And thus, we must recommend! LIMITED TO 180 COPIES!
"06.07.2008 Bimhuis, Amsterdam" MPEG Stream:
"09.06.2006 Oude Kerk, Amsterdam"
MACHINEFABRIEK Weleer (Lampse) 2cd 22.00
It had to happen, even if only to be fair to those of us without lightning fast reflexes and supernatural senses regarding tracking down ultra limited, barely available cd-r's. Over the last 4 years or so, Machinefabriek, aka Rutger Zuydervelt, in addition to releasing several amazing 'proper' records, a cd, a 7" and maybe a few other things, has unleashed an impossible amount of self released ultra limited cd-r's, all in micro editions, 100 copies, 50 copies, some even less, and while we've done our very best to grab as many as we could of every single one, we missed a bunch! And of the ones we did get, they sold out in the blink of an eye. So here's your chance, a massive sprawling double disc collection, gathering up bits and pieces, the best tracks from an armload of releases, all sequenced and woven together, into what could very well have been actual Machinefabriek albums. It's hard to tell exactly which cd-r's are included, and since only certain songs were selected, even those of you who nabbed every cd-r in sight, odds are there is plenty here that you haven't heard. Definitely lots of stuff we didn't recognize, and all of it, as we've come to expect, simply amazing. Long drawn out stretches of warm fuzzy ambience, muted glitchery, melancholy melodies, soft sweeping epics, wreathed in dense FX and thick swirls of shimmery whir and whirl. One of the masters of our new favorite sound, that sort of foggy buzzy dreamy drone thing we can't seem to get enough of. Fans obviously absolutely need this, and folks who were daunted by the limited nature of past releases, or just have a thing against cd-r's, this is the perfect introduction, a chance to hear what you've been missing. And there -are- plenty of surprises. While both discs do flow beautifully, there are some strange sonic moments, the dreamy wheezy Eastern tinged post rock drift of "Oi Polloi", the ultra gristly and crackle infused glacial crawl of "Chinese Unpopular Song", the almost Merzbowian intensity of "Hieperdepiep", the THX-theme-stretched-into-gorgeous-metallic-drone of "Wintervacht", all seemingly strangely out of character for Zuydervelt, but in the bigger sonic picture that is Weleer, they sound perfect, all nestled comfortably amidst rich, thick sonic swells and smears. So great!
"Oi Polloi" MPEG Stream:
"Onweer" MPEG Stream:
MACHINEFABRIEK & STEPHEN VITIELLO Box Music (12K) cd 14.98
Another new Machinefabriek, this one a collaboration with American musician, Stephen Vitiello, and this is a record where the concept is so genius, the music would be hard pressed to live up to the expectations. For this collaboration, with Machinefabriek in the Netherlands and Vitiello in the US, instead of sending files back and forth as is typical with long distance projects, the duo came up with a clever idea. Each picked a handful of objects, and sent the objects to the other with instructions to use nothing but those objects to craft a piece of music. Which seems simple enough until you see the list of items: bells, book, tin foil, buttons, crackle box (?), thumb piano, field recordings, rocks, speakers, broken record and cassettes. Each of them created two songs on their own, and would team up for a final piece using another box, full of even less obviously musical items, which we'll discuss in a second. First, the two Machinefabriek pieces, number one, using just bells and tin foil and buttons, Machinefabriek, aka Rutger Zuydervelt, managed to craft a piece not all that different than stuff he's done in the past, bells being the main sound it seems, sometimes recognizable, other times blurred into warm fuzzy tones, super minimal, by the end the tones seem to have blossomed, expanded, the notes deep and resonant, the bells a distant shimmer. For his second piece, Zuydervelt, using field recordings rocks and speakers, crafted a very Jewelled Antler sounding soundscape of staticky crackle, muted scrape, distant hum, all very rough and raw, but partway through they transform into something much more clinical and cold, the field recordings taking center stage, an intense buzz, almost felt more than heard, bits of high end squiggle, distant voices, all over a deep dark shimmering whir. Quite nice. Like a more musical Ryoji Ikeda during the second half. The first of Vitiello's pieces, using just a crackle box whatever that is and a thumb piano, is all sine waves and dog whistle tones, crackle and buzz, clipped clicks and processed static, the thumb piano, only audible now and again way off in the background, a mournful almost melody, drifting in a field of glitch and crackle. Vitiello's second track, utilizing broken record and cassettes (seems like he got the easier part of the bargain, as most of his items were sound oriented or sound makers), is a gorgeously blurred and woozy field of electronically altered voices and snippets of music, bits of crackle and pop, skipping looped fragments, all smeared into what sounds like fractured short wave broadcasts, chunks of glitchy buzz, muted melodic whirs, strange effects, by now I think we can safely assume that the objects sent weren't the only items used, as there seems to be much processing and loads of effects. Still gorgeous and abstract, but would have been neat too to see what these two guys could have done without a computer and all those effects. But it's a good thing, they were allowed to use effects and computers and things, cuz not sure what the last track would sound like without em, considering the objects for the final track, the collaboration, are chocolate sprinkles, tape, egg cutter, rice and a plastic bag. Listening to it now, hard to believe even with all that technology at their disposal, that these guys could conjure up something so musical, but they did, and it's fantastic, deep resonant tones, disembodied voices, shimmering chimes, deep swells of low end, plenty of crinkle and crackle and static, but all very warm, and haunting, dark and mysterious and most surprising of all, melodic. Easily the prettiest song on the disc. But now matter how hard we listen, we just can't seem to hear the chocolate sprinkles...
STEPHEN VITIELLO "Broken Record, Cassette" MPEG Stream:
MACHINEFABRIEK & STEPHEN VITIELLO "Chocolate Sprinkles, Tape, Egg Cutter, Rice, Plastic Bag"
MACHINEFABRIEK (V/A) Kruimeldief: Machinefabriek Remixed (self-released) 2cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. This massive remix disc from AQ dronedrift fave Machinefabriek, is composed entirely of remixes of the out of print Stofstuk cd, the shortest Machinefabriek release but quite possibly our favorite. Originally released as a little rectangular business card shaped 3" cd and clocking in at an impressive 5:31, Stofstuk was recorded with only a singing bowl, a contact mic, a vinyl record and a laptop, and originally created as a private pressing, and is easily one of the most gorgeous slabs of shimmery minimalism we've ever heard. It was also crazy limited and went out of print in no time. Thankfully, since all of these remixes are based on that same track, it's included here for those of you who missed out. So before we get to the remixes, best to probably quickly describe the source. For five glorious minutes, deeeeeeeep notes are loosed, lush and resonant, allowed to billow out like sonic ripples, every once in a while, some massive bass kicks in and washes over the listener like a huge slow motion wave, it's strangely transcendent, rich with intense emotion and sonic impact. Around these cavernous swells, various drawn out notes drift and shift, soft focus layers laid upon one another, gauzy and ephemeral, all hovering blissfully over a gorgeously muted field of barely there record crackle. Wow. Like a warm and dreamy Jeckian take on Raster-Noton, or some cosmic minimal meditation music. So totally beautiful. It almost seems a shame to remix something so nearly perfect to begin with, but thankfully, the majority of these mixes manage to subtly tweak the original, retaining much of the magic, while managing to imbue the revamped version with a bit of their own subtle style. If you loved the original version as much as us, this double disc is pretty much a no brainer. We complained in the first one about the 5 minute playing time, and how we just set the cd player on repeat and listened to it over and over and over, and that's almost what this is, but with each repeated play subtly and slightly altered (and a few dramatically different), but it's pretty tough to argue with 2+ hours of variations on Stofstuk. Plus check out the list of remixers: Alva Noto, Mitchell Akiyama, Xela, Svarte Greiner, Lesser, Freiband, Kim Cascone, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Luigi Archetti, Julien Neto, Pita, Adam Paccione, Henrik Rylander, Gert-jan Prins and loads more. As we mentioned, most of the versions are subtle variations, you might not even be able to tell the difference if you weren't paying close attention, but a few folks mix it up, Freiband adds a thick layer of caustic buzz and grind to the then barely audible original, Aaron Martin adds some glitch and microphone noise, Xela brings out the original's muted melodies and adds voices, Lesser adds a bit of grind and crunch, Henrik Rylander buries the original beneath layers of warm whirring fuzz, Julien Neto gives his version a soft focus, easy listening sheen and Gert-Jan Prins transforms the tones of the original into gritty buzzing grinding low end and piercing sine wave tones, but these are the exceptions, and even though the above descriptions make it seem like those tracks must stick out like crazy, in the context of a massive double disc set, they sound just perfect, nestled as they are amongst song after song of whispery droney drift. So gorgeous. Packaged in a soft cottony pouches, housed in a folded cardstock jacket and a thick vinyl outer sleeve.
XELA "Stofstuk" MPEG Stream:
ALVA NOTO "Stofstuk" MPEG Stream:
SVARTE GREINER "Stofstuk" MPEG Stream:
MACHINEFABRIEK / BLACK TO COMM Stofstuk / Stickstoff (Dekorder) 7" 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Split singles are the perfect way to shove two bands together and see what happens. A successful split can go in either directions, two bands who have fuck all do to with each other, and do their own thing, or two bands who are together for a reason, best case scenario, because their sounds are in some way complimentary. So consider this a best case scenario, two AQ faves, both masters of abstract drone and beautiful ambience, each given a side to do what they do, and it sounds like the two 'groups' worked off each others sounds. That's how great these two tracks sound together. Machinefabriek goes way minimal, a super abstract, nearly static tone poem, each note stretched out into long barely pulsing streaks, rich luxuriant tones allowed to ring out and slowly subside, crystalline and gorgeously minimal, the lows deep and fluid, the highs soft and shimmery, a subtle sound that dissipates softly, as if it was designed to be a constant fade out from the very first note. Black To Comm unfurl clouds of reverberating tones, thick billows of metallic shimmer, deftly (and VERY subtly) crafted into muted melodies, sounding like a louder, more dense reinterpretation of the Machinefabriek track. Chimes and bells, smeared into blurs of warm melodic drone, distant percussive twinkles, all wrapped up in BTC's gorgeous dreamlike sprawl. Pressed on beautiful swirled grey vinyl, and packed with an original full color, hand painted collaged insert/cover, every one is different. LIMITED TO ONLY 100 COPIES!!!! We got 20. Once these are gone we will NOT be able to get more...
MACHINEFABRIEK / KLEEFSTRA / LIONDIALER That It Stays Winter Forever (White Box) cd 15.98
MACHINEFABRIEK+ LEO FABRIEK Fabriek + Fabriek (self-released) cd-r 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another entry in the who-can-release-more-records competition currently going on here at aQ. It's Machinefabriek versus Jasper TX, complicated by the fact that the two occasionally decide to make records together! Thankfully, it's a contest where everyone wins, especially those of us into gorgeous ambient dronemusic. You couldn't ask for a better set up though. Two Fabrieks. Machinefabriek and pianist Leo Fabriek. We have to wonder if it was a coincidence and the two already new each other, or if Machinefabriek discovered this other Mr. Fabriek and tracked him down. Either way, the results are fantastic, and sounds like the two of them are very much of the same sonic mind. The main sound source is of course Fabriek's piano, while Machine fabriek contributes guitar, banjo, effects and something called Povtronic. And we assume does all the mixing and processing. Dark doleful piano sprawled out over slow shifting whirls of processed low end. A constant slow pulse of rumble and whir, the piano a constant dark melody drifting dreamily. The background sound some sort of slowly moving nearly static sonic snapshot. The various elements moving subtly beneath the piano's slow crawl. The fourth track has little swirls of backwards guitars, some disembodied banjo twang, and ends up sounding like some back porch piano flecked ambient doom. While the final track features a gorgeous languid piano melody, drifting downstream on a buzzing sea of murk and hiss and whir, rumbling and shimmering, building in intensity until it's almost a machinelike grind, never deterring the resolute piano, plucking out note after note, letting them sink into the noisy abyss. So gorgeous. We only wish there were more hours in the day, so we could spend some of them listening to this, and the growing stack of Machinefabriek cds we've been amassing. Amazing packaging too. An elaborate folded origami style sleeve, not exactly sure how it's assembled, so haven't pulled it all the way apart to see what lurks inside, but it looks gorgeous. And there's a printed cardboard insert, with the liner notes, that slides into the side. Cool.
"Het Waait Over" MPEG Stream:
"Wolken Boven Cronesteyn"
MACLAURIN, ANGUS Glass Music (Bubble Core) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Angus MacLaurin (a piano-tuner and pipe-organ builder who lives in a log cabin in Maine), has been a member of various indie-rock ensembles that we're not super-familar with...but here he's all on his own, recording his "finely-tuned glasses" (wine glasses, judging from the indistinct photos) onto five different reel-to-reel machines, and then carefully splicing and mixing the tapes. A bit of theremin, kalimba and bass is added on two of the tracks as well. The results are varied and beautiful, a kind of ghost music. Gently haunting, chiming, ringing, glistening drones. Occasional backwards voices are heard, adding further to the ghostly effect... And I just noticed that one of the songs is called "Ghost Ship". Nice!
"4th of July part I"