Rutger Zuydervelt, a.k.a. Machinefabriek , needs no presentation to the ambient and drone audiences. (Hyper)active since the early 2000s, he epitomizes a minimalistic, electro-acoustic approach to these genres bringing together real world and synthetic oscillations. Berlinde Deman is a tuba player, and amongst many other projects member of the unconventional jazz big band Flat Earth Society.
In Luchtwezen, the two are brought together by a common veneration of the physical experience of the creation of sound. Both musicians each exploit on this record an unusual instrument: Rutger plays the Hess church organ of Oude Kerk Charlois, in south Rotterdam (together with some electronics); Berlinde sings, and plays the serpent, an ancient wind instrument, made out of wood and shaped like a snake. The meeting of the two should have taken place, as a matter of fact, in the Oude Kerk Charlois itself, during a live concert organized by Koffie & Ambacht. However, the quick rise to power of Covid-19 forced the duo to turn this get-together (as all musical get togethers during our quarantines) into a virtual one: a studio recording, that you can hear as Luchtwezen .
And yet, by just listening to the record, you may be fooled into thinking that this was a live recording – as we have all thought, because of their intensity, that some quarantine Zoom calls were not happening over a screen, but rather out there, in the real world. The flow is natural, the sound space unitary. The clicks of the organ keys are just right there in front of us. After the first brooding half, we all feel the mysterious, oriental breath flowing from the serpent in the spaces between us. And then, a simple melody sang by the organ reminds us of the feeling of excitement of going to a live concert – where you know that a serpent will dance to the sound of the organ’s pipes.
Constructed by Rutger Zuydervelt, Rotterdam, February – April 2020
Rutger Zuydervelt: church organ (Oude Kerk Charlois), electronics
Berlinde Deman: serpent and vocals (recorded at home, Ghent)
Mastered by Ian Hawgood
Many thanks to Lies Klaus, Gilbert van Drunen (Koffie & Ambacht),
Jaap van Gils, Stepping Stone.
released July 15, 2020
The sleeve has been manufactured and printed by Archivio Tipografico using the Hohner Rapid II letterpress machine.