ORPHAX & MACHINEFABRIEK – Weerkaatsing

Moving Furniture

In the press release Sietse Van Erve (Orphax) and Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek) announce without a shadow of doubt that Weerkaatsing is “a really solid drone album”. I tend to concur, especially considering how easy falling in the quicksands of platitude is in this sphere. Furthermore, there’s more than plain “drones” herein to relish.

As securely as the artists illustrate circumstances and procedures that ultimately gave birth to this work, we set ourselves comfortable in the listener’s chair to identify the denominators that render the experience positively charming. “Spiegeling” begins with an imaginary portrayal of the innate voices of the ionosphere, continues with a succession of dynamic diversifications and electronic undulations, and finally mutates into a compelling stare to the void embellished by seesawing violin lines and intersections of underlying rhythms. The title track originates from an expanded spatial perspective, a two-tone continuance fenced by conspicuous subsonic throbs before the matter is once again subjected to remodeling. All textures settle in the (slightly perturbed) stillness of a sub-lunar minimalist environment; we’re thoroughly delivered from any residual stress. The longest episode is “Reflectie”: from what’s recognized by these ears as the stretched vibration of a cymbal we then get blanketed by a persistent pulsation of (just guessing) Tibetan bowls plus other resounding constituents. The last part sees the return of that variety of humongous low frequencies which will be unconditionally treasured by the certified devotees.

The record grows rather steadily with each spin, and never bores. Radiations informed by technical wisdom, hypnotic substances diffused by musicians in the “active brain” position.

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