Published Jan 18, 2019Dutch sound artist and graphic designer Rutger Zuydervelt is a prolific collaborator. There are nearly two dozen releases on which Zuydervelt, as Machinefabriek, has found himself working, alongside other talented and likeminded artists — Peter Broderick, Stephen Vitiello, Gareth Davis and Celer have been frequent sparring partners, but they're only the tip of the iceberg. While Zuydervelt isn't shy to work on his own — his solo output is fairly bountiful — his collaborative work is certainly a focal point.
With Voices finds the musician working with eight distinct individuals across as many tracks. As the title hints, each of the collaborators provides vocal content for Zuydervelt to manipulate. First, the sound artist crafted a 35-minute ambient soundscape over which the vocalists would improvise, which in turn spurred on further arrangement and manipulation of the outcome, culminating in a series of wildly diverging pieces of music.
Richard Youngs, Terrence Hannum and Marissa Nadler offered drawn-out vocal incantations, and the resulting pieces of music reflect this in their sinuous nature. The other vocalists prepared both spoken/sung passages and arcane utterances — sputters and stutters — that Zuydervelt either melted directly into the music or smashed into a delicate slurry. Both modes captivate the listener, as Zuydervelt's cybernetic compositions are warm and inviting in their humanity. On With Voices, a clever balance between the body and the machine has been struck, to great effect. (Western Vinyl)