Celer & Machinefabriek: Numa / Penarie

Clearly satisfied by the outcome of their first seven-inch release, Maastunnel / Mt. Mitake, Will Long and Rutger Zuydervelt return for another installment, this one similar in concept and titled Numa / Penarie. Put together in Tokyo and Rotterdam earlier this year, the two tracks contain original sound elements stitched together from longer source material, and the release is enhanced by its postcard collage presentation and two complementary videos created by Marco Douma.

The tracks themselves are a contrasting pair, the first “Numa” very much in the Celer tradition in fashioning a mood of becalmed iridescence, even if some measure of turbulence briefly intervenes halfway through its five-minute run. “Penarie” immediately distances itself from the other in opening with horn-like synth flurries, though it, too, gravitates repeatedly in the direction of soothing splendour. In both pieces, one often witnesses an ongoing oscillation between the ambient stylings of Celer and the rougher textural play of Machinefabriek. Needless to say, that's a good thing, as the collaborators' respective tendencies render the material less homogenous and predictable than it otherwise might be.

Douma's videos form a nice part of the package as they evolve in accordance with changes in the musical textures—as the music becomes grainier, so too does the video display. “Numa” offers a logical analogue to the musical material as it's abstract in nature but powerfully evocative, with the visual content suggestive of sunlight reflections on rippling surfaces and showing geometric shapes viewed through a prismatic mist. By contrast, real-world elements, such as electrical towers and hydro wires, appear more identifiably during “Penarie,” though the video retains the dream-like quality of “Numa.”

July-August 2012