Machinefabriek: Rural Route No. 6
Standard Form

Standard Form's Rural Route series continues to solidify its reputation as a significant forum for work by leading experimental artists. Its sixth installment (as before, a limited-edition three-inch release) finds Rotterdam-based Rutger Zuydervelt presenting the gentler side of his Machinefabriek project in the form of a pretty, seventeen-minute dreamscape that came into being as a one-minute soundtrack to a video poem by Jani Sipilä before expanding into its now-fuller form. Throughout Halfslaap, chiming tones softly glimmer in the moonlight, washing over one another like warm summer breezes drifting in through one's window. In the piece's opening moments, tones resound separately but soon melt into one another; the music consequently grows denser as the hard edges of the single notes soften and the material turns liquidy, an effect obviously much like ice melting. The music unfolds in a generally downward arc as the tones slowly descend in a trajectory that parallels the decompression that settles in as one's body moves into a sleep state. Though Zuydervelt is a prolific artist who has produced a staggering volume of work under the Machinefabriek name, Halfslaap is nevertheless a notable addition to his discography for being so unusually lullaby-like in character.

December 2010