cd/dl on Cylinder Recordings, August 2023
On 31st January 2022, Hydra Ensemble performed at De Pletterij in Haarlem (NL). It was a good one. A video of the full performance can be seen here. And luckily our bass player Gonçalo decided to release the (newly mixed and mastered) recording on his label Cylinder Recordings. I'd say this is my favorite Hydra recording thusfar...
Zuydervelt is also part of the Hydra Ensemble, where he plays the electronics. The other members are two cellists, Lucija Gregov, Nina Hitz, and Goncalo Almeida, on double bass. I already reviewed 'Vistas' from them (Vital Weekly 1338). As before, wild variation is happening herein approaching these low-frequency string instruments. Strumming and plucking, long or short sounds, sustaining or hectic, is all part of the players' approaches. It's not easy to determine what Zuydervelt's role is here. There are textures, sounds, and even shorter loops of sound (to avoid the word rhythm) to be noted here, but they are sometimes buried deep in the music. Or, maybe, with four players, it isn't that deep, but with three players offering similar sounds from similar instruments, it all becomes a lonely place for Zuydervelt. I like it when I hear him a bit more, and that seems to happen when the music takes on a more contemplative side, quieter, more spun out. Some carefully placed silences open up, such as in the first and the last piece. There is quite a bit of variation in this album, going all wild, quiet, and everything in between. This is improvised music bordering on the world of contemporary music, so it easily appeals to a broader audience.