Machinefabriek & Jan Kleefstra

1. Piiptsjilling

cd, May 2008 with Onomatopee

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Bandcamp (also in digital format)

This cd-with-booklet is a collaboration with poet Jan Kleefstra, who recites in Frysian. We invited Romke Kleefstra (brother of Jan) and Mariska Baars (soccer Committee) to join us in the studio. The hour-and-a-half of material was edited and procesed to a 32 minute sonic journey. Jan Kleefstra's spoken words seem to fit the music perfectly. A project I'm really really proud of. This release was issued by Dutch publisher Onomatopee, who also released the 7-inch Playword, with one Machinefabriek track on it.

This cd costs 15 euro including worldwide postage
> The press text:

"Piiptsjilling is published by Onomatopee and consists of a CD plus 12-page booklet containing the original Frisian text plus Dutch and English translations. Piiptsjilling is the audio-equivalent of a Frisian landscape ... remote and melancholic. Friesland is the northern-most province of the Netherlands, and the home of poet Jan Kleefstra. Influenced by the landscape of his province, Jan wrote these poems in Frisian, a distinct language that is officially recognised by the Dutch government as a minority language, whereby it is granted official European protection. Kleefstra reads his own work on this CD and engages (as in does battle with) the sometimes oppressive music of Rutger Zuydervelt Machinefabriek. Mariska Baars (Soccer Committee) and Romke Kleefstra deftly provide extra layers of guitar resonance to create an intense improvisational setting, wherein the music seeps into Jan Kleefstra?s texts. Zuydervelt composed this 32-minute precarious musical journey through a fictitious Frisian Landscape.
Jan Kleefstra has been performing his fragments, as he likes to call his poetry, for some years now. He has performed throughout the Netherlands, and his poetry has been published in a number of magazines and poetry anthologies. Earlier on, he produced a poetry reading with the painters Minne Onnes and Johan van Aken. Furthermore, Jan will publish his Frisian debut in Fragminten at the Friese Pers Boekerij BV in 2008.
Rutger Zuydervelt (1978) has released numerous CDs and LPs under the name Machinefabriek, on his own label and on labels such as Type, Lampse, Staalplaat and 12K (forthcoming). He has collaborated with Aaron Martin, Stephen Vitiello, Peter Broderick, Wouter van Veldhoven and Frans de Waard, among others. He has performed often in recent years, at places such as the Bimhuis, WORM, de Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, Argos in Brussels, the Transmediale festival in Berlin and the Hapzura festival in Israel."


This has to be one of Rutger Zuydervelt's most openly collaborative and beautiful releases, calling upon the guitar playing skills of Romke Kleefstra and Soccer Committee's Mariska Baars as source material, and more pertinently, the Frisian language poetry of Jan Kleeftra, who reads out his texts at sporadic intervals across the thirty-two minute piece. While there's still a strong electronic presence on Piiptsjilling, seldom has a Machinefabriek record seemed content to leave its source material so raw and prominent within the drifting plains of the soundscape. That's true at least for the opening and closing movements of Piiptsjilling, which float with an uncoloured melodic impetus while Kleefstra's voice drifts in and out of the piece. His poems are written in the indigenous language of Northern Dutch and German coastal regions, but if you want to follow the text, fortunately the booklet comes with both English and Dutch translations. At the centre of the composition, Zuydervelt returns to a more familiarly drone-based idiom, even touching on a kind of industrial, bass-heavy sound leading into Piiptsjilling's final third. The tension dissipates soon enough though, eventually being replaced by a quiet electronic crackle and a return to the clean electric guitar arpeggiations that announced the piece, and a final few verses from Kleefstra. A hugely engrossing full length from Machinefabriek, and another limited hand-assembled edition you really musn't miss. Highly Recommended.

Machinefabriek levert ogenschijnlijk aan de lopende band per strekkende meter releases af. En zo goed als alle zijn ook nog eens van topkwaliteit. Om bijkans gek van te worden. Zeker wanneer na die niet-aflatende stroom Piiptsjilling verschijnt; zo mogelijk het voorlopige hoogtepunt in de Machinefabriekcatalogus. Minimaal gitaarspel wordt door Machinefabriek niet of nauwelijks gemanipuleerd; vrijwel ongemerkt drijven de gitaartonen de open soundscape in en uit. Desolaat als op de meest ijzingwekkende momenten van Sigur Rós; vol anticipatie op ontlading zoals in de intro's van Mogwai. Een climax die uitblijft.
De catharsis van Piiptsjilling zit hem nu juist niet in een allesvernietigende eruptie van gitaarlawaai. De inktzwarte dichtkunst (in het Fries) van Jan Kleefstra en zijn understated voordracht zorgen voor het tegenwicht. De letteren brengen de balans
tot rust. Een yin en yang tussen ruimte en beklemming, tussen wat weggelaten wordt en juist uitgesproken. Piiptsjilling
weer verdwijnen. Adembenemend meesterlijk minimalisme. duurt maar een halfuur. In die korte tijd verschuift de toonzetting langzaamaan richting meer krakende en lichtelijk duister-ambiente sferen, met een fraaie omineuze drone. Naar de finale luidt de elektronische kraak niet alleen de terugkeer in van het lichtvoetige gitaarspel; ook Kleefstra's recitatie neemt kalmaan weer zijn plaats in. En zo eindigt de compositie zoals ze begon, wordt de cirkel gesloten en ben je terug bij af. Klaar om dit wonderstuk nogmaals te ondergaan en te ontdekken dat op deze korte reis tussen licht en donker elke draaibeurt opnieuw nieuwe vergezichten opduiken en

One part of the Netherlands is Friesland and there they don't have their own dialect, but their own language. A language that I can't understand. Jan Kleefstra writes his poetry in this language, and here he teams up with the omnipresent Rutger Zuydervelt, also known as Machinefabriek. Translation in dutch and english are provided, so we know that the poetry of Kleefstra is not a very bright one - loneliness, emptiness, autumn and death are some of his topics. Zuydervelt seemingly plays only guitar. A few sparse notes, repeated over and over and waving around in a bath of reverb and echo, this is quite desolate music. Kleefstra's sombre recitation, which are short and Zuydervelt's tinkling guitar and whatever else is running (violin?) that continues until it has changed a bit (or more) and then Kleefstra recites another poem. Again there is a slight connection to be made to the music of Oren Ambarchi, but Zuydervelt plays more notes, I guess. Not exactly the sort of music for sun burning spring day, but more for grey clouds and autumn rain. One set apart for short days to come. Very delicate shades of grey.