Rutger Zuydervelt & Bruno Duplant

Synchronicité (50:00)

cd and download on Sublime Retreat, December 2021

This music can smuggle you to a dark park at night or a frosty forest in the morning, providing both comfort and anxiety. You shift to another time zone and bite into the sounds. The sounds you hear, tremble like warm air above cold sand.
It may sound both comforting and ominously dystopian at the same time, but it always holds a mysterious freshness, like traces and echoes of something fleeting and barely noticeable...

Available here


The Wire

Bruno Duplant’s collaborations come in two forms. As a composer, he sends a letter that doubles as a score, and looks forward to hearing what the recipient makes of his missive. As a musician, he is a true drone whisperer, capable of coaxing endless variety from elongated organ chords. That’s exactly what he does to marvelous effect on Synchronicité, playing long tones that swell, loom and fade. Zuydervelt’s contrasting contributions are strikingly animalistic, ranging from throaty purrs to repetitive, cricket-like chirrups. How he made them is not clear, but the effect they have is to open the windows of Duplant’s virtual cathedral and let some wildlife in.

The Sound Projector

Synchronicité (SR010) may be more to your taste, assuming you’re old-fashioned enough to cling to the idea of people playing musical instruments. Have I ever heard Duplant playing one before? He’s here on the droning organ, while Rutger Zuydervelt supplies electronics, and the duo produce a single brick of digital slabbery timed to last precisely 50:00 mins. Two Duplant photos here too, one on the cover and one on the insert, both of them charged with nostalgia and poignant sorrow, mainly due to the way he’s distressed the surface, blurred the focus, distorted the image; and kept the faces of his human subjects hidden from us. Such intrigue. It’s tempting to see these haunting images as extensions of the “memory” theme contained in the above item, but it seems our men aren’t attempting anything especially conceptual this time, rather a very impressionistic sound-image of “a dark park at night or a frosty forest in the morning”, according to their own notes. What they’re pursuing is something equally evanescent, “traces and echoes of something fleeting and barely noticeable”. Zuydervelt (often recording as Machinefabriek) has form in the area of lengthy processed drones and might be seen as the ideal partner for such a fey project, and I’m happy to note he’s reined in his mufflers for this episode and turns in a very clean result. As for Duplant, his organ playing would make Olivier Messiaen smile, and with his romantic leanings on this record he’s emerging as a post-modern successor to Satie, Ravel, and Debussy.

Vital Weekly

From two busy bees another work, their second release together. Rutger Zuydervelt (also known as Machienfabriek) and Bruno Duplant. The first was 'L'Incertitude', a cassette by Cronica Electronica (Vital Weekly 1232). That review ended with the hope that the two of them would work together. They did! There is one long piece of music on this new release, fifty minutes in total, with duties thus divided: Duplant on organ and Zuydervelt on electronics. That, in itself, doesn't say too much. What was the agreement, the starting point, where were any restrictions, who did the mix, or perhaps did this together? If some sort of agreement were made between the two, I'd say that they set on doing a tidal wave composition, rocking back and forth. Each section takes a few minutes, comes and goes with a slow fade, and then the next wave arrives. Except for the final twelve or so minutes, which is one long piece, one could see that as a bunch of small waves. Each wave is different from the previous or the next; sometimes, these differences are more prominent than on the other, while others are closer together. I would think, but I am not sure, that Zuydervelt both manipulates Duplant's organ sound as well as adds a brand of electronics of his own making to it. Sometimes these additions are barely noticeable, but there is some amplified rattling going in a more extended middle section. Zuydervelt feeds the organ through a small speaker and amplifies the rattling of the conus. Indeed, this is all part of the world of drone music, and there is no doubt there. You could say, 'nothing new under the sun', but you could say of many of the releases on these pages. Instead, you could also enjoy the music, take or leave it. I took it and enjoyed it quite a bit.