1. IJspret 1
2. IJspret 2
3. IJspret 3
4. IJspret 4

Businesscard cdr, Januari 2009

Four short lullabies for winter days. Recordings made from ice and ice skating combined with acoustic guitar. Edition of 100.

The first day it was possible to actually skate on the ice was December 31th. I stood on the frozen surface of the pond nearby my house, amazed by the strange sounds the ice was making, probably caused by the weight of the people on it. It sounded a bit like electric static or vinyl crackle.

An hour later I returned with a portable recorder and a contact microphone to try and capture these wonderous 'rumbling insides' of the ice, as well as the noise of the kids skating on it. I decided to make a small document dedicated to this joyful event, and to the cold but fresh and at times even bright sunny winter days. It had been a while since a winter in The Netherlands was this beautiful.
To extend the 'ice concept', I experimented with having my contact mic buried in defrosting and breaking ice, and I went out again, this time to record the ducks and coots gathered in a small, unfrozen part of the water.

Taking these recordings and combining them with improvised acoustic guitar parts was a joy to do. In a matter of days my trusty laptop and I had finished four miniatures. Small but warm gestures. Lullabies for winter days.

Available in digital format

cdr sold out


Vital Weekly

Recently The Netherlands had a period of ice and snow, for the first time in twelve years. A lot of my fellow country men went to skate - not the unbalanced me of course. I like the sound of ice though, it has a great texture to it. So did Rutger Zuydervelt think who rushed back in to get his recorder, contact microphone and skates. Later on he also recorded the microphone buried in defrosting ice and the poor ducks suffering from all this ice. Back home, he picked up his acoustic guitar and recorded the four pieces that are now on this limited (100 copies) release. The gentle guitar sounds mingle nicely with the ice sounds, the skating and the environment recordings. Delicate playing on all accounts. Sketch like, cosy, homemade. Perhaps a bit too short, but then it also fits the short winter season we had this year.


Het past natuurlijk bij Rutger Zuydervelt en zijn Machinefabriek om in het nieuwe jaar meteen weer te beginnen met een paar releases. Hij is zelfs zo snel dat hij met een haast actueel schijfje op de proppen komt. Hij raakt op 31 december vorig jaar namelijk meteen geïnspireerd zodra hij met zijn voeten op het ijs staat. Daar waar een ander terugdenkt aan vroeger of vrolijk, onbezonnen gaat schaatsen, gaat Rutger snel heen en weer naar huis om opnameapparatuur te halen. Het ijs kraakt inderdaad altijd op imponerende wijze, alsof elektriciteitskabels tegen elkaar zwiepen. Dit neemt hij op, net als de geluiden (van mensen) er omheen en een groepje eenden dat nog in het laatste open water bijeen zijn gekomen. Veldopnames pur sang. Dit bewerkt hij in zijn laptop en vult het aan met fragiele (akoestische) gitaarimprovisaties. Hij resultaat is het prachtige miniatuurtje IJspret, waarop 4 korte maar vooral haardvuurwarme winterimpressies. Deze is gestoken in een soort verlate miniatuur kerstkaart, waarop nostalgische foto's prijken van de ijspret van weleer. Een wonderschone ode aan de winter.


Some albums, particularly those by major artists, take a few years to complete. The many recordings of Rutger 'Machinefabriek' Zuydervelt are not among those. This particular little gem, IJsppret ('Ice/Skating Fun') was released within a few weeks after the short period that Holland enjoyed skating on natural ice (last days of december 2008 + some in january 2009). It had been a few years ago since the last time that had been possible, and may take a few years to happen again. After noticing the strange sounds of ice crackling and the sounds of skates skating, Rutger used a contact microphone to record it. Those field recordings were combine with some other (ducks, coots, and people playing) and completed with some improvised acoustic sounds. The four are tracks released on a credit card CD with a lovely small package in the very same month. "Lullabyes for winter days", indeed.


Rutger Zuydervelt turns his ear towards that most fertile of creative themes for the microsound artist: winter. Ijspret was inspired by the timbral properties of ice, and features contact microphone recordings of all manner of frosty textures and interactions with the frozen ground, from the noise made by ice skaters to the strange commotion of the defrosting process. To a certain degree, Ijspret follows in the footsteps of sound artist Collin Olan's glorious Rec01 (which captured a stereo pair of contact mics frozen in blocks of ice that subsequently very slowly and noisily melted) or the John Hudak & Stephan Mathieu album Pieces Of Winter, which featured a buried contact mic being gradually frozen over during snowfall. There are countless instances in which contemporary artists have fetishised the beautiful nano-crackle of the winter, and the all too brief Ijspret is the latest in that long line, although this isn't one for purists; entangled in here you'll encounter the sound of human voices and sparsely plucked acoustic guitar passages, all of which aptly compliments the quiet and brittle sonorities of the cold.