Celer + Machinefabriek – Greetings From…

postcard set

It’s almost impossible to keep up with the speed of Will ‘Celer’ Long and Rutger ‘Machinefabriek’ Zuydervelt. 
By the time I have finished writing this review, I guess probably at least three new releases will have emerged which are all also worth hearing… 

Following up their 7″ collaboration (Maastunnel – Mt. Mitake” ), they recently did a short tour through Holland (and Brussel).
Recordings of these sets have now been released simultaneously with the duo’s second 7″ single Numa – Penarie

And, to conclude this batch: the CDR “Bliksem“, recorded by Celer especially for this tour (in a very limited physical edition of 10) is now also available as a digital download.

The physical part of the “Greetings from Celer and Machinefabriek”  tour set consists of 8 postcards featuring snapshots from nearby the concert locations (which are not always the kind of images the local tourist board would publish, by the way). From the tour impressions written on the back of the cards we learn that the tour was great overall, but the closing night at Drachten obviously turned out to some kind of unexpected anti-climax: “Not to be rude, but this was almost like performing in an elderly home.”

The digital counterpart of the set features a recording of sets from the full tour: almost 3 hours of improvised music for a ridiculously low price of only 5€ (including the postcards)!.

I expected that all sets would be somewhat identical in a tour like this. But I clearly misjudged these guys’ improvisational talents! 
Of course, the overall feeling is similar across these tracks. There are some distinct elements and themes returning at different times and in a different context.
But there’s always something different happening: Celer creating atmospheric background drones while Machinefabriek is constantly busy manipulating all kind of wired objects. The result is a fascinating blend of dreamlike drone-backgrounds, found sounds, radio fragments, spoken word and environmental recordings. 
A lot of room is left for spontaneous incidents (and coincidental humor, like a hunter elaborating on ‘elk talk’, or a voicemail recording of someone asking for help because ‘the internet won’t start up’).
Even after listening to the full three hours I still felt this roller-coaster ride was over much too soon! 

Numa Penarie

Like its predecessor, the Numa – Penarie”  7-inch single contains two relatively short tracks, built from tiny audio snippets perfectly crafted into sound collages.
This single is somewhat like a short ‘studio version’ impression of what the live sets have to offer.
Beautiful atmospheres, with sudden mood changes to keep you from dozing off.

Ordering this 7″ single also includes the download of the digital version, also containing two videos created by Marco Douma: abstract video images that perfectly match the mood of their soundtrack. 


Compared to that, Bliksem (which is dutch for “Lightning”) is a more uncomprising, relatively rough recording, especially because this 30 minute track ends in fairly harsh sounding distorted feedback (which I think is rather ‘un-Celer-like’).

“Bliksem” was recorded the night before departing to Holland for the March tour, and quickly burned as a limited tour CDR. Of course, the physical CDR’s quickly sold out at the tour, but the recorded improvisation is still available as a digital download.

Celer + Machinefabriek – Numa

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