Thursday, 29 September 2016

Out now: Macrocosms by Banabila & Machinefabriek



'Macrocosms' is the fourth collaboration album by Banabila & Machinefabriek. Again, Michel Banabila and Rutger Zuydervelt spent a few concentrated weeks swapping sound files and sculpting ideas to fully form tracks. This intuitive way of working and open-minded approach resulted in an album that harks back to the rhythmic playfulness of 'Travelog', while also maintaining the abstract tendencies of 'Error Log'. The overall theme deals with the macro and micro - how incredibly tiny and insiginificant we become when zooming out, and how wondrous small worlds can be found within ours when zooming in. Artist Sarah Payton describes it beautifully in her spoken word section of the title track.



Field recordings made by Banabila at the nature reserve Biała Woda in Poland are an important addition to the music, reinforcing the sense of place, and invoking intricate, detailed worlds of their own. Combining elements of ambient, musique concrète, noise, and even the 'fourth world', this Rotterdam duo created a unique sonic world expanding their oeuvre with another fine album. 'Macrocosms' is released by Tapu Records, in digital formats, and as a limited edition CD in a beautiful six panel digipack.



THE WIRE: "On the title track artist Sarah Paynton intones “Inside the single world we think we see are a hundred thousand separate worlds”. Simple, bold keyboard arpeggios run through the track and her voice is finally subsumed into a cloud of tiny sound particles that spiral off into fractal like shapes, making it an appropriate analogy to the different levels of detail in the duo’s music". (Mike Barnes)



UTILITY FOG: Dutch artists Michel Banabila & Rutger Zuydervelt aka Machinefabriek have been collaborating together since 2012, and their fourth album Macrocosm is out really soon! We got a sneak preview of a few tracks (the first one, and last two from this little feature), and I recommend grabbing the older releases and following either on Bandcamp so you can grab the new one when it appears. We hopped back to their first self-titled release, and to the amazing 2013 release Travelog in the middle. Banabila has been interested for decades in sounds (musical and otherwise) from the far reaches of the world, and has a long career making hybrid music from studio techniques, tape sampling & then digital methods along with acoustic instruments. Machinefabriek is best known for long drone works, but also works in shorter forms and is a master of digital sound design. It's great to have something new from their collaboration, which as always is more than the sum of its parts. (Peter Hollo)



Banabila & Machinefabriek: Kaleidoscope from Michel Banabila on Vimeo.

From: Macrocosms: https://banabila.bandcamp.com/album/macrocosms-cd

'Macrocosms' is the fourth collaboration album by Banabila & Machinefabriek. Again, Michel Banabila and Rutger Zuydervelt spent a few concentrated weeks swapping sound files and sculpting ideas to fully form tracks. This intuitive way of working and open-minded approach resulted in an album that harks back to the rhythmic playfulness of 'Travelog', while also maintaining the abstract tendencies of 'Error Log'.

The overall theme deals with the macro and micro - how incredibly tiny and insiginificant we become when zooming out, and how wondrous small worlds can be found within ours when zooming in. Artist Sarah Payton describes it beautifully in her spoken word section of the title track.

Field recordings made by Banabila at the nature reserve Biała Woda in Poland are an important addition to the music, reinforcing the sense of place, and invoking intricate, detailed worlds of their own. Combining elements of ambient, musique concrète, noise, and even the 'fourth world', this Rotterdam duo created a unique sonic world expanding their oeuvre with another fine album.

'Macrocosms' is released by Tapu Records, in digital formats, and as a limited edition CD in a beautiful six panel digipack.



Released September 28, 2016.
Music by Michel Banabila & Rutger Zuydervelt, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
August / September 2016.
Mastered by Marlon Wolterink at White Noise Studio.
Double bass on Upwards sampled from Ilya Ziblat Shay.
Words on Macrocosms by Sarah Payton.
Photography by Michel, graphic design by Rutger.
Tapu Records © + ℗ 2016 / 018TR.
http://machinefabriek.nu
http://www.banabila.com



NORMAN RECORDS:
Regular collaborators Michel Banabila and Rutger Zuydervelt are back at it as Banabila & Machinefabriek with ‘Macrocosms’, the pairs fourth collaboration, no less. Beautifully presented in a matte digipak with photography by Michel and graphic design by Rutger. It’s worth noting that the CD edition varies from the digital release, in that the individual tracks have been melted into a continuous mix for a journey interrupted by brief pauses of silence. Across the disc, the lines between the real/organic and synthetic are blurred, utilising a seemingly endless vibrant palette of recognisable elements i.e “real” instruments and processed, electronic sounds and field recordings. The overall experience is something like glimpsing into worlds within worlds, within the world - Microcosms and Macrocosms. Something that’s always held an endless fascination for me. Take a dog for example, within that creature is a whole universe of smaller ecosystems, and other minute livings things like bacteria. Is our own planet just a single cell in a larger organism in an infinite universe? My head explodes just pondering these things. It seems the artists have similar thoughts and through sound conjure visions of these large and small scale worlds. It makes for pleasurable and thought provoking listening, at times recalling Jon Hassell and Brian Eno’s ‘Fourth World’ ambient. There’s an immense of amount of intricately detailed sound throughout the disc - like zooming into insect realms, then further into the very fabric of matter; cells, molecules and atoms. While larger sounds evoke images of weather systems and the cosmos. A wonderfully vibrant, organic sonic world that exists as a fusion of reality and imagination. (Anthony)

AMBIENTBLOG:
Their fourth collaborative album shows Michel Banabila and Machinefabriek in a playful mood, somewhat less abstract than on their previous album Error Log.
Macrocosms radiates the joy of swapping sound files and surprising each other in turn with an unexpected twist of the material: field recordings from the Biala Woda nature reserve in Poland, musique concrête, noise, ambient, ‘fourth world’ samples, ‘Holger Czukay style’ sped up guitars, and whatnot…

“The overall theme deals with the macro and micro – how incredibly tiny and insiginificant we become when zooming out, and how wondrous small worlds can be found within ours when zooming in.” Michel and Rutger are a perfect pair: two giants of Dutch experimental music, combining the best of many worlds. Abstract experimentalism, cinematic romanticism, impressionistic environmentalism… it’s all in the details that merge into a recognisable trademark style and manages to surprise with every new release. (Peter van Cooten)

A CLOSER LISTEN:
To date we have heard four full-length collaborations between Michel Banabila and Machinefabriek, each one different in tone. This one, while intricate and multi-faceted, is their most accessible to date. It all starts with a concept: the micro and the macro. Listening to the album is the aural version of zooming in and out with a hi-tech camera. Pieces of sound appear, migrate to different speakers, and dissipate. Zoom in and one can hear them better; zoom out and one can appreciate the overall picture. The cover art implies a scientist’s eye, so it’s no surprise that the music includes field recordings, made by Banabila in Poland’s Biała Woda (a reminder to check out Izabela Dłużyk’s Soundscapes of Summer, also recorded in Polish woods). The brightness of the album’s visual tones reflect that of the music, which at times can be downright danceable (“Stokjes”) ~ and when’s the last time one danced to field recordings? It doesn’t happen often. This joyful combination is what makes the album so accessible. One can imagine the artists opening each other’s sound files, getting excited about their next ideas, and committing them to tape. Crickets, choirs and children each find their places in “Upwards”, serving as both rhythm and adornment. The world itself is rhythmic, often intentionally but sometimes not; Banabila and Machinefabriek find hidden swayings and surround them with aural sculptures. Even when the track turns ambient, the listener recalls the tempo that launched the piece. But the title track is where everything comes into play. On this piece, Sarah Payton surprises with a spoken word segment that seems at first like a documentary excerpt, perfect for the nature (pun intended) of the release. Arriving at the album’s midpoint, the voice is unexpected, yet comforting. Inside the single world we think we see, a hundred thousand separate worlds go about their daily business, connected only by the thinnest of threads, a contingency of each only vaguely perceived by the others. Following the narrative, one zooms out even further, above the earth, recalling the photographic work of Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Piano, strings, static and samples provide an elegant backdrop against which Payton herself first approaches, then recedes, a metaphor for her own words. Some collaborations seem like work, but this one seems like play. It’s clear that the artists enjoy what they are doing and are inspired by this partnership. While we often write that we’d love to hear more of the same sounds, the duo has proven that they can change sounds and continue to entice. We already trust that their fifth album will intrigue in equal measure, no matter what its style. (Richard Allen)

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