Celer & Machinefabriek :: Compendium (Irrational Arts)

Full of light and space with a few dark corners, Compendium is a perfectly curated collection, packaged in charming, wish-you-were-here collaged cover art.

Celer & Machinefabriek :: Compendium (Irrational Arts)

Will Long plays well with others. The full to bursting Celer discography he created in tandem with the late Danielle Baquet-Long is testament to that. And while maintaining an equally hyperactive release schedule under the same flag (such a contrast to the easy-going ambient of the work—note that he wryly called last year’s Climbing Formation “an anti-change statement”) since her passing, he made time to form a duo with new partner Rie Mitsutake (aka Miko) called Oh, Yoko. Its debut extended single Seashore and album I Love You… were a double delight.

In 2012, Long and Rutger Zuydervelt—Machinefabriek—traveled the Netherlands together. They recorded and pressed a seven-inch single to sell on tour and two more while on the road, now gathered in this Compendium, along with guest remixes and “In-Out,” a previously unreleased piece.

One finds the duo in a surprisingly dark mood on the opening dirge “Maastunnel,” telegraphing a world-weariness bordering on resignation. However, “Mt. Mitake” follows directly after, and it is a grand, sweeping gale of multicolored drone, by which a lone, one-fingered instrumentalist, trying to pick out a simple tune, is overwhelmed (but who ultimately gets the last word). “Numa” is the close-up refraction of light through the prism of hundreds of thousands of snowflakes. Until they fall to the ground and underfoot and are exposed to the reemergent but unforgiving sun. “Sou” twitches like a Steve Reich phase piece against a pacific, scopic background. “In/Out” races up/down, from bracing alpine heights to bumpy, gritty flatlands.

The remixes are elegant, all three of them. Sylvain Chauveau‘s ”Sou” is a creamy, sustained harmonium hum. Nicolas Bernier shakes off a confusion of thoughts to ponder that beautiful melody struggling to be heard on ”Mt. Mitake” and crafts a kind of slow jazz. The lengthiest of them at almost eight minutes, Stephan Mathieu‘s “Deux Filles” is the most complex in its layering of real sound and its ghosts, creating the illusion of movement where there is none, stasis where there is evolution.

Full of light and space with a few dark corners, Compendium is a perfectly curated collection, packaged in charming, wish-you-were-here collaged cover art.

Compendium is available on Irrational Arts.

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