Piiptsjilling: Wurdskrieme CD

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Deluxe sleeve with metallic inks.

On their second full-length, supergroup Piiptsjilling set out to both deepen and roughen up the pastoral and peaceful sound of their 2008 debut release. A coherent unit formed by guitar & poetry duo Jan and Romke Kleefstra as well as Machinefabriek's Rutger Zuydervelt and Soccer Committee's Mariska Baars, the band delineate increasingly dark lyrical textures resonating with nocturnal atmospheres and tactile sound-operations on guitar, pedals and various looping devices. Building on patient and immersive improvisations and working with both sonorous drones and ghostly micronoises, Wurdskrieme moves at a dream-pace, substituting linear logic with a brushwood of metaphors and emotional abstractions. The underlying feeling of a subcutaneous tension is further accentuated by Jan Kleefstra's expressionist poetry delivered in the language of his native Friesland, a province in the far North of the Netherlands. Contrasting serene soundscapes like opener "Unkrud" with more tranquil moments featuring acoustic instrumentation ("Wurch"), the result spans up a sonic space that not only represents an evolution from their earlier work, but also takes them far beyond traditional categories and conventions.

1 Unkrûd (Ill weeds)
2 Tsjustere leaten (Sombre shoots)
3 Sangerjende wyn (Lilting wind)
4 Utsakke bui
5 Wurch ljocht (Tired light)
6 Ferware (Worn down)
*digital bonus Dei dream ljurk (Day dream skylark)

Words by Jan Kleefstra
Music by Mariska Baars, Romke Kleefstra and Rutger Zuydervelt
Recorded at Studio Landscape, March 6/7, 2010, by Jan Switters and Koos van der Velde
Mixed and edited by Rutger Zuydervelt
Mastered by Taylor Deupree
Translations by Willem Groenewegen

Piiptsjilling is a quartet consisting of Jan Kleefstra, Romke Kleefstra, Mariska Baars and Rutger Zuydervelt. The band name (pronounced 'peep-chilling') is Frisian, the language of Jan Kleefstra's poems that are accompanied by the improvisation skills of the other three musicians on guitars and vocals. In 2008 they released their well-received first album,simply called 'Piiptsjilling'. File under: drones, improvisation, spoken word. Jan and Romke Kleefstra have been performing together for years. Since the release of the first Piiptsjilling album they have collaborated with Gareth Davis, Greg Haines, Danny Saul, Peter Broderick, Sytze Pruiksma and others, live and in the studio. In 2009 they combined forces with guitarist Anne Chris Bakker and recorded 'Wink', released by Apollolaan, as Kleefstra | Bakker | Kleefstra. An ominous, dreamy soundscape with experimental guitars and spoken word.

Maris ka baars is best known for her solo career as Soccer Committee. Her latest solo album was released by Morc Records and showcases Mariska at her most intimate and minimal. It's folk music stripped down to the core, giving every sparse word and note an incredible importance. This is also evident on the new Piiptsjilling recordings, where on some tracks her wordless vocals become an instrument that is just as important as the guitars. At other moments, Mariska's guitar fuses flawlessly with Romke's patterns to deliver a steady counterpart for Rutger Zuydervelt's drones.

Rutger Zuydervelt is steadily building on a career as Machinefabriek, releasing albums on labels like Type, 12K, Dekorder, Root Strata and Low Point. The guitar is the major sound source, processed through various effects, its sound is injected with snippets of radio static, a memorecorder and a sampler, his soundscapes form a perfect combination with the music of the other members of Piiptsjilling. Rutger and Mariska released the highly anticipated Drawn album on Digitalis in 2008, which was followed by a remix version, with reworkings by Reiko Kudo, Taylor Deupree, Xela, Lawrence English, Stefan Németh, Nate Wooley and many more.

Put these four people together, whether it's in the studio or for a live performance, and the results are more then the sum of its parts. Working highly intuitively, the quartet patiently moves through stretches of melancholic dreamscapes, varying between abstract minimalism and dense drones. Their first album was released by the Dutch label Onomatopee, but this time their ambitions go further afield. Two days of recording culminated in two albums that are now looking for a safe, inspiring home, preferably in Japan or the UK. Despite the unintelligible Frisian language, the abstract language formed when combined with the music is universal.

Boomkat.com - Recommeneded Release
Sophomore album from the quiet supergroup of Jan & Romke Kleefstra, Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek), and Mariska Baars (Soccer Committee). With the addition of Jan Kleefstra's poetry to their signature serene sound, the mood of Piiptsjilling takes a patiently sombre course on 'Wurdskrieme'. Those lyrics, spoken in the language of Kleefstra's native Freisland, a province in the far North of the Netherlands - and translated to English on the oversized casing - deal with darker, isolated subject matter, are clearly discernable as such. The funereal delivery is accentuated by the music spectral presence, an improvised backdrop of immersive drones and acousmatic microsound ebbing into the consciousness like a rising tide at dusk with the sun setting in the opposite direction. The instrumentation varies between the tracks, from scraped and struck plangent guitar sounds in 'Wurch Ljocht (Tired Light)' to spatially saturated electronic drone radiation in 'Unkrud (Ill Weeds)' enveloping Romke and Jan's mingling whispers or coaxing out the sustained resonance of caressed strings with a matrix of pedals to summon the KTL-like spectral presence of 'Sangerjende Wyn (Lilting Wind)'.
Norman Records - "This Weeks Hottest Shit"
I've got to do summat "beard" says he, the man over there, rapidly sliding down the slippy chute into the terrifying realm that is 40-dom. 'Beard' was the term we used to employ to describe anything that may get musical academics & sound-art buffs frothing with excitement but would undoubtedly clear 99.9% of the public houses in Britain. Also it apparently described much of the musical taste of our dear departed Mingus Rude. Which is curious as I reckon there are much huger beards at large today in this office than Mr. Rude, the best dressed Norman teamster we've ever encountered. "What is this album like you waffling shitehawk?" I hear you all bellow? Erm, it's Machinefabriek & some other good folks putting a collection of creaky, crackly, rattling, brooding, faintly ominous sound-scrapes (sic) to tape whilst some poetry intermittently appears, spoken in West Frisian by Jan Kleefstra. There's a moment where a guitar gets cranked up, lightly flayed and tormented then is kind of forgotten about. This is not a good CD for the office. It is a tentative, meandering work with lots of subtle shifts, use of silence, acoustic resonance & the tendrils of sustained notes breathing freely into the atmos.....the poetry makes it more interesting. Nice to hear words slung at you in such a relatively obscure tongue. I was hoping the poems were odes to the lost generations of West Frisian cattle & horses but alas, no. Enigmatic expressionism a-go-go though.....I must say, the final track 'Ferware' (Worn Down) is a stunning deep ambient piece that makes the entire esoteric trawl a most worthy endeavor and amps my score up to a worthier number
Wurdskrieme is one of two new releases from Piiptsjilling, a quartet that is formed of Jan and Romke Kleefstra, Mariska Baars and Rutger Zuydervelt. The name Piiptsjilling (pronounced 'peep-chilling') is Frisian; a language which Jan Kleefstra uses for the poetry he reads to accompany the improvised sonic worlds that the remaining three members create with guitars, effects, loopers and the voice..In March 2010 the band took to an intensive 2-day improvised recording session with the goal of creating nothing more than beautiful, challenging music. The session resulted in two-and-a-half hours of material which was mixed and edited into two separate albums. Did they succeed with their simple goal? Yes. Yes they did. Piiptsjilling's first album, self-titled and released in 2008, was a fairly post-rock induced affair with weeping guitars and suppressed desperation by the bucket-load. This time around, the post-rock influence has disappeared and the guitars, at times, are used as a percussion instrument in a prepared- style a la Keith Rowe on tracks such as the graciously atmospheric Sangerjende wyn and Utsakke bui. As Wurdskrieme unfolds, one thing that is noticeable is that the poetry seamlessly becomes one with the atmospheres created by the band. Becoming part of the soundscape rather than clumsily resting on top. At times in their debut the voice seemed to act as a controlling factor, regulating the sound and almost giving it permission to start, stop and evolve. No doubt an interesting discovery; but this could all too easily pull the listener out of their sound induced coma. The album is full-to-the-brim with the usual electroacoustic ambient loveliness; guitars, drones, the voice, field recordings, blips and glitches help to create an album with somewhat of a bi-polar disease; sometimes thickly laden and sometimes sparsely scattered with tiny sounds. It really is a feast for the ears that doesn't do much wrong in its near on 40 minute run time. Even though this is essentially an improvised body of work – except for the mixing of course – it really doesn't sound so. Every movement really does seem carefully orchestrated from start to finish. Wurch ljocht is a good example; as the track fills with layer upon layer of sound everything ceases in the final seconds to allow a three-note cadence to shine through. Of course something like this could oh-so-easily be done in the mixing stage, but it's nice to think that there was at least a glimmer of planned performance behind this improvisational body of work. Ferware is the album highlight and shows the band at their most in-sync on the record. The track rolls along serenely, and what starts as a beautiful thing soon sinks into ominous nightmare territory where Jan's poetry awaits to lull the listener into a vulnerable state of wonder. Piiptsjilling have managed to create a wonderfully coherent album with Wurdskrieme that no doubt manages to hold the listener's attention for the duration – something that their debut struggled with slightly at certain points. They've also successfully created an improvisation set that sounds orchestrated; it truly sounds as if each performer listened intently to what the others were creating which oftentimes is the downfall of most improvisation troops. Keep an eye out for Wurdskrieme; released later this year on Experimedia. - Review by Simon James French for Fluid Radio
Whisperin and Hollerin
'Supergroups' always bother me. At worst, they suggest a bunch of egos battling it out to produce a work that's almost invariably short of the sum of the parts - unless, of course, it's a 'supergroup' consisting of talentless people who make lousy music to begin with, when crap squared is all one could ever expect. Then there's the fact there are supergroups who perhaps aren't nearly as super as they purport, namely those where I haven't heard of a single one of the members. I mean, how's that super? Should I feel embarrassed by the fact I'm entirely unaware of the works of poetry duo Jan and Romke Kleefstra? Should I hide my head in shame over my ignorance of Mariska Baars and Rutger Zuydervelt of Soccer Committee and Machinefabriek respectively? Or should I simply accept the fact that I can't be familiar with all artists of all persuasions, and draw the conclusion that the avant-garde music of The Netherlands tends not to get much exposure outside, well, The Netherlands? On the strength of this release, it's rather a shame such music reaches our shores so rarely. To describe 'Wurdskrieme' without using the words 'sparse' and 'minimal' would be almost an impossibility. 'Wurdskrieme' is quiet and disquieting, the sonic equivalent of a polar tundra in winter. The six tracks bleed together, connected by slow, low drones, clicks and crackles to forge a panoramic soundscape that's cold and glacial. From the very outset, the listener feels very alone, lost in a bleak wilderness with only their own thoughts and paranoia for company. At first it's refreshing, exhilarating even, to experience, but eventually, the light fades and you know you're completely alone... or are you? The mind plays tricks and you start o get jumpy. This is precisely the sensation 'Wurdskrieme' ('Cry of Words') instils in the listener. 'Utsakke bui' introduces conventional 'rock' instrumentation into the mix, in the form of electric guitars, but they're hardly played in a conventional rock way, with scrapes and strums - at times resembling tuning up - occasionally cutting across a long, undulating loop of sustain and feedback, like Sunn O))) in a mellow mood. Harmonic chimes provide some warmth on 'Sangerjende wyn' (which translates as 'Lilting Wind'), and here, as elsewhere, snippets of narrative fade in and out, low in the mix. Rather than lending the sound pieces (they're certainly not songs in any obvious sense of the word), the vocal elements only further accentuate the feelings of isolation and separation that this album radiates. Even when spoken softly, the delivery is clipped and offers little by way of human warmth or comfort. The titles - either in their original language or in translation - are similarly bereft of cheer: Unkrud (Ill Weeds); Tsjustere leaten (Sombre Shoots); Wurch ljocht (Tired Light); Ferware (Worn down). Allusions to nature, but as an unforgiving force and in a state of decay. The transition from Autumn to Winter as the days grow shorter and colder echoes around the desolate soundscapes. Wrap up well and explore the panoramic wasteland of 'Wurdskrieme.' 9/10
The Sound Projector
Piiptsjilling is a fairly unusual cultural mix, with three Dutch improvising guitarists Romke Kleefstra, Mariska Baars and Rutger Zuydervelt, plus a writer or poet Jan Kleefstra supplying the textual components which may be written in Frisian. On Wurdskrieme (EXPERIMEDIA EXPCD012), the musicians deliver themselves of incredibly taut, slow, and low-key plucking effects, with occasional rhythmic sighing and droning effects that may be electronic in origin. On top of these Mariska recites the texts in a voice that just exudes despondency and defeat, using these intense miniature verbal constructions that complain of poor light, bad weather, and unwanted growths in nature, using all of these as metaphors perhaps for the staleness and unprofitability of the world. (I'm going by the English translations to arrive at that view.) No coincidence that the package emphasises the texts and resembles a slim volume of avant-garde poetry more than a CD. The label that released this singular piece of spartan miserbalism will shortly issue Molkedrippen, a follow-up regarded as the "sister" of Wurdskrieme. If these are the siblings, I'd like to meet the parents
Le sensazioni che pervadono la musica dei Piiptsjilling provengono da osservazioni tenute durante le lunghe notti invernali nel nord della Frisia. E' li che vivono Jan e Romke Kleefstra, responsabili insieme a Rutger Zuydervelt (alias Machinefabriek) e Mariska Baars (alias Soccer Committee) dei drones orchestrati su "Wurdskrieme". Quranata minuti di musica in grado di rallentare lo scorrere del tempo tra rintocchi di campane, voci sussurrate, glissando di chitarre e rumori d'ambiente. Il tutto avvolto da una bolla di suono che tiene insieme ogni cosa. Bastano i primi secondi di "Unkrud (Ill Weeds)", la prima delle sei tracce in scaletta, per essere catapultati nella dimensione notturna dei Piiptsjilling.
Zwei Tage im Marz 2010 reichten den beiden Kleefstra-Brudern und ihern Nitstreitern Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek) und Mariska Baars (Soccer Committee), um zwei neue Alben aufzunehmen, dieses hier fur Experimedia (zuhause in Akron, Ohio), das andere soll auf Spekk erscheinen. Eine wahra Winterplatte: Jan Kleefstras Gedichte in friesischer Sprache (deren Abdruck samt Ubersetzung fur ein feines, nuchternes Artwork genugen) treten aus den ruhigen und sparsamen, effektbearbeiteten Tonen und Gerauschgarnituren der Gitarren seiner drei Mitstreiter hervor wie schemenhafte Baume im Nebel, Lichter in schneetreibender Winternacht. Mit Konzentration und Behutsamkeit spannen Pipptsjilling ihre Verbindung von Poesie under Instrumentalimprovisation in einen komplett folkklischeefreien Bogen, der in den Bann zieht: Sie schicken uns in menschenleere, frostklirrended Landschaften mit dem trostenden Mantel einer fremden und doch vertraut wirkenden Sprache, und je langer wir laufen, desto mehr kommet es uns vor, als saben wir eigentlich in einer molligen Hutte, tranken heiben Met und lauschten alten Sagen, wahrend drauben der Wind die Welt nur scheinbar zu Staub zerblast Einzigartig.
Monsieur Delire
And you thought that Icelandic volcano had an unpronounceable name? Try this Dutch band's name for size! Their second album features atmospheric music, softly experimental, to back poems by Jan Kleefstra. The musicmakers are Mariska Baars (Soccer Committee), Romke Kleefstra and Rutger Zuyderveit (Machinefabriek). Due to this album's textures and sounds, I could have thought myself in Iceland. "Ferware" is particularly interesting, though as a whole this CD is not striking. English translations of the poems are included.
France Musique national radio
Qui se souviens de Piiptsjilling, ce titre d'un album compose et interprete en 2008 par quatre musiciens hollandais. Piiptsjilling etait un album de musique electro acoustique post rock sur laquelle venaient se poser des textes lus en frisien, une langue peu usitee en musique qui provient des frises cette region un peu oubliee du nord ouest de l'Europe et repartie sur les bords de mers de hollande et d'Allemagne. Le succes de ce premier disque a entraine ces mêmes musiciens à reiterer cette premiere experience et à reprendre ce titre curieux de Piiptsjilling pour designer leur quartet. Un nouvel opus discographique, cette fois ci intitule Wurdskrieme est aujourd'hui disponible. Wurdskrieme signifie en frisien le cri des mots, pourtant si le premier album etait un disque de musique post-rock, si cet album s'intitule le cri des mots, on est cette fois ci en presence d'une tres belle musique mais plus du tout post rock et absolument pas criarde. Les six plages de cet album s'enchainent en douceur dans un style musical tres atmospherique et les mots y sont chuchotes comme de doux poemes. Wurdskrieme est un brouillard de voix et de musique qui se decouvre sur sa longueur, un album ambiant et atmospherique pour qui n'est pas refractaire aux langues nordiques. Les notes de guitares y sont egrainees avec quelques micro-sons electroniques qui vous titillent delicatement les oreilles. La musique devient immersive et se transforme en de veritables paysages sonores dans lesquels on se laisse bercer avec le plus grand des plaisirs. L'album est disponible sur le site de l'editeur experimedia.net, un label de gout sur lequel vous trouverez ou retrouverez quelques artistes de renom et d'autres qui tous meritent une attention particuliere." (Eric Serva)
Friesland is het nieuwe Finland. Al zal de band die Piiptsjilling met Friesland heeft wellicht beperkt blijven tot Jan Kleefstra, die zijn poëtische teksten uit de Friese taal put. Verder telt Piiptsjilling goed volk als Romke Kleefstra, Rudger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek) en Mariska Baars (Soccercommittee) in de rangen. Een geoefend luisteraar weet dat drones en minimalisme met een dergelijk gezelschap in goede handen zijn. Kleefstra's stem, die de sonore stukken begeleidt, doet dienst als rode draad. Getooid met welluidende Friese titels als 'Sangerjende Wyn', 'Tsjustere Leaten' of 'Utsakke Bui' trekken zes muzikale landschappen traag voorbij. Klanken worden gelanceerd, geluiden vinden elkaar en gaan nieuwe verbindingen aan, zowel in prille simpliciteit als in minutieus opgebouwde geluidslagen, zoals op het afsluitende 'Ferware'. De organische aanpak zorgt voor een gevoel van eenvoud maar als er één woord is dat Wurdskrieme karakteriseert, dan is het zonder twijfel subtiliteit. Piipsjiling kan zich met Wurdskrieme, de eerste release die onder deze bandnaam uitgebracht wordt, meten met het betere drone- en ambientwerk dat heden ten dage geproduceerd wordt. En tijdens opener 'Unkrûd' duikt de vergelijking met Julian Cope's bijdrage op Sunn O)))'s White1 op.
Vital Weekly
If you are in Tokyo right now, this week, then you can catch Piiptsjilling live and when I first heard about that, I was amazed. This quartet, with Romke Kleefstra, Rutger Zuydervelt and Mariska Baars on guitars and Jan Kleefstra delivering poetry in the Frysk language (which to us Dutch is like from another country) seems like an odd thing to bring to stages in Tokyo. Friesland, a part of The Netherlands, has their own language and even here it sounds strange. I couldn't say what Kleefstra's poetry is about (although I could guess sometimes), but 'moody' is certainly a word that springs to mind. Thank god the cover provides translations in English. You should not think of Piiptsjilling as a continuos reading of poetry, but its 'merely' an instrument that is used every now and then. The way the voice is used recalls the same wide open space as the surroundings in which these words were written and which is used in the music also. Drone like guitar patterns, dreamy wide open guitar music, depicting not a dessert. Its not a road movie. The music is more about green fields up to the horizon, with a lighthouse at the end. The land of Kleefstra I'd say. In the opening 'Unkrûd (Ill Weeds)', Baars (whom we also know as Soccer Committee) adds her voice. A great follow-up to the debut (see Vital Weekly 627), with perhaps not a lot of changes, but with the same expanded textured music. I really wonder what they make of this in Japan.
Savaran Music
Lately i'm detecting a growing movement toward the combination of spoken poetry with ambient or experimental music, particularly amongst the netlabels and creative commons artists distributing free music in these genres on the web. Artists such as Alicia Merz http://soundcloud.com/birdsofpassagemusic Benjamin Dauer and Michelle Seaman (see Pollinators and Recent Works sets) http://soundcloud.com/benjamindauer/sets and Antye Greie (solo and with Laub) http://www.poemproducer.com/haus.php are just a few of the artists I have come across and many more are sure to follow. Happily the mainstream independent labels now seem to be recognising this interesting new cross fertilisation between poetry and music and releases are starting to appear. Piiptsjilling are a quartet from the Netherlands consisting of the brothers Jan and Romke Kleefstra, Mariska Baars (who plays solo as Soccer Committee) and Rutger Zuydervelt (better known as Machinefabriek). Wurdskrieme (meaning “Cry of Words”) is their second album and was recorded in March 2010 during an improvised recording session. The music is distinctly electro-acoustic with Romke Kleefstra and Mariska Baars playing effects laden guitar and Jan Kleefstra performing the poetry readings while Rutger processes and layers the sounds to create a rich mix of shifting drones, textures and deftly mixed electronic noises. On the opening track, Unkrud, Mariska provides vocal tones that blend with the backing drones while Jan's Frisian poetry lends an almost melancholic feel that fits perfectly with the gently pulsing drones, interspersed with electronic static and glitch sounds. The other tracks on the album follow a similar pattern with the short poetry readings generally joining the mix about half way through as if Jan is biding his time to let the music develop to a point where he feels immersed enough to let the words flow into the soundscape that swells around him. The whole concept works brilliantly and although the live recording has been subsequentluy edited and mixed you still feel as though you are listening to a live performance. I hope more artists collaborate in this way and that we get to hear the product of their creative inspiration via the independant labels. This is an exciting new vein to be mined in the ambient and experimental genres and we have barely scratched the surface yet.
Experimedia, one of our favorite record label/distros in the entire universe, has an insane new record up for preorder. ”Wurdskrieme” is the second full album from the Piiptsjilling supergroup, consisting of guitar & poetry duo Jan and Romke Kleefstra as well as Machinefabriek’s Rutger Zuydervelt and Soccer Committee’s Mariska Baars. The music is dark and intense, occasionally interwoven with Jan Kleefstra’s poetry, delivered in the native language of their northern Netherlands province. The LP is pressed on 180 gram vinyl, comes packaged in sleeves and labels with metallic ink, has an edition of 500, includes an instant download, and costs $16. Visit Experimedia.net.
"Piiptsjilling (pronounced "peep-chilling") is a musical project centered around brothers Jan and Romke Kleefstra, Mariska Baars (Soccer Committee) and Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek), from Holland. Wurdskrieme is the quartet's second album, just out on Experimedia. Piiptsjilling's sound is an extension of the ongoing collaboration between the brothers Kleefstra. Jan provides the spoken word poetry and Romke, the accompanying guitar. Baars and Zuydervelt fill out the sound of Wurdskrieme, providing wordless vocals and processed guitar flourishes. Record bins the world over are filled with stacks of collaborative projects by various international heavy hitters of avant-garde music and minimal electronics, many of them live recordings or one-offs. For every blazing session that comes together with a visceral, lightning-in-a-bottle appeal, there are probably four others of middling, overcautious noodling. What sets Piiptsjilling apart from similar projects is that the group plays as a unit, and that the project has an implicit focus — enhancing the appeal of Kleefstra's poetry. From this basic dynamic, Wurdskrieme sucks you into its world, deploying haunting vocal passages alongside minimal dronescapes, difficult-to-finger ambient noise, and electronic skree. On "Wurch ljocht (Tired Light)," Kleefstra's Frisian-language poetry is played off of a deliberately unobtrusive background of electro-acoustic scrapes and casual guitar notes. Frisian is a Germanic language with only half a million speakers worldwide, scattered throughout Germany, Denmark and the rural Dutch province of Friesland (Fryslân) in The Netherlands, which has its own particular dialect. Understanding the words is secondary; the emphasis is on texture, not textual meaning. "Wurch ljocht" is the shortest, and one of the quietest tracks on Wurdskrieme, but it encapsulates the meditative appeal of Piiptsjilling, a modest project that doesn't overplay its hand and rewards the quiet focus of repeated listens." - Max Burke
Piiptsjilling's Wurdskrieme ('cry of words') is quite unlike anything I've heard before. Or maybe I should state more accurately that it takes elements heard before but combines them in an arrestingly novel manner. At its simplest, Piiptsjilling (pronounced 'peep-chilling')—a quartet consisting of siblings Jan and Romke Kleefstra, Mariska Baars, and Rutger Zuydervelt—creates electro-acoustic dronescapes that receive their distinguishing marks from two things in particular: the brooding speaking voice of Jan Kleefstra as he recites poetry (like the band name, in Frisian) over the group's improvised accompaniment, and the tremolo guitars that shudder in counterpoint just as often; that there is such a strong six-string dimension is borne out by the fact that Baars, Zuydervelt, and Romke Kleefstra all play guitar on the album's six tracks. Wurdskrieme, however, is no axe-dueling session; guitars are used to build texture, typically slowly and with great deliberation. Zuydervelt is, of course, a well-known quantity who has established himself solidly with a vast number of Machinefabriek releases, and he contributes not only instrumentally to the album—the sound of his guitar expanded upon using effects and loopers—but mixed and edited it too. Working painstakingly yet intuitively, the four spent two days recording the material in March 2010, and two albums resulted from the sessions (Molkedrippen the other). Wurdskrieme's pieces unfold unhurriedly, meditatively even, with the players creating sparse dronescapes of guitars, field recordings, and ambient noises that the voice eventually joins. If one occasionally wonders how exactly the lyrics translate into one's native tongue, the question ultimately seems moot: the cryptic drawl of Jan's voice is a compelling enough sound all by its lonesome, especially when it's shadowed by the wordless presence of Baars' voice. The shadings that accumulate so naturally as "Ferware” develops attests to the simpatico listening that occurred during the recording session, and the transition from quiet to loud and back again is effected so organically it's hard to imagine it happened without pre-planning (one shouldn't forget that Zuydervelt did edit the material so perhaps some of the music's organization can be attributed to post-production). Wurdskrieme might best be thought of as late-night mood music of a rarified kind.
When I first listened to Piiptsjilling, I didn't know the group consists of Machinefabriek, Jan and Romke Kleefstra as well as Soccer Comitee's Mariska Baars – some of the finest artists in ambient and experimental music the dutch scene has to offer these days. But after a couple of spins it made perfectly sense. The drones drift broodingly in the background, shifting just so slightly in and out of focus forming the perfect backdrop for Jan Kleefstra's dark spoken vocals. Melodic moments are rather rare in those seven tracks. Buried deep under the droning effect pedals and delay laden soundscapes one can sense distant melodic fragments. Like walking through a dense fog in the wee hours of a dark and freezing October morning the tracks meander through silhouette-esque sound textures. The world is still asleep, orange street lamps come into sight, form bizarre formations with other distant lights, disappear into the dark mess. Headlights stumble through the grey, searching their ways. "Wurdskrieme" is a dark but not scary head trip. Due to the Frisian language of Kleefstra's vocals the meaning of the lyrics stay completely opaque adding more to the darkness, to the nonexistent possibility of fully understanding what is going on (at least as long as you don't understand frisian). Wurdskrieme offers a lot more than your average run of the mill ambient/drone experiments. Carefully paced, with silence playing an equally important role as sound, this album is one of the surprises of 2010. Completely out of nowhere, completely unexpected and with a depth and atmosphere that leaves most of the more common releases from this genre far behind..
Als trouwe volger en koper van alles wat Machinefabriek aanraakt, mag deze lp van Piiptsjilling niet in mijn collectie ontbreken. De top van Neêrlands experimentele muziekscene werken hier op geweldige wijze samen. Rutger Zuydervelt, Mariska Baars (Soccer Committee) en de Friese gebroeders Jan en Romke Kleefstra hebben in navolging van het Piiptsjilling debuutalbum opnieuw een fascinerende geluidservaring neergezet. De muziek wordt gevoed door gitaar, drone-elektronica, field recordings en de voordracht van gedichten in Friese taal, die een onheilspellende sfeer oproepen. Het is een spannend samenspel tussen de subtiele aanrakingen van de akoestische snaren aan de ene kant en de opwellende ambient soundscapes aan de andere. Wurdskrieme is duidelijk geen album waar Machinefabriek de boventoon voert, zeker in vergelijking met zijn latere werk. Hiervoor is het geluid bij vlagen te grof en er is alle ruimte voor improvisatie van de andere muzikanten. En dat staat garant voor langdurig luisterplezier.
Piiptsjilling's Wurdskrieme is van een hele andere orde. De muziek is weliswaar elektronisch van aard, maar is tevens erg organisch. Piiptsjilling is het project van een viertal zeer getalenteerde muzikanten en kunstenaars uit verschillende delen van Nederland. Het zijn de Friese broers Jan en Romke Kleefstra die een stempel op het geluid drukken, daar waar de klanken van Rutger Zuydervelt aka Machinefabriek er omheen improviseren. Mariska Baars behoort ook tot collectief, waarin zij met haar stem en gitaar volledig is geïntegreerd. Op electro-akoestische wijze worden dromerige soundscapes gecreëerd, waarin de natuur centraal staat. De gedichten in Friese taal van Jan Kleefstra, somber en schijnbaar misantropisch voorgedragen, versterken dit. De taal geeft Wurdskrieme zeker iets bijzonders mee. Het meeste luisterplezier wordt echter bereikt door muziek en poëzie als geheel te zien, want ze zijn op deze plaat om ingenieuze wijze met elkaar verweven.
On the debut release in 2008, Piiptsjilling was the name of the album performed by Machinefabriek & Jan Kleefstra, together with Romke Kleefstra and Mariska Baars. Following this remarkable debut, the original contributors have kept working together and performing in as well as outside Holland - to growing critical acclaim. Now, Piiptsjilling is used as the name of the band. One might think this kind of spoken word music, spoken in the Frisian language (Friesland is a province in the north of the Netherlands) would be of local interest only. Luckily, the opposite prove to be true: the message of their music came across widely outside Friesland too. The new Piiptsjilling album, called "Wurdskrieme" (Cry of Words) is now released on Experimedia.net. Compared to the original Piiptsjilling album, it's a quite different view of the same concept. Wurdskrieme was recorded in improvisational sessions in March 6/7, 2010. (Other recordings from the same session will soon be released as Molkedrippen on the Spekk label). The improvised sessions were post-processed by Rutger 'Machinefabriek' Zuydervelt (and masterfully mastered by Taylor Deupree), maintaining the live feel but adding a different sonic dimension. It is this fact that results in an extraordinary, unusual feeling of timelessness. Like the earlier releases (Yes: plural, since Wink should also be considered a Piiptsjilling release, although it was recorded as Kleefstra-Bakker-Kleefstra), these tracks have a dreamlike, unhurried feel. This is clear from the beginning of Unkrûd (Ill Weeds), which starts out like an Indian raga with Mariska's vocals over a slow guitar drone. But the 'nocturnal atmospheres' change into quite dark (in Sangerjende Wyn (Lilting Wind)) - and into a downright uneasy, seemingly undirected, improv guitar instrumental (Utsakke Bui). From there, it's back again into dreamy realms. Though they are using elements already existing elsewhere, they manage to create music in a completely new and unique context. While Piiptsjilling stays close to what they started, this "experimental supergroup" clearly is unafraid to stretch borders and to explore new directions. Which they should of course, otherwise they would not be 'experimental'...
Wurdskrieme is the second full length album from experimental supergroup Piiptsjilling, which comprises of Rutger Zuydervelt Mariska Baars and Jan and Romke Kleefstra. Building on their well received 2008 debut release, the quartet have returned with a work even more dense and complex. Though the poetry expressed in Wurdskrieme is spoken in Frisian, a language predominantly found in the north of the Netherlands, the words have a rhythm and timbre which is pleasing to the ear and flatters the beautiful music, at times lending a sombre gravity. In addition to providing the text of the poems in Frisian, there are Dutch and English translations included with the album's packaging. Opening number Unkrud (Ill Weeds) plunges the listener headfirst into an atmosphere thick with ambience. As anticipated when listening to such an impressive ensemble of musicians, each refrain is executed with an effortless precision. Accompanying female harmonies precede the spoken word, which complements the music and seems almost middle eastern in style at times and there is an intangible otherworldliness which is difficult to articulate with mere words. The successive tracks continue in an abstract nature. Ferware (Worn Down) is a standout piece, a perfect example of the high level of cohesion which the quartet manage. Effortless minimal guitar is joined by simple harmonics and poignant spoken word. The quieter swells and subtle notes buried lower in the mix catch the listener's ear. The track takes a slightly sinister tone and moves forward with a higher pace, spoken word carried forwards by melodic distorted guitar harmonics. With its untypical approach to experimental ambient music, Wurdskrieme is a beautiful release which offers something a little different and perhaps a positive of not being able to comprehend the language is that the listener is free to interpret the timbre of the voice into whatever lies in one's own imagination.
2010 has been longing for an album that could bring forth intensity without subjecting itself to the power of volume; something that could present a statement while on the precipice of inaudibility rather than having the concept blare from a decaying speaker system. This hunger has been fulfilled by Netherlands quartet Piiptsjilling, whose sophomore effort Wurdskrieme will, at the very least, satisfy an analytical listener. What Piiptsjilling provide, as well as what sets them apart from contemporaries, is Wurdskrieme's sense of scenery. The scarce, faint whirs and the distending feedback create a cold aura shrouded in room ambiance. To counter the sustained template are trembling guitar phrases, unintelligible samples, and the impalpable textures of noise that follow these additions within every piece. Wurdskrieme showcases a breathtaking separation between gentle and harsh elements. To further intensify the music is Jan Kleefstra's metaphorical poetry, which is delivered in his native Frisian dialect. Kleefstra's voice is delicately pronounced and set at the forefront, not only to serve as an intimate contrast to the cavernous atmosphere of the music, but primarily to draw attention to what is told. The context of the poetry depicts the imagery that the music elicits: "Tired Light"'s airy, floating guitar tones are narrated by a portrayal of being as light as a voice. Kleefstra's phrasing is given vaguely, though fully suits the wandering pace of Wurdskrieme's theme. The title, Wurdskrieme, in English means "Cry of Words," and while Kleefstra may not deliver in the most emotional manner, the sounds that accompany him are what accentuate each word. Ominous flourishes coupled with expressionist storytelling give Wurdskrieme a powerful effect yet to be seen in modern music. Whether it's a nuance within the music or a reinterpretation of the lyrics' imagery, any parsing given will result in a reward.

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