Aaron Martin is an American multi-instrumentalist that has released one full-length album to date. Rutger Zuydervelt (aka Machinefabriek) is a super-prolific artist who has put out a slew of limited CDRs and last year had a slew of his work compiled onto a double-CD compilation on the Lampse Records label. Cello Recycling / Cello Drowing is a mini-album (or EPs) worth of collaborative work between the duo, and it plumbs the same deep and dark depths that a lot of the work released on the Type Records label has in the past year (think Xela or Deaf Center).
A lot of artists have created music based around nothing more than the sound of a cello. Several years ago, Marvin Ayres put out a couple releases (Cellosphere and Neptune) that were comprised completely from a cello, and it's long been a sound source for drone and ambient music. With that in mind, the two pieces that Martin and Zuydervelt have conceived are definitely on the darker end of the spectrum. In fact, the closest musical companion that comes to mind when listening to their work is Deathprod, especially during the first ten minute section "Cello Recycling," which pumps deep moans of drone under a crackling top layer and some tectonic mid-range morphing tones that are absolutely haunting. Everything moves in slow-motion, like a structure disintegrating into the ground on time-lapse film, and it's as if Godspeed You Black Emperor is stuck in slow motion, blurred through some sort of hazy glass that slowly crackles into pieces over time.
"Cello Drowning" isn't much more hopeful, and takes most of the same sound sources and combines them with some watery sounds that make it feel like you're sitting in the bottom of an abandoned missile silo listening to overhead noises slowly filter through the huge space while it slowly fills with water. There's nary a hint of light that seeps through, but that's probably as the two wanted it. With two tracks running just over twenty minutes, this is a short release that will get into your head if played at suitable volumes. As with most drone/ambient music, you often get out of it what you put into it, and it only accentuates a foul or generally gloomy mood. It's certainly enveloping enough to hope that this isn't the only thing they decide to release together.