The two lengthy pieces that make up this short collaboration between American musician Aaron Martin, here playing, unsurprisingly, cello, and Dutch performer Rutger Zuydervelt, better known under his Machinefabriek guise for his many creative and darkly experimental electronic compositions, make for perfect mood music on an unsettled late night. The basics of each track are the same -- Martin recorded various cello parts (as well as, according to the album credits, "watersounds") and gave the results to Machinefabriek, who twists and turns them accordingly. Given Machinefabriek's embrace of more ominous sounds to start with, the end result arguably skews more toward his style than Martin's, but enough of the cellist's original work goes through the darker drones to result in a careful and captivating symbiosis. "Cello Recycling" is the first track, as the album title indicates, and its slow rising swell of stretched-out, vast-sounding drone feels like a supernova shock wave moving out constantly into space, almost more felt than heard. The deliberate cascades that follow bit by bit in its wake extend the chill, with the fragments of Martin's performance that are untouched feeling like flecks of gentle balm in comparison. "Cello Drowning," the name aside, actually begins with an aggressive spike of metallic electronic noise, screeching and peaking in a slow rhythm, while the aforementioned sound of water starts appearing soon afterwards as another low swell starts to emerge from low in the mix. That said, this turns out to be a slightly lighter piece than the first, with more breaks between the expected drone segments and more soothing, evanescent rhythms that suggest prime This Mortal Coil in a more delicate vein. Everything carefully blends into everything else as the song progresses, resulting in a final soothing loop.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett