Rutger and Stephen sort of accidentally met through e-mail. A simple note regarding an ordering question for a CD led to an enthusiastic e-mail conversation and climaxed in a musical collaboration. This all happened in a very short period, both musicians being very inspired by the concept of “exchange,” as a means to cross space and time -- Rutger living in the Netherlands and Stephen in Virginia.
Most of the time, when (electronic) musicians work together it’s a matter of swapping digital files. In this case they decided to do something different and sent each other a box full of (mostly non-musical, or musically non-functional) objects and recordings, with the “assignment” to make music with those objects and all as source materials. As the titles tell, we’re talking about an egg cutter, thumb piano, a broken kraakle box, rice, chocolate sprinkles, old cassette tapes, a broken 7” record, etcetera, etcetera. Both musicians made two of their own solo tracks with the box they received, and the last track was done together by Rutger adding sounds and processing to a piece started by Stephen. For Rutger/Machinefabriek this is part of his most delicate work. For Stephen, it was a new and extremely enjoyable form of long-distance collaboration.