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As evidenced by last month's Chaos Echoes & Mats Gustafsson album, the nature of the collaboration is fickle. The inputs could be vastly different, or even closely related; the output, at least in an interesting collaboration, is a statistical anomaly. Take David Sylvian and Holger Czukay's fused work -- the famed, reclusive pop frontman and the krautrock luminary's joined forces manifested in a beautiful, hushed drone, music for meditation and introspection. There are the meeting of minds which result via expectation, like a band colluding with another band of the same style and making a record which sounds familiar, which is fine. There is nothing wrong with expectation and keeping within comfort zone, but at this point, the most interesting collaborations result in something new and unexpected.

Consider DNMF, or the joint efforts of Dutch artists Dead Neanderthals and Machinefabriek. One, the blasting kings of the New Wave of Dutch Heavy Jazz, the other, the long standing master of obscure, textured drone. These two entrants from the furthest reaches of the music spectrum are no strangers to the world of collaboration before, further clarifying their own identities while navigating the various realms of musical ephemera. Together, Dead Neanderthals and Machinefabriek follow a dark path.

Smelter, the DNMF collaboration's second album, continues in the unexpectedly heavy, droning style found on their eponymous debut. Following in the footsteps of fellow droning, minimal metal bands, DNMF revels in the decay and distance of resonant, high-volume, long-form sound. This kind of slow, momentumless lurching could be expected of Machinefabriek (if maybe just at a low volume), but the real surprise here is how precise and heavy the usually spastic and brutal Dead Neanderthals can be. Even with the superficial sound connection to one composing element, the blaring, digital lurch of Smelter's no-wave-esque drone metal seems entirely separate from any of the three musicians active here. Adventuring into new territory can be terrifying and is a great source of dread for many, but the hypnotic, glacial sounds of DNMF's newest effort sings praises for testing one's own creative boundaries.

Smelter will be released Friday, April 30th, on CD, LP, cassette, and digital formats by Moving Furniture Records and Tartarus Records. Listen to all forty minutes of the Smelter album below.

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Follow Dead Neanderthals on Facebook and Bandcamp
Follow Machinefabriek on Facebook and Bandcamp.

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