Gregory Büttner | Voll.Halb.Langsam.Halt
Hamburg-based field recordist Gregory Büttner delivers his latest, Voll.Halb.Langsam.Halt, a singular work, an electroacoustic composition based on the stereo sound of two contact mics upon a metallic steamboat, runs for about thirty-six minutes. The recording starts with lots of jittering, growing slightly voluminous in short time. It’s as though Büttner is settled in the engine room with loose old mechanics. However, the shimmies are somewhat engaging, like rickety beats.
IN-SITU AHOY: He’s managed to capture all sorts of unusual gadgets in action, with a dad that was a longshoreman, this grabs my ears by the drums. So many unusual squeeky, roaring percussive elements, mechanical drone and various rotors in action – it’s quite exciting. At times it rotates and churns with a tremendous rumble, a well oiled machine so to speak. It’s a bit of an anti-composition in that, though he breaks these variables into shorter repetitive vignettes, he allows for the unexplored to do their own thing, becoming a witness, yet in some instances, overlapping strange ticking with gaseous emissions.
The hiss grows as loud as a bombastic hive that’s been suddenly disturbed. It’s a tinny racket with the embedded chugging layered and slowly being erased into the mix. Everything is atonally syncopated, but I truly love when he blends two similar gizmos at slightly off-register speeds, causing for a funky sort of delay. It’s fascinating to hear the belly of a boat have such similarities to a steam engine on a train, that’s the power of good ole steam I’d guess. Even stranger the end result makes me think of a prepared upright bass, but there is not an instrument of its sort in sight. What a fascinating capture of industrial rhythm at play. Remarkably hypnotic, it tilts the mind.