The Rhein Strom - Von Der Rheinquelle Bis Hafen Karlsruhe [Gruenrekorder - 2016]Von Der Rheinquelle Bis Hafen Karlsruhe (Of The Rhine Source To Harbor Karlsruhe for none German speakers) takes us on fascinating field recording journey down one of Europe’s most mighty rivers. Traveling through different season, and stopping off at twenty track one stops along it’s nearing 600 Km length. The Rhein Strom [Rhine River] project brings together respected german field recordist & sound artists Lasse-Marc Riek , & location scout and photographer Thomas M. Siefert.
As you’d expect from the Gruenrekorder label- the packaging is a colourful, well thought-out, visual rewarding. The full colour digi-pak takes in on it’s front cover a photograph from with-in the Rhein’s water looking up into green grass, hills, woodlands & summer blue skies of it’s banks. The inside takes in a close-up picture of the Rhien’s water, and this carries on the disc face too. The release also comes with a fold-out double sided colour inlay, and this features pictures from all along the river showing Lasse-Marc Riek, and general river pictures. As well as line graph following the progression along the river, with each track.
In all we have 21 tracks, and a total album runtime of seventy three minutes. The album opens with the track vorderrheinquelle (front Rhine source); which as it title suggests finds at the waterfall source of the river in wintertime ( according to the picture linked to the line graph). This first track comes in at just over the six minute mark, and is a wonderfully layered & crystal clear recording of rapidly bubbling & rushing water. From here on we move from more distant recordings of the river, with bird song backing. Onto close-up splashing wave recordings, through to lulling trickles & washers. Onto the rushing of the train tracks that run along the river, through to the distant sound of a road & gentle shore washings. Onto the chatter of people as the walk along the rivers mighty banks, through to the crunch of the shoreline. Length wise each track comes in around the one & six minute mark, and as you’d expect with a field recordist of Lasse-Marc Riek calibre, each track is perfectly capture & edited. So you feel like your there, and your mind never wonders, as Lasse knows exactly when to finishing a track to keep you captured by the sounds
One of the questions asked in the linear notes is Would you recognize the Rhine by its sound?, and surprisingly I’d have to say yes to this question. As a few years back we took a weeks river cruise down the Rhine, and I must say quite a few of the sounds here do bring back memories for me. All told this is another very worthy addition to Gruenrekorder Field Recording Series, and well worth checking out if you enjoy more water based field recordings.Roger Batty