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Willem Sannen - Brussel Noord [Gruen Digital/Gruenrekorder - 2016]

Brussel Noord is a field recording album presenting sounds from the North District of Brussels. The area is dominated by a large train station, commuters and office towers. The album captures the soundscape of this place in five movements over 24 minutes.

Opening with “Apartment” we hear muffled sounds escalating to a cacophony as someone enters the world after their slumber and begins their day. “Commuters” follows this with morning routine and then into the hubbub of the journey to work.

The latter 3 pieces of this release seem to explore the distance and disconnection of the city. You are part of it, but not in an intimate way. There’s less space around you, but with that comes a larger feeling of being alone. The sounds of the familiar become the sounds of the unfamiliar and are drawn out over a period to make them almost eerie to hear.

Exploring the goings on, movement of people into their industry across 5 pieces, Willem Sannen explores a cityscape in wondrous detail. This album is a beautiful document of urban living. Showing the area of a city Willem knows well to full impact. You are immersed fully in the sounds of the locality. The subtlety and definition in the recordings make you feel there; a part of, and apart from, the city.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Adam Skyes
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