Kg Augenstern - Tentacles [Gruenrekoder - 2016]Tentacles brings together a selection of bridge based field recordings made on rivers & canals between Berlin and North-East France. The release comes in the form CD, and 44 page colour booklet from respected German field recording/ sound-art label Gruenrekoder.
The release charts a series of journeys made between July 2014 & November 2014 on the MS Anuschka traveling from France & Germany. As the crew of sound-recordists went under different bridges, they used special installed metal tentacles to capture the sound profile of each structure they passed under it, as well as its surrounding sound environment. In all the disc takes in eight different recordings of these sonic profiles, and two shorter tracks from the resulting art installation connected to the project- with each track lasting between one minute forty & nearing thirteen minutes.
As you’d imagine a fair bit of the release sonic terrority relies on all manner of scarpings, dragging, and rubbing textures. With a back drop of radio chatter, wind, various human & animal sounds, the water, distant roads, etc. Each location has its own sonic identity, though I did find a lot of the central elements captured by the tentacles are fairly similar.
There’s little doubt that Gruenrekoder have done another Stella job on the packaging of the release- with colour pictures though-out showing snaps from the journey the boat took, as well as text detailing the project. And the idea of recording the sonic shapes of bridges or structures is fairly original & distinctive. But sadly I’m afraid to say on the whole the recordings themselves are rather samey, with not enough contrast between each to make Tentacles a wholly rewarding & captivating field recording release. Roger Batty