KG Augenstern - Circles and cycles (Tentacles in Sicily –scratchin [Gruenrekorder - 2021]Circles and cycles (Tentacles in Sicily– scratching the surface) is an intriguing concept based field recording release ,which depending on your enjoyment of more textured/ noise-based field recordings, is either a rewarding sonic journey, or somewhat of a folly. Here from Germanys, Gruenrekorder is a CD and glossy booklet release, and as we’ve come to expect from the labels it’s another very classy bit of presentation.
KG Augenstern are the German duo of Christiane Prehn and Wolfgang Meyer- they live & work on a ship, and their work sits in audio-visually/ audio-kinetic installation, performance and video side of things. They have been working together since the early 2010s, and this is the duos second release on Gruenrekorder- with their first been 2016’s Tentacles(also a CD/ book set) which featured bridge based field recordings made on rivers & canals between Berlin and North-East France. For this new release the pair have selected several abounded sites near Sicily- and in each, they make a recording of their tentacle( a thin metal pole).
The release comes in the form of a sixty-page booklet- this is glossy & around the size of a seven-inch vinyl sleeve- with the CD sits neatly at the back of the book in a card slip. The booklet features a write-up/description of the concept of the release, a good selection of location pictures- both in black & white and colour, and a description of each location.
In all the CD features eleven tracks and thirty-seven minutes of sound. As you’d might expect, there is not a huge difference with the main sounds on each track here- we get a series of scraps, drags & rattles. But within a few plays, you start to both notice the very different background ambience of each location, and the subtle different textures & patterns created by the tentacle-these move from rapid scribbles, pole like reverberation, chalky slides, busy judders, or almost improv like fidgets.
After initially feeling somewhat underwhelmed by this release, I must say that Circles and cycles very much grew on me- and now I’m rather taken by its blend of scrap & low key location ambience. And I’d say if you enjoy where light field recording and subtle textured noise meets you will find worth & enjoyment here.