Review | By Ed Pinsent / The Sound Projector
Voll.Halb.Langsam.Halt | Gregory Büttner
Steam Metal – Hamburg sound artist Gregory Büttner often surfaces on his own 1000Fussler label, but here he is on Gruenrekorder, the home of artistic field recording releases. Voll. Halb. Langsam. Halt. (Gruen 181) was recorded on an old steamboat that was built in the 1930s and happens to be made completely of metal. Using his contact mics, Büttner has created a “metal” record putting him directly in line with Test Dept, Neubaten, and other industrial acts who recycled metal to produce a robust clang. The difference is that Gregory Büttner’s odyssey – he did in fact make a trip on this old ice-breaker steamboat, crossing the Baltic Sea on it – is subdued, restrained, and textural in nature. We get a strong taste of the “grain” of the metal, often conveyed through semi-mechanical puttering sounds, and probably what we’re hearing there is a distant echo of the coal fired steam engine of this beast. []

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