Review | By Richard Allen / a closer listen
I’ve fallen in love with this performance video. Many people make field recordings, but few cut out circles of concrete and play them like records. And then even fewer go out in public to share what they’ve done. To our knowledge, there’s only one, which makes Julia Bünnagel a true original. Does Sounds Like … Vienna sound like Vienna? That’s a trick question. The records literally are Vienna, so from this angle yes, the record of records one receives in the mail (to save on postage, these are made of vinyl) does sound like Vienna. The counter-point is that one should not expect the city to sound like this when one visits for the first time, unless one is fortunate enough to see the artist set up on the street outside one’s hotel. But listen deeper and one might hear the real sound of Vienna, delivered in sonic metaphor, a mesmerizing blend of repetitions and jutting angles, both rhythmic and offbeat, soothing and off-putting, until it clicks and one exclaims, “Oh, Vienna!” in a tone that may or may not echo Ultravox. []