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Soundperformances im öffentlichen Raum – Ein urbaner Soundtrack für Wien. Aus Abformungen von Gehwegen und Straßenbelägen des Wiener Stadtraums stellt Julia Bünnagel Schallplatten aus Beton her. Damit bringt die Kölner Künstlerin in ihrem live DJ-Set (Turntablism) Wiener Architektur zum Klingen. Der Tonarm des Plattenspielers liest die architektonische Textur ab. Die abgegossenen Oberflächen der Straßen, die in die Schallplatten eingeschrieben sind mischen sich während den Performances SOUNDS LIKE…VIENNA mit den Geräuschen der Stadt. – überschwemmen den Platz – ein Architektur-Rave für Wien.






3 Tracks (21′58″)
Vinyl (300 copies)












Sound Art Series by Gruenrekorder
Germany / 2020 / Gruen 198 / LC 09488 / EAN 195081054308





As ever, appearances deceive. A photo on the back cover of Sounds Like…Vienna shows Julia Bünnagel standing behind a DJ-like setup at an outdoors city space, an image that suggests the twelve-inch release could possibly be a dance-related release from Gruenrekorder. But anyone familiar with the experimental imprint knows it would never do something so, well, normal, and sure enough closer inspection reveals that the release is consistent with its other products. Bünnagel, you see, has created a recording that doesn’t merely simulate the sound of the city, it is the city—or at least one representative part of it. For this project, she’s created a record using slabs produced from molds of the city’s sidewalk and streets; consequently, the sounds generated when the turntable’s needle rides the disc’s surface derive, literally, from Vienna’s physical surfaces.


Tucked within the cover sleeve is a four-panel insert whose photos show her generating the impression for a disc from a sidewalk as well as an image seen from above of a slab on the Technics turntable. However provocative it might appear, such a project is business as usual for the Cologne-based sculptor, academic, sound performer, and installation artist, whose CV lists an impressive number of solo and group exhibitions, projects, and publications extending to 1999. She’s also a member of the artist collective Sculptress of Sound, works with the sound art collective Berg/Bünnagel/Lautermann, and performs as a so-called Noise-DJane.


The twenty-two-minute vinyl release (300 copies) presents three untitled tracks. On the A-side, ambient sounds of traffic and people first establish the recording’s outdoor location before the sound field’s engulfed by textures. Thrumming whorls of grainy, rippling noise emerge, with the disc’s revolutions creating rhythms that, through repetition, suggest some tangential connection to underground techno. Smears and tears collide as the material roars with bulldozer-like force, its rumbling hinting at the possibility of detonation. Cross-patterns of distressed noise advance and retreat until the ambient sounds of the intro return to provide a formally satisfying frame. Whereas the opening track on the flip side seethes from the first moment and rarely lets up thereafter, the slightly quieter second swells gradually, its swaying pulse bringing the club music dimension to the forefront. Like many a Gruenrekorder product, Sounds Like…Vienna extends one’s understanding of what qualifies as music when the sounds sourced from Bünnagel’s slabs exhibit a strangely musical quality. One imagines John Cage would thoroughly approve.


Łukasz Komła |
Asfaltowe winyle.
Od razu wyjaśnię, że nie chodzi o płyty winylowe opatrzone stemplem warszawskiej wytwórni Asfalt Records, a zupełnie o coś innego.


Bohaterką tego wpisu jest Julia Bünnagel – niemiecka artystka / performerka dźwiękowa i rzeźbiarka. Jej twórczość koncentruje się zarówno na rzeźbach, dużych instalacjach modułowych, obiektach dźwiękowych, jak i grafice. Inspiruje się często cybernetyką, architekturą, science-fiction, muzyką i teorią percepcji. Bünnagel jest także członkinią kolektywu artystycznego Sculptress of Sound, z którym występował w latach 2011 – 2018, dając spektakularne spektakle dźwiękowe. Od 2017 roku współtworzy soundartowy projekt Frauke Berg / Julia Bünnagel / Anja Lautermann. Solowe sety gra jako Noise-DJane.


Bünnagel zabiera nas do Wiednia, gdzie znajduje się kluczowy budulec dla jej niecodziennych winyli. Tworzy kamienne płyty, kształtując ich powierzchnię w taki sposób, by odwzorowywały strukturę chodników i ulic, jakie można spotkać w stolicy Austrii.


Wydawałoby się, że nie da się ożywić tak martwej tkanki miejskiej, jak choćby nawierzchnia asfaltowa, a jednak turntablistyczne zabiegi Bünnagel obalają to przekonanie, o czym możemy się przekonać słuchając winylowej płyty Sounds Like… Vienna. Co więcej, nawet przyklejenie uszu do chodnika czy użycie stetoskopu do nasłuchiwania betonowej pustki, i tak by nic nie dało. Dopiero odpowiednio skonstruowana igła gramofonu w kontakcie z kamiennym winylem potrafi udzielić głosu tajemniczym formom ukrytym wewnątrz asfaltowych chropowatości. Skostniałe niedoskonałości zostają zamienione w emocjonalną i zarazem szorstką ławicę bulgoczącego szumu, co najlepiej oddaje drugi fragment na stronie B.


Ważnym aspektem tych prac dźwiękowych jest także wykonywanie ich w przestrzeni publicznej Wiednia, dochodzi wówczas z jednej strony do swoistej personifikacji, zaś z drugiej – powstaje symbiotyczna hybryda. Te kwestie obrazują dwa pierwsze fragmenty, w których słyszymy strzępki różnych odgłosów egzystujących gdzieś w otoczeniu.


Sounds Like… Vienna trwa zaledwie 22 minuty, ale to wystarczy, żeby zrobić spore wrażenie i być niezłą zagwozdką dla naszej percepcji słuchowej. Odkodowanie nieistniejącego kodu? Warto się przekonać na własne uszy, co ma do „powiedzenia” martwa (?) uliczna architektura.


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.


The added charm is the sound of traffic, children and other passers-by, exposing just how interested the residents of the city may be in hearing the amplifications of diamond on concrete. This may be an unprecedented level of needle abuse, all for a good cause, although our guess is that Bünnagel is not using brand new needles. Would our Technics 1200s make the same sounds? Do we really want to try? The beauty of listening is sinking into the recording, finding the tempo, just as one acclimates to a new city by immersing one’s self in the culture. If this sounds like Vienna, we might come to the conclusion that Vienna is exciting, creative, and beckoning, just as it is rumbling, vibrating, and unique. The set makes us wonder about other places that might lend themselves well to Bünnagel’s technique: the volcanic rocks of Pompeii, or the famed “concrete jungle” of New York.


We’re also imagining with some amusement the reaction to the artist should she show up at a club gig with this heavy milk crate of slabs. How many people would leave the dance floor? How many would come running? The second number is likely much lower than the first, but wouldn’t they be the crème de la crème? Wouldn’t they be the most attentive, the most curious, the most dedicated, as Bünnagel teases out the sounds lying beneath their feet? A huge thanks to the artist for playing a type of music we’ve never encountered before, despite the fact that we walk on it every day.


Frans de Waard | VITAL WEEKLY
How does a city sound? That is a question that occupies the people at Gruenrekorder, offering many releases that deal with field recordings. This new release is slightly different and wackier take upon the answer to that question. Julia Bünnagel is a DJ from Cologne who uses the surface of a city on a turntable. She casts
surfaces from the pavement and streets and puts these on her turntable and on this 12″ she has three examples of how Vienna sounds. I haven’t been to Vienna since the early ’80s, I think, and I’d love to go back. I don’t think I will put my ear to the ground and listen to the pavement and streets. Not because I know what they sound like after hearing this record, far from it, but because I wouldn’t be surprised if they all sound the same. Noisy that is. If you still have vinyl and you still play them (the second is not always a consequence of the first), then you know what vinyl with a lot of dust sounds like. That’s how this record sounds, and I checked the stylus when I was in doubt. I remember playing the anti-records that RRRecords put out in the late ’80s and using them as ‚musical instruments‘. This record by Bünnagel has a similar feeling except that this codified. The anti-records with their scissor made grooves skipped all over the place, and Bünnagel gives us finished compositions of noise music. Great concept, records looks great too, but how often will this find its way to the turntable?


@ Łukasz Komła favorite albums of 2020 in the world
Podsumowanie roku 2020 – Świat – Łukasz Komła


framework radio | #725
phonography / field recording; contextual and decontextualized sound activity
presented by patrick mcginley