Gold Lines | Bird & Renoult


Gold Lines | Bird & Renoult
Gruen 216 | Cassette (+ Digital) | Digital > [order]
Cards (+ Digital) | I receive you > here



High-frequency trading (HFT) uses complex algorithms to analyse multiple markets and execute orders. In trading vocabulary a signal is a pattern of data that influences these algorithms, inciting them to buy or sell shares or cancel an order. In this business each microsecond is crucial, so finding the fastest and most direct paths between the main exchanges is essential. To transmit this data faster than a blink of an eye, an almost forgotten and surprisingly fast technology is used, radio waves. Since 2016 we have been mapping these radio routes by finding the pylons, frequencies and relay links that transmit HFT data back and forth, in loops that cover the Earth.
The core material of this edition explores recordings of the Super High Frequency radio waves, signal noise and field recording we have captured at the base of antennas between Chicago and New York, London and Frankfurt between 2016 and 2020. (B&R)





A2 GOLD RUSH (1:55) | MP3
A3 THE GOLD LINE (10:18)
A4 HOUTEM (5:35) | MP3
total time : 22:01




B1 JUST A BIT (1:55) | MP3
B3 TICK-BY-TICK (3:06) | MP3
total time : 20:41


8 Tracks (42′42″)
Cassette (200 copies)



Equipment : Hackrf one – Mixpre6 – Mixy – NTG3 – s502 – DO21 – Geofón – Wingie v1
Recordings : DinahBird
Editings : DinahBird, Jean-Philippe Renoult
Mixing : Jean-Philippe Renoult
Mastering : Djipi Inc
Graphic & Design : Coraline Janvier & Lea Tortay



Gold Lines is part of the composite project Antenna Gods


Sound Art Series by Gruenrekorder
Germany / 2023 / Gruen 216 / LC 09488





Bless Gruenrekorder’s ever-beating experimental heart. The German company has never strayed from supporting unusual projects, and its latest Soundscape Series releases are quintessential exemplars of the label’s vision. Issued on a gorgeous slab of purple vinyl (a 300-copy edition), Perifaerye is built around soundscape recordings Berliner Jorn Ebner collected in spring 2023 of urban spaces in the Hamburg district of Eidelstedt and is presented as a multi-part work comprising audio, images, and text. The cassette release Gold Lines (200 copies), on the other hand, is the brainchild of Paris-based DinahBird and Jean-Philippe Renoult and presents recordings of Super High Frequency radio waves, signal noise, and field recordings. The material collected by the sound artists between 2016 and 2020 originated from antenna bases from Chicago to New York and London to Frankfurt. Both releases (also available, of course, digitally) are uncompromising in their sound presentation, but they’re also engaging and thought-provoking. […]


Gold Lines is part of the larger project Antenna Gods that Bird and Renoult initiated in 2016 and that maps the routes of high-speed radio waves used in High Frequency Trading (HFT). In such a context, every microsecond is critical and can carry huge financial implications, so obtaining the most direct route between exchanges is imperative. To map those pathways, the collaborators identified the locations of the pylons, frequencies, and relay links that transmit the data around the globe. The Gold Line itself is the nick-name given by Chicago traders to the data transmission route connecting the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).


The cassette sides are titled “Line A” and “Line B” to reference the physical networks the transmission routes use to relay info back and forth. Satellite dishes are placed at tall structures such as buildings, water towers, and out-of-service radio antennas so that unobstructed “lines of sight” can be established between dishes. As any obstruction may cause interference or the blocking of a signal, tall towers are ideal for dish placement. The material itself, eight tracks totaling forty-three minutes, is electroacoustic in nature and, much like Perifaerye, could be classified “sonic geography.”


In “Line of Sight,” a male speaker explains what the title term means alongside roaring static and industrial whirrs. Also reminding us of the part humans play, “Just a Bit” is dominated by the aggressive pitches of a stock trader. Representative of the release’s sound design is “Gold Rush,” which includes ghostly drones, wailing sirens, and smears sequenced into a shuffle-like rhythm. Other tracks are dotted with windswept rumbles, vaporous static, and billowing ripples of noise. Shorter pieces frame a long one at the centre of each cassette side, the eight-minute crackle and buzz of “The Gold Line” on A and the fifteen-minute “High Frequency Feedback” on B. Whereas the collage design of the former sees voice samples, ghostly drones, and clatter worked into its presentation, the oft-meditative latter presents a polyphonic array of high-pitched electrical tones suggestive of signals traveling along transmission routes. Imagine Kraftwerk’s Radioactivity stripped of musical numbers and re-presented as a release featuring its abstract sound collages only and you’ll have some sense of the zone Bird and Renoult are operating within, even if their project takes the concept to a further extreme.


Rigobert Dittmann | Bad Alchemy Magazin (122)
BIRD & RENOULT, das sind DinahBird und Jean-Philippe Renoult, sie Jg. 1975 und aus London, er Jg. 1967 und aus Paris. Dort ma­chen sie zusammen konzeptionelle Klang­kunst, die um Fragen der Diffusion, Transmis­sion und der Erinnerung kreist, mit dem Oh­renmerk auf Radiowellen, Taperecorder, An­tennen, Transistoren, Ghettoblaster und Un­terseekabel. Protagonist von Gold Lines (Gruen 216/23, MC + Digital) ist einerseits die algorithmische Mikrowellenverbindung zwi­schen der New York Stock Exchange und der Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Und die Ver­bindung zwischen den Londoner und Frankfurter Börsen quer durch Belgien andererseits. Geprassel und eine technische Beschreibung des Transfers mit dicker Amizunge, rhyth­misches Zucken, als würden Nuggets gesiebt, und eine Feueralarmsirene geben dem Ge­schäft der gold- und profitberauschten Heuschrecken den zwiespältigen Anstrich, den es verdient. You don’t see it, you don’t smell it, You can’t taste it, but it’s there, und über kurz oder lang stinkt es zum Himmel. Mir stellen das Rauschen im Äther, meertiefe Rumoren, geigerzählerhafte Prickeln, schrottige Scheppern, stürmische Flattern den Lauf der Dinge vor Augen: Oben unhörbar, unsichtbar – außer in ihren protzigen Yachten – baden die Uncle Scrooges in ihren Milliarden, unten mehren sich Sintflut, Feuersbrünste, Müllberge, Verwüstung. Das rebellische Aufbegehren dagegen erweist sich bei ‚Just a bit‘ als Ge­schrei eines Auktionators. Dazs Ganze spielt sich hinter einem rauschenden, pulsenden, pfeifend bebenden, hochfrequent flimmernden und brummigen Schleier ab, vor dem man Lotto-Könige und Quizz-Millionäre gaukeln lässt, statt – ja was? An die Laternen? Und zwar, das grollende, klirrende, wummernde, tockende ‚Tick-by-tick‘ fordert es unverblümt, Zecke für Zecke? [BA 122 rbd]


Frans de Waard | VITAL WEEKLY
Here are two musicias from France, DinahBird (no space apparently) and Jean-Philippe Renoult, with a strong interest in radio sounds. „Their work includes sound pieces, installations, broadcasts, performances and publications and is often inspired by early transmission technologies and archives. Their current interests include, electromagnetic hums, old weather, loops, drones, and high frequency trading.“ This new cassette deals with the fact that (again, apparently), radio transmissions are used in stock trading. Of the utmost importantce is speed, and radio provides something that is faster than the Internet. This is called High Frequency Trading, and Bird and Renoult are looking for pylons in the landscape used for this, and they recorded the pieces on the cassette ins-yu. One is a line from Frankfurt to London, and the other from New Yourk to Chicago, give or take. Sometimes a voice explains what’s going on, but it’s mostly music. I would have liked the music, even without the backstory, which I find an interestiing addition. Somewhere between a soundcape created with buzzes and hums, radio static and electromagnetic currents and proper electronic composing with these sound events we find the pieces (not sure how many there are on this cassette). Maybe there is some processing going on, and the whole thing has a musique concrète-like approach, which I enjoyed very well. Thanks to the occasionally spoken word, there is also a radiophonic component to this music. I understand the need for a release on cassette, but with the delicacy of some of the music here, I wouldn’t mind a CD version of this. Even when the background story isn’t entirely clear, especially what it is they recorded, the music is very enjoyable. Great release, altogether.