Gregory Büttner ‘Voll.Halb.Langsam.Halt‘
CD, edition of 300 copies, 6 panels digipak or digital
released by Gruenrekorder, 2018

1 Track (35'35'')

„Voll.Halb.Langsam.Halt“ is based on contact mic recordings, which I recorded on an old steamboat, an ice-breaker from the 1930. I had the chance to take a trip on the ship from Rostock to Rügen over the Baltic Sea in 2010. The body of the ship is completely built from metal, so it is a big resonant room which sounds very different on each spot which I put my contact mics on (I used two contact mics, so I could record in stereo). I walked around the ship, placing my mics on different areas of the ship and also directly on parts of the steam engine, which is still fired by coal. For the composition I only used the pure recordings without additional sound manipulations, only juxtapositions, transitions and cuts.

Field Recording Series by Gruenrekorder
Germany / 2018 / Gruen 181 / LC 09488 / GEMA / EAN 4050486130223

all music by Gregory Büttner


The other two releases by Gruenrekorder deal with field recordings of a less organic nature. Gregory Büttner's work in installations, composition and improvisation should be known by now, and here he has a thirty-five minute piece of music entirely build from contact microphone recordings he made on old steamboat, an icebreaker from the 19830s. In 2010 he went over the Ostsee from Rostock to Rügen and spend his time in the bowels of the ship to tape all the rattling of the metal in what was effectively a big resonant room. I am not sure but I would think contact microphones may not capture the actual space, just the vibrating surfaces but no doubt Büttner has better mics than me. He also recorded the steam engine, fired by coal. This piece comes without any processing or manipulation; everything is layered, edited and cut together and has four distinct parts. I was reminded of steamboats earlier this year when I was in Austria after a very long time in the old village I visited as child, and it was said to say that the steamboat on the lake was replaced by regular motorboat. Listening to Büttner's music I reminded of that steamboat, on that lake, somewhere in the early 80s. Like much of Büttner's other work this too deals with vibrating surfaces, metal plates shaking and buzzing, giving it a particularly rhythmic feel. At times I had the impression I was listening to percussion music rather than something taped with contact microphones on a steamboat; especially the last seven or so minutes were particular good in that something sounds like something entirely different. Nothing sounds very mechanical here, which I guess I liked quite a bit. Mechanically made yet sounding quite organic, a most lovely result. Büttner has a pair of great ears to choose sounds that work together very well; sometimes as opposites, whole at other times blending perfectly together. An excellent journey!

Frans de Waard,

“Voll.Halb.Langsam.Halt” shows off Gregory Büttner’s uncanny ability to create aural universes that teem with unease. Throughout the album Gregory Büttner delves into noise, industrial, and drone. Much of the piece has an assaultive, take no prisoners approach where everything seemingly comes together in unexpected, bizarre ways. Great details punctuate the whole of the album while everything collides into a unified whole. Every single suite within the grand scope proves to be part of a larger symphony, one that feels quite vital.
Hardly a moment passes, and the piece starts off with anxious little taps. Gradually these elements become magnified with such clarity. Volume is an absolute must for the whole of the piece vibrates with life. By going for such a tact, the way, the song unfurls lends it a particularly gorgeous quality even with the inhuman origins of the original sound. In fact, much of the album commands the listener to pay attention to those elements that so often go unnoticed in the background as white noise. Every single moment the sound grows bigger, wider, with little textures bouncing off each other in unexpected, oftentimes nearly melodic ways. For the final stretch of the whole journey the piece becomes a grand, all-consuming drone. Gone are the origins for it is completely scrubbed clean in a wonderful way.
Gregory Büttner proves to be a deft sculptor of sound on the seemingly infinite “Voll.Halb.Langsam.Halt”, a celebration of the natural world as seen through machines.

Aug 22, 2018,