Boomkat Product Review:
Soundwalk Collective get under the skin of Berlin techno temple Berghain and give expression to the vast old power station’s internal vibrations via contact mic’s and modified Baschet instruments.
A conceptual sibling of sorts to Ostgut Ton’s (Berghain’s in house label) ‘Fünf’ set - a compilation of tracks by club residents made from location recordings inside the club - Soundwalk Collective ‘Oscillation’ takes that idea one step further by really getting their nose and ear to the metal, glass and concrete surfaces of the vast main space and its warren of tunnels and dark rooms.
147 contact sensors made recordings of sounds from the space over the course of multiple club-nights, which the collective then used as stimulus for a range of instruments built by Atelier Baschet - the modern iteration of the Baschet Brothers and their fantastique music making creations. The results were originally presented as part of the exhibition Electro: from Kraftwerk to Daft Punk, at Philharmonie de Paris between April 9 - August 11, 2019, and are now available for everyone outside Paris to get a sniff of Berghain’s musky spirit.
Essentially this is the sound that Berghain makes when nobody is listening, giving voice to the visceral vibrations locked in its unforgiving structure, and making audible an accretion of a billion kick drums, synth stabs, pummels, spanks and gurned-up chats in the form of floating tones and eerie, keening dissonance. To be fair you’d get a much better flavour of the space by just checking Shed’s ‘Boom Room’, but that would be wilfully missing the point of Soundwalk Collective’s sound art.