Construction Sonor
Compilation, DCD

A quite unusual concept-album, curated by Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and literally dedicated to the underground: it's a sonic homage to the railway tunnel that's currently being drilled through the Swiss alps to link the Northern and Southern parts of Europe's rail network.

All of the musicians that have contributed to "Construction Sonor" had to cope with the same task: to create a musical tune or sound collage out of the same source material, in this case in-situ-recordings by Swiss experimental musician Bernd Schurer.

Now what have these musicians (most of them Swiss and poised towards the electronic side of sound production) done to the original sounds? Very easy to judge, for the source material (mainly noise you'd hear at any building site) is included on CD 1 of this double-CD-package.

The stylistic bandwidth of the 13 musical pieces on CD 2 is quite amazing: eerie soundscapes, fierce noise loops, free form sound clusters, and even tunes with a touch of pop music (sans vocals, though). If I had to choose my favourite, I'd go for the dark and atmospheric "Lightosphere" by Yello-mastermind Boris Blank, the almost jazzy "Fierabig" by Drumpet (featuring brass lines you'd expect on an old James Bond soundtrack), the spooky sound collage "n68" by Fennesz, or the strange and aptly-titled "Drift" by Monolake.

That said, all of the tracks match a high standard composition- or improvisation-wise. So "Construction Sonor" may not only be the perfect soundtrack for train-tunnel-spotters, but for connaisseurs of fine electronic music, too.

(rh 03/MMIV)

Label: Pro Helvetia/Rec Rec
>> Rec Rec Website

The perfect soundtrack for train-tunnel-spotters?