The main station is always good value – anywhere with that volume of people travelling in and out of the city is a worthwhile destination for field recording, if you can safely avoid the well-worn tracks of cliche around them. We paid a visit as part of our metro journey into the city centre to experience central Hamburg by night. Here’s a fairly standard train station recording – a huge, reverby space in which the high pitch of the train wheels is extremely piercing. It’s punctuated, though, by a security guard asking me what I’m doing with a recording device in his station – one of the perils of field recording in a world paranoid about terrorist attacks is that recording devices sometimes look a bit dodgy to the untrained eye. So here I had to cut the recording while I had a conversation with him in pidgin German about how it was just for recording, then record again and splice the two together to ‘remove myself’ from the recording.
The station was taken on by Andy Lyon (AKA Andrulian), who – unusually – did two remixes of the same sound almost by accident, as he explains:
Memory version (Andrulian’s one big rush remix):
“This was a sample that I thought would be interesting to use because of the differences in tonal qualities from the Stadthausbrucke one [that I did earlier]. Funnily enough this remix happened by accident. I was experimenting with Loomer Cumulus to learn how to use it and used the introduction from the train station sample. This created an interesting loop to which I added a bassline to and that’s the basis of the song.
“It’s the experience of being in an unfamiliar train station, in a hurry trying to listen to announcements, hearing the drone of conversations all around you and trying to avoid walking into people trying to find your platfrom to make your connection.”
Memory version (Andrulian’s patiently waiting remix):
“This is a totally different perspective on the train station experience, one of those rare occasions where you’re not in so much of a rush and have time to observe what is going on around you.”