Ed Davenport & Mischa Leinkauf
In the summer of 2021, as part of the multi-piece audio project ‘Sonic City’, Ed Davenport and Mischa Leinkauf explored an underground level of urban space for their auditory extension of the ordering system we call ‘City’. In Berlin‘s Humboldthain park, not far from the massive over-and-underground bunker, they developed a remote-controlled audio system that, hidden in the depths of a manhole, opened up a technoid space of possibility and imagination for random passers-by.
From that public sphere practice, ‘Re:Bunker’ emerged and describes in abstract parts the chronology of the Berlin bunkers, from its concrete foundations and underground systems, to the huge derelict overground architecture which now transmit a certain beton-brut aesthetic, closely aligned to the resonant illegal locations used for early techno raves.
Re-appropriated concrete structures are the sound carriers of a now 30+ year-old social sonic movement. The soundtrack tracks the bunker’s pre-war construction, to the later (failed) demolition and subsequent neglect. After the fall of the Wall, 90s rave culture took over abandoned and derelict spaces, celebrating Berlin’s unification, and giving a home to thrilling new forms of expression.
Re:Bunker combines field recordings captured on building sites and construction projects in and around the Humboldthain park. These raw materials were then processed and embellished with the tools and instruments of the techno-electronic musical language: filters, equalizers, frequency shifters, lfos, saturators and perhaps most importantly, sequencers, loopers and delay units. Stacking, layering, giving structure, then tearing those structures apart.
The narrative created with these tools draws parallels to the dramatic ebb and flow of the bunker‘s timeline. Mechanical power tools spin, resonate and transmit noises of their own, gyrating and vibrating the users limbs and the bones in their ears. Concrete fuses ancient water, sand and rock with the modern man-made binding agent cement to create a hard wearing structure to house a million happenings. Footsteps on reinforced concrete floors boom and echo through the structures, vibrating to nearby passing freight trains, or the insistent kinetic throb of Berlin’s electronic music scene.
Ed Davenport & Mischa Leinkauf, Re:Bunker, 2022, 12 inch Dubplate, Edition of 30 + 3AP ‘s