Version: April 25, 2007

Flo Kaufmann

Rolling beer


Electric engineer and music creator Flo Kaufmann is one of the most original performers of experimental music in Switzerland. He does not drink beer, but he just loves the cans. And so he got the idea to cut recordings into the aluminium surface of those cans, or in his own words:

like all the ethnologist in late 19th century going to foreign countires cutting untouched tribes into edison cylinders. i wanted to do the same.nowadays on well crowded places. asking people for their voice. they can drink the beer. i can keep the recording..what a deal. what an archive....

From a strictly technical point of view, his method is rather unusual, in that he uses cutting heads made for cutting discs, and produces a laterally modulated engraving on the can.

The drive is built from pieces of the first Kingston dubcutter, and he started with an old Audax recording head (as in the image above). Later he changed to a Grampian head, which produced a more dynamic recording. The cutting stylus is a steel nail, hand sharpened. No motor, just a hand crank and whatever rubber belt was available.

Christer Hamp, 2007


Flo Kaufmann recording on a beer can at the Home Made event in Solothurn, August 26, 2006 The cylinder being played back on an unknown contraption, possibly concocted by Kaufmann's colleague Strotter Inst. at the same event

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