m¨c website

2004 NEWS

December 29, 2004


• tube'|007 - Ubeboet - Bleak EP

«Bleak EP, by Ubeboet, is one of those kind of releases that lives on lasting relationships and on constant reintegration processes, achieving ‘that’ multidimensionality (big word) typical of the acoustic universe, giving so much freedom to the listener, that he (or she) will diminish or amplify the particular singularities of the sound particles that go in and out of the brain.
This work could be very easily integrated into the art of installationism, although never leaving the ‘soundscape’ genre. A constant struggle to arrive (or at least try to) an ideal of ‘musique concrète’. Holding itself to the capturing of sound landscapes, submitting them to a low-frequency treatment, Ubeboet breathes a comforting ‘less is more’ ambient, (re)created and integrated into unhabited sound habitats, or sometimes directly injected into the overcrowded urban territory. Ubeboet rests in the complex world of the ‘anti-fast listening’, where the perception and the raw and naked power of the music are intimately connected. A not-easy, not-clear and not-resolved world, into which we are forced to submerge and seek for the unknown. Highly recommended.» - Bruno Barros


December 22, 2004


It's that time of year again. We're off to meet the family and eat sugar-saturated stuff and blow up out cholesterol sky high. Well, I guess it could be worse.

Our last release of this year will be ready no later than next wednesday.
Just in time for you to start 2005 with the perfect soundtrack.

Check this space next week for Ubeboet's Bleak EP.
See you then.


December 14, 2004


Next year, on January 14, Phoebus will be opening live for The Dead Texan, former one-half of Indie Drone act Stars of The Lid, from USA, who has released a beautiful homonymous album on Kranky. It will happen by 22h, at the well known spot Galeria Zé dos Bois, located inside Bairro Alto, Lisboa.

The show repeats the next day, but this time at Porto, Teatro Passos Manuel.
(more info on this second date soon...).


December 12, 2004


Found a :Papercutz review at Comfort Music. It reads:

«Gloriously unusual IDM (or "poptronica") from the Portuguese netlabel Test Tube. The artist is :Papercutz, and the tracks feature quirky programming, nice vocals and interesting arrangements. As with anything I describe as "unusual" or "weird", your mileage may vary on this one; it reminded me a bit of The Books, if that helps you place it. (If that doesn't help you place it, why the hell haven't you listened to The Books??). From the 5-song EP Nighttime at the Playground


December 08, 2004


• tube'|006 - Lanolin - Untitled EP

«This is a textural music, filled with abundant and microscopic details which force the listener to a very focused listening. The abstraction level presented herein is constant, an almost complete minimal sound environment.
When in search of a profundity, of a body or even of an organic character, we can conceive Lanolin very close to an Oval(esque), or an a-musik aesthetic. The Cage(an) silence is always present, always absorbing its own vortical emptiness, and the passing by digital computation sounds delivers massive white noise blocks to our brain.
Fact is, should we listen to this work with a low volume setting, we get close to what is widely recognized as ‘ambient music’, but with higher settings the assimilation process is revealed, feeding on itself. Lanolin is a truly rewarding experience.» - Bruno Barros


December 01, 2004


German Magazin für Musik & Netzkultur Phlow, published a review of our latest latest release, tube005.
Unfortunately, no-one here understands the cryptic German language, but with the help of an online translator, Yoda-style, we managed to understand the basic ideas behind the text. It's a very positive review, so, I guess we're happy. :)

Thanks, Phlow.


November 29, 2004


Minor changes to the website, namely:

- Older releases now have their cover thumbnail shown at releases page;
- Rui Gato added to the artists page. Watch out for an early 2005 release;
- We have abandoned the 'details' type link for the releases. You should now click over the release cat. number, tube'|001, tube'|002 and so on.

And that's all for now. Check back next week for tube006.



November 08, 2004


test tube releases are featured for the second time at ACOWO, a Japanese website suggestively subtitled 'Introduction of High Quality Netlabels'. This time, Kengo Miyazaki, ACOWO's webmaster, has chosen our latest, tube005.
It's nice to have friends so far away. Keep it up, Kengo!


November 06, 2004


• tube'|005 - :Papercutz - Nighttime at the Playground

«Behind the alias :Papercutz is Bruno Pinto, a 25 year old computer engineer, who started getting into electronic music in 1999, with a project called Oxygen, together with friend Nuno Maciel. Bruno has been evolving and learning to work with new tools ever since. While Oxygen was clearly electro-pop oriented, on :Papercutz Bruno reveals itself as a pop song composer, where singing takes an important place on this new work, thanks to the voice of Marisa Pinto and Bruno himself.
Impecably produced, the sound ambients on this 5 track EP range from sweet flavored IDM beats to cinematic instrumental piano pieces, giving ocasionally space for some experimentation with static and glitch processing, all wrapped up into a kind of Keyboard Pop, with a catchy and candid feel, and aestetically very appealing.
Nighttime at the Playground could easily be coming from Warp or Morr Music catalogues. Just download it and try not to use 'repeat all' too many times.» - Pedro Leitão


November 05, 2004


There's a very interesting article on The Economist about the future of music and online distribution. 'Oh no, not another one!', you might say. True, but this one is particular insightful, to say the least. Here's a couple of quotes:

«According to an internal study done by one of the majors, between two-thirds and three-quarters of the drop in sales in America had nothing to do with internet piracy. No-one knows how much weight to assign to each of the other explanations: rising physical CD piracy, shrinking retail space, competition from other media, and the quality of the music itself. But creativity doubtless plays an important part.»

Ok, so what's all about that 'witch hunt' they've been pursuing over the last 3 or 4 years? It's like that expression: 'Keep repeating yourself the lie until it becomes the truth'.

«Big firms have always relied on small, independent music firms for much of their research and development. Experimental indies signed Bob Marley, U2, Pink Floyd, Janet Jackson, Elvis Presley and many other hit acts. Major record labels such as CBS Records, to be sure, have signed huge bands. But Osman Eralp, an economist who advises IMPALA, a trade association for independent music companies in Europe, estimates that over 65% of the majors' sales of catalogue albums—music that is at least 18 months old—comes from artists originally signed by independents.»

«In the past, an important part of the majors' R&D strategy was to buy up the independent firms themselves. But after years of falling sales and cost-cutting, the majors have little appetite for acquisitions, and now rely more on their own efforts.»

Ok, does this mean that the Majors will start to pay attention to 'higher quality' independent artists, focusing their investment on creativity rather than popularity? That's a bit hard to believe. I don't see the briefcase suit Executives and A&R's checking the local underground spots and trying to persuade artists into joining their ranks. The same people that underground creative mass loathe and despise. Unlikely. But the future is coming, and it's coming fast!

Next on test tube: tube005 - :Papercutz


October 14, 2004


test tube has an RSS Feed for some time now. We just forgot to tell you.
Link it to your news reader to be updated every time a new release is archive at The Internet Archive. By the way, The Archive has an almost infinite collection of Netlabels. Go on, take a look and a listen.


October 10, 2004


• tube'|004 - Rui Canelas - Holotape vs Micron Dude

«Holotape's slow pacing and cinematic IDM-ish beats, open up this new release from local producer and slotcar racer Rui Canelas. Oh, and subtle voices echoing, opening space for some breakbeats near the end, completes this somewhat industrial, somewhat techno and somewhat chillout track. Holotape evolves slowly, gathering bits and pieces of lost beats and ambiental hiss throughout the journey, but at the same time fooling the listener into thinking that it never comes to an end. And it never comes, in fact, to an end.
Then, D'n'B patterns find their home almost since the beginning of the second and last track of this release, curiously entitled Micron Dude. Again, the voice samples give body to the this instrumental piece, letting the beats flow freely all the time, making it a very good example of a well succeeded ambient approach to IDM. Slotcars, even when stopped, go faster than this.
Remember kids: It's techno flavoured and easy to the eyes.» - Pedro Leitão


October 04, 2004


Elektronikaldia 2004 is set to go, with Phoebus playing Saturday, October 9th, from 19h00 to 20h00. Here's the lineup for that day. Location is Donostia, Basque Country, Spain.

Happy laptopping, Afonso, and Godspeed!


September 26, 2004


We spotted this article on online music deals over at Neowin.net.
It seems the online music business is bumping at its first obstacles. Is there a market big enough for the rising number of online resellers? Probably not.
But i don't hear any complains from iTunes, though.


September 03, 2004


We've just received excellent news from Phoebus:
He's going to play live at Elektronikaldia 2004, an electronic music festival to be held in San Sebastián and Donostia, next month. It will be the 6th edition of the event.

test tube is very very happy for Phoebus.

More info soon.


August 17, 2004


• tube'|003 - Kenneth Kirschner - June 18, 1995 et al.

«New York musician Kenneth Kirschner is known in the scene for his atmospheric electro-acoustic and experimental electronics. He has released with Con-v, Sub Rosa (with Taylor Deupree) and 12k Records truly engaging and excelent works. But this release for test tube leaves the fuzzy electro-acoustics away and gives in to spiraling percussion experimentation.
June 18, 1995 et al. is full of metal-work. Just listen closely and pay attention to all the beautiful details... feel the wood and metal notes articulating together, building up tribal rhythmic structures that appear to go nowhere, leaving the listener behind picking up the pieces and trying to make them fit together.
The apparent cacophony is gently laid on a ambient lo-fi bed, covered with ethereal sci-fi like sound tapestries, reminding us that music is, ultimately, the builder of human dreams. Just let it flow.» - Pedro Leitão


August 09, 2004

Time Out New York magazine latest issue (462), features Pitch Boys's release as Mp3 of the week (page 121), and it reads like this:

«Fans of Bill Laswell's '90s output and Dj Shadow are urged to explore the bedroom electronica and psychedelic-tinged hip-hop instrumentals of Pitch Boys, the nom de digitale of self-taught sound artist Nuno Meneses. Posted in late July by Test Tube, the recently launched net imprint of Portuguese label mono¨cromatica, Random Teleports I offers seven tracks plus elegant front and back cover art, all free of charge. Another worthy download, the Fennesz-like Peri Sable EP, by Phoebus, is also available on the site. - Steve Smith»



July 21, 2004


• tube'|002 - Pitch Boys - Random Teleports I

«Pitch Boys is my good friend and self-taught musician Nuno Meneses, a Portuguese citizen. It was kind of difficult to make a selection for his first release on test tube, because Nuno has many, many hours of really good unreleased material, ranging from dub to hip hop, from cerebral techno to psy-trance, from dark moods to chillout tracks. That's why it will be the first of a series of releases called 'Random Teleports'. It's pretty random stuff.
This first volume explores seven downbeat instrumental tracks, evolving dark hip-hop moods and one or two of more folkish electronics. This is a great mini-LP. You could almost dance a bit while listening. Fresh and groovy.» - Pedro Leitão


July 20, 2004

test tube was news today, at Blitz, portugal's only music weekly newspaper.

Yesterday, Quantum Ducks, a portuguese music blog, posted a very nice review (props César!) of our first release, 'Peri Sable EP', by Phoebus. Go ahead if you understand our local language.


July 15, 2004


I read the other day, on a portuguese music blog, people complaining about this website being written in english. I couldn't agree more, my friends.
I love my language more than most people I know, it just happens that we have more foreign hits and pageviews than local ones. And I want, above all, that these pages are readable by as many people as possible. And building a bilingual website is like building two websites entirely. And since I suck at PHP programming, I'll just stick with the english-only website. Sorry guys.


There's an interesting article about Music Downloads here on Virgin.net.
iTunes, Napster and Bleep are the talk of the day everywhere, but of course, Netlabels are also reffered to.
Check this:

«Whilst the phenomenon of online music downloads may seem completely novel, a teeming network of non-profit record labels have been offering their releases over the Net for years - without charging a penny. Although most represent electronic musicians, many styles of music can be found if you look hard enough. You'll find large catalogues of freely distributable music at Enough Records, Kahvi Collective, Thinner/Autoplate, and Monotonik. Search Soundclick, Vitaminic and IUMA for a wealth of music from unsigned artists the world over.»

Nice :)


July 11, 2004

The nice people at archive.org has given test tube its own archive space.
this is our page there.


July 09, 2004


• tube'|001 - Phoebus - Peri Sable EP

«Phoebus brings us a minimal work of guitar chords repeated in a digital mantra, like small grains of sand falling down the dune portrayed on the cover. He also added some noise and glitch layers to give the music that extra emotional texture.
'Peri Sable' is a very beautiful exercise on repeated patterns. An ambient work along the lines of those of Akira Rabelais, Rafael Toral and other minimalistic guitar players. Highly recommended.» - Pedro Leitão

Go on and grab it.


July 07, 2004


test tube (or '| - apostrophe+pipe - for short) is a Portuguese netlabel, focused on presenting new artists exploring new sounds. Be they electronic or acoustic.

Let's think of test tube as a test tube - literally - for emerging sound languages.

test tube is going to release EPs and LPs on mp3/ogg format, with matching artwork created by our designers. We see information as a whole.
The music released on test tube, remains intellectual property of the artists. It is solely for free distribution, with no intent on financial gain. All works must be credited to the artist: Keep the tags intact.


Although test tube is a sublabel from mono¨cromatica, a physical music label, its releases will always be distributed free. However, that doesn't mean a test tube artist will not, in the future, be subject to a proper m¨c release.
You never know...



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