m¨c website

2010 NEWS

December 16, 2010


tube'|224 - Hip Nothings - Zeroparty

«Back in 2008, englishman Tom Carter paired up with north-american Blake Rhein and wrote half a dozen songs that were to be Hip Nothings's first and ever release, 'Zeroparty'. Finally, almost three years later, here it is: A collection of six songs heavilly based on nineties' sounding Korg keyboards and other vintage synths, and of course relying on Carter's excellent singing capabilities.
'Zeroparty' is a bit of a nostalgia inducing release. It reminds me of a lot of stuff that was coming out ok UK in the late 80's/early 90's. It has also a lot of the same vibe similarities with earlier solo Tom Carter releases as March Rosetta
- Pedro Leitão


November 27, 2010


tube'|223 - Dead Clown Society - Liquidity

«Lee Tallon is a musician from Essex, UK and 'Liquidity' is - according to him - inspired by test tube's own rich catalogue, of which Lee has been listening to since the beginning. We felt overwhelmed by the sincere dedication Lee has put into this EP and also his wish to credit it to our own catalogue's own inspirational power. Thanks Lee! Great that you love what we release!

'Liquidity' is built like a stream of consciousness. The artist started with a sound, a sample, and built the audio structure of the tracks from there. Some may go towards the drone, but others definitely go towards the ambient.
All in all, a very nice release to get to know Lee's music.» - Pedro Leitão


November 08, 2010


tube'|222 - Rui Gato & Hiraku Suzuki - Beam Drop

«The Beam Drop sculpture is a very powerful experience. This recording is the result of our very short and fast contact with the Beam Drop. Both of us were immediately attracted to the sonic dimension of this work, during the visit to the Inhotim Centre. We found the sculpture at different moments in the first day, and agreed to go back the next day and try to get some music out of it, and record it. We did it in one continuous take, due to time limitations of the visit (everybody was waiting for us to get back to the bus), and we are glad it was so.
It is presented to you unedited, only with 7 divisions that seem logic and natural to us when listening.» - Rui Gato & Hiraku Suzuki


October 31, 2010


tube'|221 - Lee Rosevere - The Vela Companion (Light Years Book II)

«Canadian musician Lee Rosevere returns to test tube after a long - nearly three years - hiatus. 'The Vela Companion (Light Years Book II)' is the conceptual follow up to his previous release 'Light Years'.
Assuming that the previous three pieces on 'Light Years' were 'Chapters One to Three', the current release picks up at 'Chapter Four - An Actual Infinite' and goes from there on. Enjoy the same space-epic nostalgia of Lee's experimental ambient compositions as before, sounds that send spikes through your spine cord while you close your eyes and imagine a one-way trip to the boundaries of our galaxy, and beyond, in glorious 'star trek style'. It's also amazing how Lee sculpts the raw drone and turns it into a round-shaped and smooth sound artifact, a totally desirable and soothing artifact (Chapter Seven - Re-entry).

Lee also draws the mysterious and the obscure with his design ambient, like in 'Chapter Six - Haumea', one of his most accomplished (although short) pieces, where the urge to discover and explore the cosmos is just palpable, almost visible in every direction your attention is focused.
There's plenty of different moods throughout each piece, a genuine proof that Lee is a well experienced ambient composer. He should be writing independent sci-fi film scores by now... it's amazing how much talent is lying around here.

Keep it up, Lee!» - Pedro Leitão


October 17, 2010


tube'|220 - Subterminal - Bitstreams

«'Bitstreams' is a very interesting album, as it crosses references between several languages and aesthetics: Some of the most obscure industrial music from the nineties, modern electronic music based in experimental sounds and drones, and contemporary jazz and modern classical and similar languages. Leonardo Rosado a.k.a. Subterminal, the man in charge of everything is also behind the very recommendable label Feedback Loop.
In 'Bitstreams', Leonardo uses his own voice as a connection agent between all the tracks. In singing or spoken word style, his words and poems work as the humanizing link in an otherwise dehumanized and synthetic music universe. Most of the times 'Bitstreams' remind me of a work I really like: 'A Lake of Teardrops', a one time collaboration between Spectrum's Pete Kember and Silver Apples' Simeon Coxe III.

Curiously, 'Bitstreams's track titles appear to form some kind of a sad love poem, which can be a clue as to what's behind the concept of the album... or not.

With you,
We are no more without each other.
Simultaneaously I float,
Filled with light.
Embracing you for the first time,
For the last time.

This is my interpretation of the tracks' titles, but I'm sure there can be others.

I highly recommend this album.» - Pedro Leitão


October 07, 2010


tube'|219 - Beverlin Draper Glenn - Rogues

"Rogues" is a freely improvised performance by Bryce Beverlin II (percussion, voice), Elizabeth Draper (contra bass), and Timothy Glenn (electronics, laptop) at the iQuit music series on January 15 2006 at the Rogue Buddha. The free improvisation community in Minneapolis, Minnesota is thriving with a solid base of quality performers and enthusiasts. Several regular performance series have been exploring experimental sonic palettes and journeys within a free context for over 4 decades. Milo Fine's ensembles have been active since the 1960s, while more recent series such as the Tuesday Night and iQuit series have been regularly scheduled for nearly a decade.

Bryce Beverlin II is a multidisciplinary artist residing in Minneapolis where he explores various forms of art, most notably free improvisational percussion music. He runs Insides Music and performs in various ensembles in the Twin Cities such as Squid Fist, Scaphe, Swine Wave, and ICE VOLT.
Liz Draper lives in Minneapolis where she plays bass and music.
Tim Glenn is a Minneapolis musician who can be heard with Squid Fist, HeatdeatH, Celestiial, and in collaborations like this one.» - Bryce Beverlin II


September 25, 2010


tube'|218 - He Ping De Yong Shi - Anguksa

«Anguksa is a buddhist temple located in North Korea.
Anguksa is also a short album by musician Miguel Gonçalves that tries to be his very own and very personal interpretation of 'buddhism' as a religious and mystic culture to which the artist feels very connected to, without being a follower of any kind.
Anguksa is filled with mantras, chants and drones of various types (sound based and voice based), and it is an attempt to resample/rebuild the artists' own vision of buddhism, one that is related and influenced by the most remote and obscure kind of this culture. Miguel took examples from several variations of buddhism to build this work, mainly North Korea, Sri Lanka and Nepal's.
Highly meditative/numbing-inducing work. Please don't listen while driving or operating heavy machinery. You have been warned.

All seven tracks are named after the seven gods of fortune, according to japanese mithology.» - Pedro Leitão


September 05, 2010


tube'|217 - David Fungi - Lost Lands

«Italian musician David Fungi returns to test tube with an old and curious recording. 'Lost Lands' was recorded nearly 10 years ago in an unusual place for doing so: a cave. Valganna, in Italy, has a series of caves well known for its acoustics, but David chose to record there not only because of that but also because a cave is a mystical an mythological place, believed to be a passage to unknown words, or unknown universes... Jules Verne, the science fiction pioneer, dreamed of it and wrote about it.

Essentially, 'Lost Lands' is an experimental piece which travels between a handful of different 'ambiances', from drone to calm and meditative based sequences, and near its end you can even feel a short sprout of soft clicks and cuts. This an excellent piece of great experimental music.» - Pedro Leitão


August 19, 2010


tube'|216 - Heu{s-k}ach - Un

«d'incise, our usual suspect when it comes to freejazz, teamed up with Marcel Chagrin (guitar, bass drum) and the Heu{s-k}ach project was born. This is ultimately a live only project, so all the recordings you'll find here were taken from live gigs. And believe me, you can never be so minimal as this. Effects and guitar effects. Nothing more.

'Un' marks a new direction for d'incise's musical projects. Freejazz as the starting point but with total experimentation as the language underneath. You can never have too many layers of sound, I guess. Absolutely awesome if you're into experimental freejazz and beyond.

More info about the project here.» - Pedro Leitão


August 08, 2010


tube'|215 - Minimal States - Interiors

«The final album of the trilogy, ‘Interiors’, leaves the material world altogether, and is concerned only with the internal spiritual paths of the mind. The journey is now one of thought alone, not physical travel or the concerns of status, material wealth or influence. The complex balance of sounds includes many custom-made effects, and the sampling of the static from a record-player that has long finished playing music.» - Thom Carter

«And so the trilogy has come to an end. 'Interiors' sees Thomas working his way out of more identifiable musical patterns, like syncopated beats and even guitars, making this last album perhaps the most accessible of all three. 'Structures' is so imbued in pop music languages that could easily be played on the radio or at some bar or nightclub. Solid work here.» - Pedro Leitão

Get the first two albums of the trilogy here and here.


July 26, 2010


tube'|214 - Philip Croaton - Easy

«Our russian ambient master Philip Croaton returns home, this time with a reissue of a 2008 CDR-only (and very, very limited) release called 'Easy'.
Once again, he worked with long-time collaborator Ilia Belorukov on saxophone but also with Maxim V. Komov on guitar and Tatiana Komova on spoken word.

'Easy' is a deep ambient masterpiece, with heavily melancholic and sometimes dark soundscapes. Sci-fi soundtracks also come to mind when listening to 'Abandoned', specifically Cliff Martinez's 'Solaris' work - curiously or maybe not, this film is a remake of a 1972's original, by Andrei Tarkovsky, famed russian filmmaker. Another film that comes to mind is 'Stalker' (1979), also from Tarkovsky, but in this case is the ambient of the narrative itself that Croaton's music evokes, post-apocalyptic and abandoned facilities, near damaged nuclear plants and the like. 'Stalker' also inspired a video-game franchise with the same name (also russian made) in which 'Easy' would fit like a glove as soundtrack.
'Abandoned' is easily the best and most accomplished track by Croaton on this release, a true ambient masterpiece, simple, dense and deeply nostalgic.

The production design and mastering is also of note. Every single bit of 'Easy' sounds as if it was processed using very old, very vintage synthesizers and devices, giviing it all a sense of russian analogue production. You imagine rooms filled with wall-heigh electronic machinery working to produce all the sounds you hear.
Awesome work!» - Pedro Leitão» - Pedro Leitão


July 18, 2010


tube'|213 - Cryptic Scenery - Low Battery

«Cryptic Scenery exists as a band since 1994, but has undergone many lineup changes since then, and since june 2009 it has been unaltered: Christian H. Sötemann (the project's mentor) on vocals, electronics, percussion, guitar and other sounds; and Thomas Pertzel on saxophone, percussion and other sounds. On this particular work, Christian only plays the guitar and Thomas the saxophone.

'Low Battery' is a collection of ambient pieces, where darkness and nostalgia roam free, leaving space for just a lonely and sad sax to tell his story, almost weeping words, telling tales of lives that are long gone. There's also a distinct sad tone, played by Christian's guitar, that transport us to the past... pretty much 90's signature ambient here. Lovely work.» - Pedro Leitão


July 10, 2010


Dear test tube fans and followers,

It seems likes ages have passed since I last posted here a news item that isn't about a new test tube release... shame on me... but I think I have some pretty good excuses. I didn't even came to issue #21 of the newsletter yet. #20 came out last August - almost a year 'round. Time is a bitch, isn't it?

I don't want this to become an entry of some personal blog, but some explanations are in order. Besides having a 4 year old son to take care of and give some education to - I also spend time with him, playing and doing stuff fathers are supposed to do. Besides that, I was saying, a new kid is coming this way in September, so things are not getting any better than this in the next half-year or so...

I also dedicate a lot of my time to my newest activity: being a bike messenger. Doing this at the age of 36 could well be the object of a case study in male middle age crisis, but hey... the truth is that I feel great doing this at this time in my life. I guess I needed something else too, besides work and the label project (now two labels, with Impulsive Habitat coming to full activity).
I also was getting a bit on the 'heavy' side, thanks to carrying my ass around between sofa and office chairs all day, and since I absolutely hate gyms (and people that use gyms too...) I needed some kind of physical activity out there under the sun that wasn't boring as hell. I don't fancy running that much, so... getting on top of a bike it was. From there to bike advocay (critical mass Lisbon), to fixed gear riding and to bike messaging was like 8 months or even less. 8 months and 6 bikes.
And here I am now, making tiny amounts of money delivering packages while ripping off in the streets of Lisbon. I feel more alive than I ever was, ever.

... Anyway, what's this all about and how is this related to the label? Well, days have 24 hours and I can not do everything I was used to do when I didn't had all these variables in my life. In any case I'm not giving up test tube, so don't worry folks! Releases may come out more spaced between them, there may not be a lot of news posted here and newsletter still be sparse... but the quality of the music test tube releases and my dedication to the label is and will ever be the same as in day one!

Thanks to all for still treading along ;)


July 08, 2010


tube'|212 - Mensa - Moorland

«'Moorland' is the outcome of a year living in Scotland. As part of Mensa project this album tries to descrive sonically my personal point of view of scottish landscape. The album is based on the idea of seeking a shared space in which sound composition and landscape can meet.

'A Drone That Grows As The Ferry Arrives' is a sonic experiment in which a drone is built according with a soundscape of a ferry arriving to the deck. The original soundscape was recorded at Mallaig, Scotland while waiting for the boat to Skye.

'Blackford Hill Quarry' is a sonic representation of a real space in Edinburgh in which the reverberation of the location is very particular. Blackford Hill Quarry is now abandoned.

'Glencoe' is a grandiloquent piece that wants to represent the scale of the Glencoe Valley juxtaposed with it's historical violent past.

And 'Moorland', the final piece is a farewell piece, a celebration of scottish moorlands, valleys and hills. Moorland is a track that flies over the territory, across mounts, trees and grass and panoramically descends to the North Sea and vanishes. The sound source for this last piece is an original recording of the sound that grass makes on a windy day.

Finally the whole album is my personal homage to Scotland and the territory in which I have lived for one year. Moorland is an emotional soundscape work, built to be a souvenir, and a gift at the same time.» - Edu Comelles


June 29, 2010


tube'|211 - Project : N.A. - Insomnia/Abyss II

«psq M.O.S. is the pseudonym of a polish musician who for the first time presents his work here at test tube, under the alias 'Project : N.A.'.

The two tracker 'Insomnia/Abyss II' invests greatly in deep and dark ambient over the course of its nearly 23 minutes. 'Insomnia' is more into the 'dark side', or at least the first half is, while 'Abyss II' - as the name suggests - has a more deep and submersive character, I mean, most of it sounds like field recordings taken from the undercurrents of the ocean bed. The last part of this track, on the other hand, sounds like as if the submarine trip ended up in another world or another dimension.

Great stuff to listen to in the comfort of the night with a nice pair of headphones while watching underwater life documentaries.» - Pedro Leitão


June 16, 2010


tube'|210 - Aitänna77 - The Last Summer Days EP

«It is hard to believe that it was almost three years ago that we saw the last release from our dear friend Mikel Martínez, titled 'Health Needs', a concept album about a fictional life/death situation. And before that, more than five years ago, test tube was graced at the very beginnings of its existance with the short EP 'Spring is coming soon EP', which gathered some very nice words about it at the time, like for instance: '(...) a truly superb mix of acoustic and electric elements, with all the elegance of classic minimalism and all the presence of an early-1970s singer-songwriter album.' - Marc Weidenbaum dixit.

Enter his new EP, 'The Last Summer Days', another 4 tracker like the first one, equally absorbing, equally delicate and dreamy, but with a couple of differences of note. Mikel matured his sound enough, to the point that it can now acommodate his shy singing. Aitänna77 is now, at last, a complete 'singer slash songwriter' musical project, which he seemed to sought after when he started it.
Fans of the 'old' Aitänna77 should rejoice, and fans of the new should also love the old, because it is the same... it's everything there, still... and moving. New and beautiful songs (and a Codeine cover), the same awkward but rightly placed instruments, the same minimalistic scores and arrangements and that same seemingly out-of-place nostalgia we learned to love, that keeps us from getting grounded to a particular moment in time. 'Tarde o Temprano' feels like watching 'Verano Azul' twenty-five years later (only our spanish readers will understand this, sorry.). Such a perfect little gem!

I was really in the need for something like this. Thank you, Mikel.» - Pedro Leitão


June 06, 2010


tube'|209 - Paul Sharma - Safar

«Paul Sharma is a british artist raised in India who started producing music after a well succeeded incursion in painting. Paul gathered some friends and began writing traditional indian music with western scales. 'Safar' which we are presenting here, means 'Journey' in urdu language. Safar is Paul's attempt in relating Indian Raga music and scales with western modern composition, electronic composition. For this, Paul called some friends - including singer Rajesh David - and produced 'Safar'.

If you are keen on electronic ambient and indian classic music you should definitely listen to this.» - Pedro Leitão


May 27, 2010


tube'|208 - Fabrizio Paterlini & March Rosetta - Viandanze Re-imagined

«'Viandanze Re-imagined' is a short EP based on four original piano pieces composed by italian musician Fabrizio Paterlini. March Rosetta a.k.a. Tom Carter - a well known british musician among the netlabels - has teamed up with Fabrizio and worked on top of the original pieces, adding some layers of guitar, bass, e-bow, drums, etc. until the original 'classical' pieces sounded more 'popular' and more atmospheric.

The first piece 'Forever Blue' is the only one voiced by Tom, who has proved himself a very interesting and talented singer, thanks to some previous works signed under the March Rosetta alias. Tom also wrote the lyrics to this song, which is based in a original piano composition by Fabrizio - like the others, called 'Profundo Blu' (taken from the album Viandanze, released by the italian composer and available here). Fabrizio and Tom are both responsible for the final production of this work. Enjoy.» - Pedro Leitão


May 09, 2010


tube'|207 - Analog Workshop - Emporium of Broken Toys

«Analog Workshop is Johnny Mendoza, working out of LA, California. With a rich music background which included his guitarist father, a friend dj and a vinyl collection, Johnny started to build an interest around electronic music composing, both analog and software based, like Reason and the like.
It's a bit awkward trying to dissecate his influences from the music he delivers with this 'Emporium of Broken Toys', the most notable is undoubtedly the scottish duo Boards of Canada, which has left various bits around Analog Workshop's tracks.
This is a very interesting vision of nineties IDM and electronic pop, but with a unexpecting twist that comes from Analog Workshop's own musical ingredients. Nicely done!» - Pedro Leitão


April 29, 2010


tube'|206 - Adam Michalak - Seven Colors

«Adam Michalak is a polish musician who is doing deep ambient from some time, using a blend of synthesized sounds and field recordings.
'Seven Colors' is a gentle collection of very beautiful pieces that Michalak composed during a period of a year and a half, until May 2009. There are some tracks clearly based on specific field recordings picked out carefully by the musician but most of them are very varied in terms of textures and composition. Some are a bit dramatic, emotional and even a bit thick while some others are more ethereal, dreamy and translucid.

Michalak uses dusty vinyl, bells and whistles, electromagnetic buzz, echoing keyboards, drones, silence and many other sound textures to build immense walls of amazing ambient music. Like colors in a faded polaroid, Each 'color' represents something and/or tells a story. It's up to you to discover where it leads. I keep the 'Sixth Color' right next to my heart.» - Pedro Leitão


April 17, 2010


tube'|205 - The Strait of Anain - Sound/Rhythm/Melody Vol.1

«A little less than two years ago, a young audio engineer named Wesley Slover approached test tube with a sweet short album by the alias Speed Chess. Well, here's Wes again, this time showing of his new alias 'The Strait of Anain'.

'Sound/Rhythm/Melody Vol.1' rides along the round edges of the downbeat style he offered us two years ago with 'Speed Chess', minus the vocal experiences. Also, Wes' music sounds deeper and with more confidence, which I guess is normal given the experience gathered since then. The harmony is still there, unblemished, the soft spots, the nostalgia. But there's also something undoubtedly new about 'S/R/M Vol.1', Wes is getting a bit bolder perhaps, and is experimenting a bit out of his comfort zone. 'Wolverine Eyes', 'Wind Drone' and 'Tribal Music on Missionary Laptops' (funny title, by the way), for instance, are perfect examples, all different, all great, of what Wes is accomplishing now. Despite this, he still has that rare ability to compose great songs, even if they are all instruments and no lyrics. Pair up this guy with a great voice and good lyrics and you'll have a recipe for success, no doubt!
On second thought... hmm, scratch that, I don't want Wes' creativity spoiled by commercial music marketing. But anyway, there's a gold vein here.
Now the question is: why is that Vol.2 taking so long?!

To sum it up: this is an engaging short album with plenty of different stuff to discover, but chances are you'll end up loving everything and will hit repeat on your player several times in a row. I know I did.» - Pedro Leitão


April 08, 2010


tube'|204 - Justin Robert & Jeremy Powell - Fluorinescence

«Justin and Jeremy are both enthusiast musicians that play live jazz for a living. Justin is a percussionist and likes to fiddle with analog synths, and Jeremy plays saxophone.
Both musicians love free jazz and improvisation, so one night they got together, Justin on synth and Jeremy on sax, and they put 'Fluorinescence' onto tape.

This is a diamond in the rough. This is Acid Jazz for the 21st century.
Enjoy.» - Pedro Leitão


March 25, 2010


tube'|203 - Hotel - Segundo Andar

«Hotel is a Brazilian musical project based on a collective series of improvisation works, founded by Douglas Dickel (input_output, Blanched), and inspired by Joshua Homme’s famous 'Desert Sessions'. Hotel began in 2006 at the Live Studio, in Porto Alegre, when Dickel brought together musicians from the local indie & post-rock scene. Hotel is about the introducing of new artists who never played together before, to each other, for a few hours. The gathered musicians try some spontaneous ideas or rhythms, or pick up stuff.
Songs are written & recorded “on the spot”, simultaneously, and in matters of four hours or so.

“Térreo” - the first release - means a Hotel’s 'ground floor', and joined, in 2006, Yury Hermuche (FireFriend, Frank Poole) on guitar, Renan Stiegemeier (Andina, Farveste) on bass, Marcelo Koch (Blanched) on drums, and Dickel on guitar, noisy toys and mixing. It is still available for free through this link. It was originally released by Peligro Discos in 2007.

“Segundo Andar” means a Hotel’s 'second floor', and joined, in 2007, Leonardo Brawl (Fruet & Os Cozinheiros, Subtropicais) on bass, Rodrigo Souto (Andina) on drums, and Mateus D’Almeida (Andina, Farveste) and Dickel on guitars and synthetizers.

'Segundo Andar' is clearly influenced by many nineties and 00's post-rock bands at his core, like GYBE! among others less famous, but one can also detect many traces of Sonic Youth's best guitar melodies from the eighties and the Geffen's best years, Yo La Tengo's numerous digressive instrumentals and even Glenn Branca's intempestive compositions and improvisations. All wrapped up with a really nice jazzy vibe.

This is really good stuff to nod your head too. If you have a truly indie heart, that is.»
- Pedro Leitão, with some biographical info taken from 'Hotel's blogspot webpage.


March 02, 2010


tube'|202 - Contact +/- - Vogels Van Stiltescene

«'Contact +/-' is a new project founded in 2007 by Zydrunas Maciulis, a lithuanian sound artist and a very productive one I might add. Zydrunas is currently exploring ambient and abstract music, but also enjoying the concept of improvisating, which is relatively new to him as an artist.
'Vogels Van Stiltescene' is his newest work and very is very experimental in kind, with much emphasis on field recordings and sampling techniques without discarding an 'easy' side reminiscent of some of Iceland's best ambient pop from the last decade.

At his best moments, Contact +/-'s music is really really good, with some heavily cold dramatic moments - some dark ambient too - and many other nostalgic feelings, which are typical of northern europe countries' music. Enjoy.» - Pedro Leitão


February 21, 2010


tube'|201 - A. Brandal + F. Barabino - Untitled

«'Untitled' is the first collaborative work between norwegian Andreas Brandal and argentinian Federico Barabino. Brandal on electronics and Barabino on prepared electric guitar. Both of them have a vast background of working with improvised music, which is precisely what you will listen to in this work.
All audio material was recorded between October 2008 and January 2009, and consists on 10 tracks of Brandal's manipulation techniques using various electronic tools, both analogue and digital, over several improvised guitar pieces taped by Barabino in Buenos Aires.

All the pieces have numbers as titles, which have no particular meaning, as they all are random attempts at eviscerating guitar samples, through drone, glitch and noise manipulation.
You'll find pretty much sonic chaos here, but it's lovely chaos in all its glory.»
- Pedro Leitão


February 10, 2010


tube'|200 - Mental Health Consumer - Backyard Mysteries

«Brian Ruskin is a Ph.D in Geology (Stratigraphy branch) and at the same time a musician and producer from Pittsburgh, USA. Science and Art very close together. The music he makes as Mental Health Consumer falls right in the middle of the Electronic genre, slightly danceable and upbeat variant, without loosing too much focus but admittedly keen on experimental ambient explorations. With his music, Brian tries to achieve that special balance between the calculated and the emotive side of the mind.

Such is 'Backyard Mysteries', an extremely interesting and uncompromising collection of tracks with a full range of soft pads, techno inspired beats and soothing soundscapes, but also retaining a very curious experimental ambient side, which will keep you interested all through the end.» - Pedro Leitão


January 31, 2010


tube'|199 - Craque - Metathreading

«I'm sure some of you remember about Craque's amazing 'Gamma' EP back from 2008. It got a couple of very positive reviews, including one by Disquiet's guru Marc Weidenbaum. Since then, Matt delivered an album through the ever excellent Audiobulb label, and a couple EPs, one on Stasisfield and another on Xynthetic, both very nice and respectable netlabels.

Matt's electronic music came to be regarded as a hybrid between edgy improv takes and deep IDM-ish grooves. Both languages come together through Matt's electronics and form an intricate and complex maze of rhythms, beats and hypnotic grooves.
'Metathreading' is no exception. Matt took various free improvisation edits - named as 'threads' - and some other remixes - called 'Stacks' - based on a handful of selected 'threads' and put them all together. All this was done on a live setup without a laptop. Matt only used his own prepared instruments, with only the obvious edits (also very few) made after with the aid of software.» - Pedro Leitão


January 26, 2010


tube'|198 - Denshi - 10pts

«The story behind this album goes back to 2001, when this japanese musician called Yori Denshi found an old mexican vinyl record in the garbage. This record had 10 holes along the grooves (which were obviously some kind of decorative element). So he fed his computer the audio information between the holes via max/msp. And when the needle from the tonearm dropped in a hole, it switched the feeding cycle in the computer.
Denshi then layered the audio tracks in his sequencer and bended, stretched, added echoes and flanger, and turned this otherwise bland recording into a micro-dub, micro-techno album.

The result is here for you to feast on. '10pts' is all about the 10 holes that the old vinyl record had. 10 loops which were the key input to make this album. Enjoy.» - Pedro Leitão


January 18, 2010


tube'|197 - Minimal States - Liberty Hoax

«The second album in the trilogy is ‘Liberty Hoax’. Firmly based in the urban, developed and political world, far from the timelessness of the forest and natural world of the first album, it examines the vast, densely populated spaces of the inner-city and the physical and cultural wastelands that surround it.

Moreover, the album is concerned with the place of the individual amongst the masses, and with the concept of identity itself in a world where companies and the State have ever-increasing powers to access and regulate personal data. The album questions whether personal freedom is still a priority for governments and legislators, or if it is now merely a glass wall, a façade, or a mirage that will vanish when approached.» - Thom Carter

«Like the text above says, this is the second album in a trilogy from London based musician Thom Carter. The first one was 'Like A Photograph', and can be listened to and downloaded here.
There's isn't really anything more relevant I can add about 'Liberty Hoax' than the lines Thom wrote above, except that this album would make an amazing soundtrack to the mindblowing videogame released last year 'Fallout 3' which is set in a post-apocalyptical Washington DC wasteland, if the apocalypse happened in the early 40's or 50's. Or to any followup they might do in the future. Just go play the game and see for yourself. » - Pedro Leitão


January 10, 2010


tube'|196 - Mons Jacet - City of Youth

«Lithuanian artist Mons Jacet returns for a new release at test tube, after the 2008 mini-LP 'Songs of Night and Longing'. However, expect no drones or winter-inspired landscapes as 'City of Youth' keeps trailing the path laid down by Rakshtinas' latest work for Enough Records - 'Chronicles Of Anarcho Punk Kid'. This new path relies heavily on twisted IDM-flavored beats and pointy basslines, with sudden turns everywhere from start to finish. Enough Records called it 'breakcore punk emotronica', and while this label may seem too colorful for a moment, after you listen to the album one full time, you'll see it hits the spot.

Memorable moments from 'City of Youth' are 10+ minute long 'Driving for Brandy', 'The smells of your skin' and a couple others, but overall there isn't a single dull moment in this long album, every song has something new to offer and with each repeated listen you'll be rewarded with different perspectives of the compositions.
There is great pleasure in discovering rare albums such as this one.»
- Pedro Leitão


January 05, 2010


Hello 2010!

2009 recap: We managed to put out nearly as much releases as we did in 2009 (one less actually) which is perfectly on par. I remember to have promised that we wouldn't flood the netaudio scene with even more releases as it obviously results in people having less and less time to enjoy them properly. And we don't want that.
We will try to put out even less, even if our contributors put more pressure over our heads. Now that we have Impulsive Habitat to work on the Field Recording division, test tube will have more time to breathe and give space to its own releases, more focused on ambient and experimental stuff from now on.

Personally, this year have been a turning point. And 2010 will be another one, at least half of it. I will move to another home once again (fortunately it's just across the street, so moving out/moving in will be a piece of cake). The new kid is almost 4 and needs a room for himself, as he have been completely trashing the living room over the last year. We desperately need to have a living room that isn't a warzone every ffing day! So... it won't be our final moving out to a new country/new community, which is what we really have been planning over the last 4 or 5 years. But it will happen eventually.
In light of this, expect some troublesome period here at test tube in a couple of months time, which is when I will cancel the ISP contract here and set up a new one in the new apartment. Hopefully this hiatus won't be longer than a week or two, but we never know.

I know that we've been falling behind the newsletter, but I promise to do a new one very soon, as we have a lot of fresh news to give. Namely the new label division :)

And that's pretty much it. Even with less and less time to feed the label, test tube is here to stay. Later tonight or tomorrow, new release by Mons Jacet.

Keep your ears peeled!!



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