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2010 releases

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Hip Nothings
Zeroparty

«En 2008, l’anglais Tom Carter (connu aussi sous le pseudo March Rosetta) et l’américain Blake Rhein composaient ensemble une poignée de chansons inspirées par la pop de la fin des années 80. Trois ans plus tard, ces chansons se retrouvent sur le netlabel test tube, l’occasion de redécouvrir l’écriture fine de ce duo sous le nom de Hip Nothings. Le résultat est vraiment intéressant, avec des chansons romantiques aux sonorités électroniques très douces qui rappellent un peu l’album de Erlend Øye ou des choses plus anciennes comme Spandau Ballet ou Soft Cell. [8/10]»
- Netlabels Revue / December 31, 2010

«The Hip Nothing's new album is probably the best release on test tube since Clorofila Azul. Keep up the good work.»
- Jim Bomb [Last.fm] / December 28, 2010


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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


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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


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Lee Rosevere
The Vela Companion (Light Years Book II)

« (...) 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.»
- Pedro Leitão


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Subterminal
Bitstreams

« (...) Challenging in a sense that the music and atmosphere created throughout the album is dense, hungry and oft-times dark in nature. The electronics pulsate and reverberate off every space around you, attaching itself to the soundscapes that Subterminal creates for the listener. The music is filled with harsh sounding instruments, the guitar in No More is hit with little sense of care, but remains strikingly appropriate for the message being whispered at you by Subterminal.

(...) Mantras are thrown about touching on presence of being, understanding ourselves within a context of time and space and the influence of new technologies within the human dimension. It is philosophically, metaphorically and existentially dense, and it rewards those who pay attention. Despite the aggression there is also beauty present, I Float closes with light in the last few seconds and Simultaneously channels  middle eastern influences with a digitized baritone saxophone. A highly accomplished work by a highly accomplished musician. Download this release from the Test Tube netlabel, go on, your Ipod will thank you for it.»
Whatever Takes Your Fancy/ October 20, 2010


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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


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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


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David Fungi
Lost Lands

«You’ve probably not heard of Italian sound artist David Fungi, as he has only had one release on test tube and five on Sine3pm. But that will change now. The netlabel test tube presents Fungi’s sophomore effort on their label, Lost Lands, an album he recorded in a cave. Lost Lands begins glitchy and then abruptly moves into ambient and then slips into some wonderful repeating drones.  My guess, due to Fungi’s field recording experience, is that the sounds of water dripping in the recording are actually from the cave environment. Lost Lands is a wonderful piece which like all good works led me to download the rest of his discography at Sine3pm.» - Disruptive Platypus / OOctober 14, 2010


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Heu{s-k}ach
Un

«The album starts with sounds of crushing objects, cymbals and tones of an electric guitar. "Deux" is more quiet and the drony guitar sounds are supported by electronic sounds and bells or something like Tibitan singing bowls. The stringsounds roll closely with the ongoing sounds of these instruments. "Trois" builds up very slowly and the alternation of warm bellsounds and harsh electronics fits really well and moves into a restless noisy end. The last track "Quatre" ends also with a great diversity of sounds and atmospheres created by for example slide guitar, high bell tones. "Un" is the first CD of this new project of the free-minded d'incise. I like the calm atmosphere which he created with Marcel Chargin and the exploration of the most intense combination of soundwaves and rhythms.» - JKH/Vital Weekly / August 2010


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Minimal States
Interiors

«I first came across Minimal States a year ago with their release City of Buffalo on Clinical Archives and Digital Kunstrasen and I’ve been hooked ever since. Listen to “Alternatives”to see what I mean. Thom Carter aka Minimal States has put out several free releases over the last year and each has been equally as good. This August, test tube releases their third Minimal States album, Interiors, which the artist says is the final of his trilogy which includes like a photograph and Liberty Hoax. Interiors is a wonderful electronic album and I especially love “Structures”,  an electronica piece that could have been included on a Tangerine Dream album from late 70s. Download these three releases from test tube as well as City of Buffalo. You too will be sold.»
- Disruptive Platypus / August 19, 2010


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Philip Croaton
Easy

«(...) Nine times out of ten, I’d label this work ambient, but there is something about Easy that doesn’t lend itself to the ambient sphere after many deep listens. Easy traps the listener with its gorgeous slowness. Pedro Leitão, the curator of test tube writes, “Every single bit of Easy sounds as if it was processed using very old, very vintage synthesizers and devices, giving it all a sense of Russian analogue production. You imagine rooms filled with wall-height electronic machinery working to produce all the sounds you hear.” Yes, that’s it, Easy this fullness, a beautiful fullness.» - Disruptive Platypus / September 14, 2010


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Cryptic Scenery
Low Battery

«I don’t follow the CD-R-MP3 $cene — not that there is anything wrong with that™ — it’s just that I know that there is plenty for me to listen to in the Free scene. However, I do enjoy it when these two musical scenes cross paths as they do with the release of Cryptic Scenery‘s Low Battery. Cryptic Scenery, led by Christian H. Sötemann, have released this incredibly beautiful ambient netpla with Sötemann (guitar, electronics and other sounds) and Thomas Pertzel (saxophone, percussion and other sounds). In my first listen of Low Battery, the delicate allure of Adrift was simply too intoxicating, and then track after track, there was this enchanting radiance, each track equally stirring. Consider me drunk on Cryptic Scenery’s Low Battery
- Disruptive Platypus / July 21, 2010


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Mensa
Moorland

«Released a month ago, Mensa‘s Moorland has been one of those albums I’ve been meaning to write about. However the two good reviews of these works at Disquiet and Netlabels & News probably slowed me down a bit, but what the hell. The combination of drones and field recordings lend itself to a special eeriness. Even with all the goodness that is Moorland, add to that with Mensa’s remix Braid Heritage (Resting Bell), one comes away with two works that are quite exceptional. One can imagine, if Heathcliff had an iPod, this is what he would have been listening to when wandering the moors.*  As a side note, you also might know Mensa better as Edu Comelles the curator of netlabel Audiotalaia
- Disruptive Platypus / August 07, 2010


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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' of sleeping disorders, 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


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Aitänna77
The Last Summer Days EP

«Ca fait rudement plaisir de retrouver Aitänna77, même pour 4 titres et 15 minutes, tant cet espagnol a su par le passé nous captiver et nous enchanter avec ses production folktronica lo-fi parues chez Test Tube ("Health Needs") ou encore chez Error! Lo-fi ("Buenas son tortas"). C’est chez les portugais qu’il revient encore une fois avec une musique toujours aussi naïve et mélancolique, solaire et légère à la fois, dans laquelle il use une fois encore de tous ses instruments de poche pour nous concocter des chansonnettes pleine de poésie et de douceur. Et on en redemande! [7.5/10]»
- Netlabels Revue / July 30, 2010

«The Last Summer Days is a great little lo-fi, indie EP. Some of it reminds me of the Jesus and Mary Chain's album Darklands, or maybe even some of Opal's recordings, in the way it focuses more on atmosphere and mood than it does on complex compositions. It's dreamy and pretty, but not overly twee or precious, playful but overly coy and saccharine.»
- D. Davis / June 06, 2010


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Paul Sharma
Safar

«Paul Sharma, a digital print artist and painter as well as a musician, released Safar (test tube), an album that is a combination world and electronic music. The liner notes say it is an “attempt in relating Indian Raga music and scales with western modern composition, electronic composition.” The first two tracks, “Voices” and “Sofia”, are both dazzling and mysterious and more indebted to World Music than say the third track, “Journey”, that definitely has the electronic, soundscape feel to it. Sharma returns to the worldy beauty with the final track, “Safar”. Inviting and enchanting.»
- Disruptive Platypus / July 11, 2010


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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


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Analog Workshop
Emporium of Broken Toys

«Another wonderfully creative and evocative release from the Test Tube netlabel. A times this reminds me of some stuff off of Ghostly International, namely Tycho, but it definitely has a unique voice all of its own. A great mix of electronics, samples, and some live guitar playing (I think). What ever the source of the sounds, the final album is is an accomplishment of electronic composition.
Yeah - the Analog Workshop album = epic win.»
- D. Davis / May 10, 2010

«It’s early morning and I am sitting on my deck. It’s beautifully cool outside, a cup of Café Bustelo to my right, and earbuds bringing forth the smooth IDM beats of Analog Workshop‘s Emporium of Broken Toys (test tube). Like most of the albums I like, there is something just off with Emporium of Broken Toys. Just behind the effortlessly flowing beats are tinges of noise, glimpses of imperfection. Damn fine album to go along with a damn fine cup of coffee.»
- Disruptive Platypus / June 26, 2010


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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


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The Strait of Anain
Sound/Rhythm/Melody Vol. 1

«(...) '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?! (...)» - Pedro Leitão


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Justin Robert & Jeremy Powell
Fluorinescence

«When Pedro Leitão, proprietor of the great netlabel Test Tube, says of Justin Robert and Jeremy Powell’s Fluorinescence, “This is a diamond in the rough. This is Acid Jazz for the 21st century” he could just as well be saying this is fusion for the 21st century. What he’s getting at is that the mix of analog jazz and computer synthesis captured on their record holds unique promise. The standout track is arguably the album’s 10th one, in which a subdued saxophone is heard against and amid wisps of computerized miasma, and intermingling with warm beds of minimal keyboards. What’s fascinating about Robert and Powell’s brand of fusion is that they have chosen to embrace the very elements that have been widely seen as the source of the death of electric jazz — the chimes-like filigrees that all too often relegated the music into the background — and managed to introduce nuance where, once upon a time, there had been merely, at best, mood.»
- Marc Weidenbaum [Disquiet] / April 16, 2010


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Hotel
Segundo Andar

«(...) '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


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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


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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


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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


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Craque
Metathreading

«(...) 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


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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


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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


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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


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