July 25, 2014
• tube'|274 - Faerûn - The Night
«Dark and eclectic, like a full-moon night, the album orbits around a few themes: nostalgia, space, death, pain, pleasure, dreams. The ambience grows on hypnotising drone sounds, and out of various samples, mainly field recordings. 'The Night' offers as much light as needed for the things to become moving shadows.
"Dusk" opens the door to the after-life realm, starting with Rimbaud's poem "Night of Hell", and continuing with a mix of guitar and a hmong song, and ending with a feeling of nostalgia for daylight, for the womb, for the times when the world was yet to be born and was just a dark and quiet heartbeat.
"Midnight Radio" continues the theme of nostalgia, bringing back the nights when dreams were accompanied by the sound of the radio.
"Room 3327" is essentially about death, and particularly about the death of Nikola Tesla in the room 3327 of the NY hotel. An electric ambience gives room to ghosts and whispers, which trap the soul in a whirlpool of memories.
"Hanako" is about the haunting crimes of the japanese soldiers during the second world war, and the use of women as sex slaves.
The last song brings back the quietness and the peace. "Ndasi" is probably the most eclectic track, mixing indian and african sounds with gibberish singing which seems like coming from outer space.
Most of the samples used are from freesound.org.»
- test tube
May 16, 2014
• tube'|273 - Voder - Cheepnis
«Voder is the solo outfit of Paul Nadin, coming from Worthing, UK, who started producing sounds under the alias back in 2008. Paul has released some very interesting works ever since, through some of the nicest labels out there, like Just Not Normal and Distance Recordings.
'Cheepnis' is Paul Nadin's most recent work
and roughly inspired by Frank Zappa's album 'Roxy and Elsewhere', from 1974. Paul's words: "This album is a tribute to the music of Frank Zappa and is, in particular, my alternative audio interpretation of the story Frank tells in the song 'Cheepnis' from the album 'Roxy and Elsewhere'. The song details Frank's love of 50's B-rated horror movies and tells the story of a giant poodle called Frunobulax that attacks a community of people, and the resulting fallout.'
This work is an amazing trip throughout several layers of electric guitar-based ambient, drones, field recordings and soundscapes, with every second of it bursting with guitar effects
and synths. Recorded live in 2013.»
- test tube
April 04, 2014
• tube'|272 - Panchasila - Pallqa EP
«Pallqa - 'where paths come together', in Quechua language.
Panchasila's story so far: two Buenos Aires friends team up for a musical journey taken in between cultural influences from south-american folk to southern asian traditional music, all wrapped up in dub (of course).
They define themselves as 'proudly third world music'
and their name was taken deliberately from the famous indonesian political movement, inspired by the Bandung Conference and its newly developed 'third world conscience'.
Musically it isn't very easy to define Panchasila past its obvious dub-flavored electronica. The music is heavily supported by sampling vinyl and mp3 from old and obscured folk records found all over the place, but also from synths and real instruments played by both musicians. Delay after added delay, the final result is a seductive yet inebriating mantra-like soundtrack.»
- test tube
February 18, 2014
• tube'|271 - Marcus Rubio - In heaven everything is fine because heaven is a place where nothing ever happens
«From Marcus' website: Marcus Rubio is a young composer that works in a variety of mediums and genres ranging from pop songs to long form drone works for ensembles of portable fans. (...) In 2012, Rubio released/recorded a multitude of records and two of these, Hello Dallas and None of the Birds, were selected as local albums of the year by the San Antonio Current. As a live performer, he’s opened for the likes of Bill Callahan, The Men, and Koboku Senju as well as performed/collaborated with FAUST, W-S Burn, SOLI Chamber Ensemble, Peter and the Wolf, Vinyl Williams, Lee Dockery, Michael Pisaro, Derek Rogers, and Bill Baird. He was also a full time member of both Moth!Fight! and the Cartographers. He has had his music released by Copy For Your Records, Kendra Steiner Editions, Already Dead Tapes, Prairie Fire Tapes, and Test Tube. Rubio is also an active music journalists as a staff writer for Tiny Mix Tapes. He graduated from Trinity University in 2012 and is currently earning his MFA in composition from CalArts.
Busy guy, right? He should, because he's really that good.
For this release Marcus composed an 'auto-contemplative' kind of piece enticingly called 'In heaven everything is fine because heaven is a place where nothing ever happens', which suggests that nothing happening is better than 'something' happening. Something might be the wrong move, nothing is something that we are able to control. I totally get this idea, really.
There are moments in our lives where we just wish we could have everything under our grasp, under our predictable time, and space, so we wouldn't just suffer, wastefully. It would be just perfect, right? Well, not really. Chance is kinda fun, surprises too (good ones, at least) and if we could control everything life wouldn't have much of a point.
Well, such is the music of Marcus Rubio. Predictable sometimes,
but also unpredictable where it matters. Full of harmony, full of 'Future nostalgia', which is something I appreciate more than most people.
This really helps to fill the empty hole, Marcus. Thanks.»
- test tube
February 06, 2014
10 years of test tube
Yep, that's true. It has really been a decade since I first started this (net)label, founded on the same principles as monotonik and kahvi and enough records, just three of the first labels of this kind at that time.
Now I could throw in some facts and numbers, like total downloads since then, how many page hits, how many releases (that's easy to know), etc, etc... but that would really take me a while to gather, and time is something that I really have less and less every year that comes by.
has been a great ride so far.
The truth is that this website is totally outdated by today's standards. In the age of HTML+, PHP databases and whatever, we never did any relevant updates to the code, and in these 10 years of test tube we actually managed to jump past flash totally!
And while I'm at it, here's a pledge: we are taking offers of coding help to try and bring this website to life again, so... if there are any web programmers out there with a lot of time on their hands and like what we do here, please help!? I cannot pay because we are non-profit, but I can offer free test tube DVD's for life and a pack of CD records that I have in stock, good stuff from other labels, from when I used to run a commercial label, before getting broke, plus my eternal gratitude. I would really like to see this shine with a new, simple but functional outfit. Maybe it would even help motivate me to give more of my time to this label again... anyway, worth a try, right?
If the fact that putting out less and less releases per year bring anything good to test tube, it was that I take more time evaluating each release. Not that in the past I was letting anything - good or bad - to come out of this door, no. I totally stand for everything that we managed to release, but... waiting more time between releases has helped putting everything in perspective. Because of this, many artists with outstanding works have quit waiting for test tube and ended up releasing elsewhere... which is also good, because there are many new labels out there, younger labels with younger people behind them, some of them really really good, and they need all the attention they can get.
So, I'm just happy and grateful we came this far, even without making money for the work we do and keep on doing here. My humble thank you goes to all the artists that have entrusted their works to us. Thanks a lot, people!
And no, this is not a goodbye - not just yet -, but sometimes I wonder if there is still a place for us among the netlabel universe.
Also, the spinoff label that I run with some friends - Impulsive Habitat - has been taking a considerable slice off the time I had for this one, so... it's a natural path to trail on.
A final thanks goes to you, test tube fan, for keeping coming here for more.
A great 2014 for all of you!
December 31, 2013
• tube'|270 - Ilia Belorukov & Andrey Popovskiy - Objectus Binominis
«The very last release of 2013 comes from a past test tube collaborator, Ilia Belorukov, who has
amazed us before with works such as 'Still Fire' (tube147) made in partnership with Philip Croaton.
Belorukov has a remarkable curriculum of releases, with many works put out by Clinical Archives, Nexsound and other outstanding labels.
Belorukov's 'thing' is very much into Electro-acoustics, free improvisation, free jazz and similar disciplines. He plays the saxophone (tenor, alto and baritone) as well as the flute. In this release he plays alto saxophone, enhanced with effect pedals and teams up with long time partner Andrey Popovskiy who plays the electric guitar with plenty of effects and also does some objects.
'Objectus Binominis' does not disappoint and has plenty of stuffing in its noise and drone textures to please every electro-acoustic and experimental music buff out there. I think it is safe to say that here at test tube we end up the year in big style.
Enjoy it and have a great 2014!»
- test tube
October 19, 2013
• tube'|269 - Organ of Qwerty - Treasury of curiosities
'Treasury of curiosities' is a dream-state wandering through a sonic wunderkammer, a collection of curios, oddities, freaks, gems, and objects of wonder and beauty, a display intended to provide access to non-familiar listening experiences. Although divided into separate tracks, it is meant to be listened to as one continuous piece.
This is the work from the mind of John Hanes (composing, percussion) who is also a drummer when he's not making electronic music. He also had the help of friends Cary Sheldon (voice) and John Schott (guitar) to produce this disconcerting and amusing album.»
- test tube
September 24, 2013
Per artist request, test tube is making available the FLAC version of last year's release 'Silktremor' by Spectrical.
You can check the release page - if you haven't done so -
here, or you can download the new Zip file directly by clicking this link.
Thanks and happy listening!
August 27, 2013
• tube'|268 - w02f - 01
«w02f (pronounced 'wolf') is Alexandr Remington, an ambient musician based out of St. Petersburg, Russia. '01' is his most recent work, and a a long one at that with over a hour and a half of premium quality dark/spaced out ambient music.
Unfortunately, the original master audio files were forever lost because of infamous computer problems, and what we have here for you is only the best possible audio quality reproductions available. The last track of the release, 'zdr98798787', is in fact only 96Kbps in mp3 audio quality, which we know is too low as a standard for HiFi. Nevertheless, we wanted this to be fully available to everyone, because this is too good to be left unavailable or even lost. Enjoy.»
- test tube
July 05, 2013
• tube'|267 - Linear Bells - Helio Grabados
«I decided to create these two movement piece this last winter after my friend Luis Hernandez (from Spain) decided to stop his experimental work on photogravure that he started there many years ago. We can just see it as a tribute to this almost forgotten photographic technique.
'Helio Grabados' process is linked directly to the origins of photography. It is rooted in the research of Niépce of which were the first known photographic images. They were made on metal plates and were called héliographies. Some of these plates - acid bites, inked and printed - can be considered the first photogravures. Since then, and for decades, were investigated quality procedures, permanence, simplicity and economy. In 1879 the Bohemian illustrator Karel Klíč established the most successful technique complementing W. photoglyphy H. Fox Talbot with the carbon process of Joseph Swan. Later, its heliographic process was widely used for both flat plate and in rotation. The industrial adaptation process was called rotary gravure and rotogravure printing industry dominated the gap until the 1960s. Even today you still using the original photochemical process, although it has been almost completely displaced by electromechanical or digital methods.
Hope you’ll enjoy.
Equipment used : LF generator, Guitar, Tape, Field recordings.»
- Linear Bells (with edit by test tube)
May 28, 2013
• tube'|266 - Gutta Percha - Lost Elevator Programs
«Brent & Ryan Hibbett, the alchemical duo behind the Gutta Percha moniker, returns with yet another amazing and much wanted new production, entitled 'Lost Elevator Programs'. This new album is an eeringly interesting and somewhat unorthodox new approach to the 'muzak' concept and ideology.
From the artists' liner notes: "This album offers four tracks, each in the streamed “medley” form of commercial music programming, for both historical and imagined elevators. Just as one, encapsulated within elevator walls, travels blindly under the illusion of stasis, the aesthetic is a drifting one, moving even through repetition in unpredictable directions. It also intends to offer the strange blend of comfort and uncertainty experienced by early elevator riders, whose distrust of the newfound contraption businesses tried to offset with streams of innocuous, piped-in tunes. Toward these ends, we’ve looped, filtered, and otherwise manipulated obscure bits of instrumental music, and infused them with found sounds and additional instrumentation."
Following the excellent and extremely personal previous recording, 'A Crawlspace Companion' - available here, this new work offers more dreamy-like sequences certainly intended to transport the listener through time and also to such unsuspecting box-like machines as Thomas Jefferson's dumbwaiter used at his Monticello mansion, or the terrifying scenic elevator from the famous Steve McQueen action flick, The Towering Inferno.»
- test tube
April 08, 2013
• tube'|265 - V-trap - Clockwork Millennium
«In 1999, Berlin based artist Flo el Dot started to produce music on an old Tascam 4 track Tape-Recorder as 'V-trap'. This alias labels his scientifc approach to exploring his inner musical resources as well as the extraordinary sound sources found outside. It can be seen as an introverted attitude, whereas the attitude of his other alias 'F master F' is extroverted, with the intention to make people's hearts dance.
The concept of 'Clockwork Millenium' was to produce a 15 minute piece of music every year over four years, taking the ticking of an alarm clock as a basic rhythmic pattern and a hand-played bass-guitar treated as a drone.
Some tracks include sample techniques and digital recording methods.
Incidentally, this creation reflects a period in Flo el Dot's life, which was strongly affected by the beginning of a deep transformation process. This fact, in contrast with the repetitive and long-winded track format, gives the work its unique mantra-like beauty.»
- V-trap/test tube
February 16, 2013
• tube'|264 - suHHup - Paranormal trip into the hyperplane
«Intermedia and sound artist Hugo Paquete returns with a new work under a new moniker - suHHup - titled 'Paranormal trip into the hyperplane'.
This is a highly experimental work, where synth generated sounds, string instruments, aleatory percussion and guitar samples come together, creating very textured tracks, full of narrative and theatrical elements.
This would work really nice as a soundtrack, if there ever were images to match with the sounds. And perhaps there are...»
- test tube
January 10, 2013
• tube'|263 - Ricardo Webbens & Nuno Rosa - Plate Reverb Recordings
«Another year has gone away. Here's the new. 2013. Have a good one!
Last year, while working in his new a job at Nacional Filmes studios, Ricardo Webbens discovered a huge plate reverb that was stored and forgotten inside one of the building's storerooms. Amazed by this find, he then called his friend and long time collaborator Nuno Rosa and after some discussion about what to do next, both decided to do a setup using six microphones around the plate.
After several improv sessions with this plate, using a variety of instruments like cymbals, hi-hats and other percussion objects and a variety of tools, Ricardo & Nuno selected two of those sessions for a release. 'Plate Reverb Recordings' is the release
we present here.»
- test tube
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