January 2008 news
January 30, 2008
• tube'|109 - Bård Farbu - Zink EP
«The metallic name given to this EP does not misguide the listener: what this release from Norwegian sound designer Bård Farbu offers us, is about 17 minutes of cool and concrete ambiance. These tracks should be listened with high volume in order to be captured by the intense metallic sounds on it. Rather than new-age dumbness, “Zink EP” manages to unrest the listener with the sound bursts that reminds musique concrète works from earlier electronic recordings of the last century. Additionally, these are like soundscapes that seem to be inspired by nature itself, in such a way that puts Bård Farbu in the same vein of fellow Norwegian Biosphere, although the sounds in this release are unrelated with the chill ambience of Biosphere. In fact, Bård Farbu gives his personal view of the relation between sounds and nature, without any techno beat underneath. Of course, the sound design and production here is superb, and any further description will not fully characterize this work. Each one should listen and unravel what these abstract sounds can mean.»
- César Laia
January 20, 2008
DOOR TO A POP DREAM
• tube'|108 - Multi-Panel - The Door
«Another extremely nice EP for those of you fond of Múm and other acoustic pop delicacies. Multi-Panel - real name for dutch artist Ludo Maas - delivers in just little over 15 minutes, 7 great tracks soaked in nostalgia, droney keyboards, soft beats and acoustic guitar pluckings. Reminds me a bit of other test tube releases from Aitänna77 and Bacanal Intruder.
'Radio' is the opener and my favorite track of this record. Starts slowly paced with a gently plucked guitar, metronome style wood beat and dreamy keyboards for a perfect match. The rest of the release follows the same steps of this one: short but to the point tracks, rich in melody and drama and easily remembered. After a minute short interlude, we come to the second part of this EP to find a more downtempo and less acoustic oriented set of tracks, some voiceovers and human samples, culminating at the title track, which is actually a full ambient composition.
Now all we need is a full lenght of material to enjoy Multi-Panel magic to the fullest.» - Pedro Leitão
January 10, 2008
• tube'|107 - Cristian Gualpa - Flotante EP
«Hailing from Mendoza, Argentina, here is an EP release of warm ambient idm beats, from Cristian Gualpa, called “Flotante”. In five tracks, Gualpa explores an electronic language of aquatic beats, somehow related with the kind of stuff explored by artists like Arovane, and also a language with the laboratorial driving force that one can usually recognize on releases from labels like Raster-Noton. Indeed, while the last track “Capital Solar” develops a warm sense of melody, tracks like “Buenhogar” or “Al Aire” enter the mathematical domain, with a techno background underneath. Listening to these tracks is like admiring the architecture of a building, with one feet dancing at the same time. Dark ambience comes along with “Previo”, but even here the mechanical beat gives way to an ethereal melody. “Posada” sums up the ideas expressed before, and is both a relaxing or restless place to stay, depending of which things the listener pays attention to: the warm aquatic melody underneath or the drilled beat that gives structure to the track, which reminds of early Autechre releases. With about 20 minutes, “Flotante” is enjoyable brainy electronics, to be listened with headphones, and an excellent debut for Cristian Gualpa.»
- César Laia
January 09, 2008
For some unexplained mysterious reason (probably because of me...), the newsletter sent today - just some minutes ago - went as TEXT and not as HTML as always, filling up your e-mail account with ascii garbage and possibly being flagged as spam (for some lucky ones...). For this we present our humble apologies... please don't cancel your subscription! :>
We sent a new one in regular HTML, so don't erase that one... I mean, if you want to erase it go ahead, but, it's readable now. Carry on.
EDIT: Ok, now this is getting ridiculous... the second newsletter, which was supposed to be the right January newsletter, went as the December newsletter... damn... everything happens today. I'm tired and tired people shouldn't be doing this kind of stuff. Anyway, I sent a third newsletter (sorry for the mailbox spam!) and it should be REALLY right one this time. Sorry for all this. I promise to go to sleep and get a good night rest.
January 06, 2008
#01 - tube070 - Jan von Grafenstein - 13 [5375 downloads]
#02 - tube102 - krypton - Silent Drama [1101 downloads]
#03 - tube078 - Quest.Room.Project - Fiducial Banality [865 downloads]
#04 - tube103 - Motown Junkie - Plagiarism Perversions [645 downloads]
#05 - tube099 - Entia Non - Distal [619 downloads]
#06 - tube090 - meta:Human - The Dark Ages of Technology [585 downloads]
#07 - tube104 - Cory Allen - Satori in Atlantis [568 downloads]
#08 - tube105 - Eye - Plays [458 downloads]
#09 - tube096 - Long Desert Cowboy - Western Spaghetti [422 downloads]
#10 - tube095 - Long Desert Cowboy - Sandshoes [374 downloads]
Ok, last top of 2007, december. Surprise, surprise: an old release at #01 with an amazing number of downloads. Jan von Grafenstein's release became popular among chillout and downtempo fans but we weren't expecting this in december. Congrats for so many downloads, Jan!
Another nice surprise at #03 with another 'old' release from 2007, by russian musician Bogdan Dullsky a.k.a. Quest.Room.Project.
The remaining entries come as no surprises, they're all recent releases, except maybe for #06, meta:Human which is the third oldest one. Nice to see as well my good friend Daniel Catarino #09 and #10. Both are excellent 'ambient country'
We wish we could do a 2007 4XT, with all months combined, but unfortunately we lack the statistics from a couple of months and we can't compile a list without them. We hope to do it by the end of 2008, 'tho. Thanks for participating!
Speaking of lists and tops, test tube was among some netaudio fans' picks of 2007. Some local, like A Trompa, whose menthor Rui Dinis picked out 6 releases for his TOP150 (only local releases), and some global, like Phlow Magazine and Disquiet (a personal favorite around here) which picked Juan José Calarco's amazing 'Plano Vertical' and Benoît Richard's Netlabels Revue which picked Aitänna77's release as its 2007 #04 netaudio release. We're very happy to be among the best because we work hard to deliver you the best.
As always, thank you very much for supporting, downloading and enjoying test tube's music.
January 03, 2008
BEFORE THE MUSIC DIES
Another memorable year for test tube has passed. 44 new releases were added to the catalogue... I know, I know... maybe we've pushed too hard. 44 releases is way too much to keep up, but we had to do it because they were piling up inside the hard drive. Plus, they'll never run out of stock so everyone can keep coming back to download them, or, they can buy one of our DVD collections.
Anyway, this year will probably be way calmer when it comes to releases, because I will have less personal time to give to the label, plus, I was thinking of creating a new one... an idea that's not new but it's starting to grow arms and legs and will need it's own space soon. But more on that in due time.
Things have been changing lately in the music business and 2007 was a very important year for everyone involved. Peer to peer networks are even more consolidated as a 'service' and the newest generations don't ever think about downloading an 'illegal' track as being a 'crime'. This has come to a point in which the industry needs to re-organize itself and start giving away mp3 music for free. I believe that it's the only way to catch the attention of the new kind of consumers to their 'products'. Nowadays, music is much more than the sum of its parts: It's art, it's culture but it's also so much more. It's a product, it's a marketing medium, and it's becoming something new as well: a service. A service like electrical power or water to your house. We have to think different about it, and let it evolve like the newest generations of music lovers and consumers are evolving.
I watched the documentary 'Before the music dies' the other day, and it explains very well some of these concepts and the state of things in the industry today. I recommend everyone who loves music to watch this movie. Get it through emule, utorrent or whatever, but get it and watch it. You'll learn about aspects of the business that you usually overlook. A must see.
In other news: I'll come back later tomorrow or this weekend with some test tube charts for the year that ended recently, and I'll give you some highlights of what's to come in this first quarter.
Until then, good night and have a great 2008!