test tube news ~ #003 ~ mar 2007
FEBRUARY NEWS IN MARCH
After that special outstanding newsletter about the DVD we're producing really really soon, here's the digest of the February news.
Three new releases from three new artists, two of them being from our base country, which I think is good for our local community. The last February release - online since yesterday - will actually have a full CD version put out, with handsmade package and everything. Check out the label which is releasing this special record, if you want to get your hands on your own copy.
We will have another outstanding newsletter this month, because Test Tube is co-organizing a couple of STFU dates around here. Be sure to read the full news soon. What the hell is STFU?, I hear you asking... well, learn about it here.
February 28, 2007
• tube'|067 - the astroboy - A Derrota da Engrenagem
«You are in the middle of a moor surrounded by rustling leaves, misplaced smells and the wind howling around you. You’re peaceful but intrigued. You’re incomplete. You’re human and still you feel like this music, created mainly by machinery, is wiring you to earth.
Luís Fernandes is the musician responsible for these dreamy and subtle moods. Presenting his project as 'the astroboy', using synths, guitars, tr606 (a drum machine by Roland mainly used in the early acid house music scene) and sampling, he has been able to develop and present textures of sound that become appealing as you keep listening to them.
Exploring melody and drone, and obtaining balance between an atmospheric line of sounds, “A Derrota da Engrenagem” consists of a symbiosis between synths, guitar and samples. You should try it.» - Nuno Silva
«On his debut album 'the astroboy' suggests a codified description, a personal struggle, a relentless conflict that seeks an end, as is clear from the names of his songs. The result is nothing but a sensitive and serious record that will keep you from moving away from your music player.
In "A Derrota da Engrenagem", the songs presented by Luís Fernandes seem to be somewhere between post-rock, (occasionally) experimental, and some sort of atmospheric cruise. You'll picture one of his captain's logs, a report that will not appear abruptly, that will not produce harsh sounds for distracted listeners.
It might be a little hard though for those with spiritual breathing difficulties to survive this cruise, but if you choose to go on a trip with the astroboy you will be able to gaze at the stars through the amazing glass of his spaceship...»
- Filipe Miranda
February 22, 2007
- Sven Swift from the excellent 12rec.net Netlabel recently started a mixtape netlabel called Thirteen Songs. Guess who was invited to do a mix?;
- In other news, test tube's DVD was featured at Remixtures. Thanks Manuel!;
- A Trompa also made a post about it and + a couple newsitems about our last two releases.
February 19, 2007
• tube'|066 - Clorofila Azul - Revisitado (com Voz)
«Clorofila Azul is Hugo Santos, a talented multimedia artist from Porto with a major degree in Painting and a couple of minor ones in design, acting and several other stuff among the Arts. This release is the first of a two volume set to be released at test tube. This first one covers some of the best works Hugo has done using voice sampling and/or singing himself over, and the second volume will cover his instrumental works. Both volumes are the result of a personal selection (mine and Hugo's) taken from more than sixty tracks worth of CD's he recorded from 2000 to 2004.
It is fair to say that Clorofila Azul's early works were strongly influenced by late nineties IDM. The use of ambient textures and sincopated/truncated beats in 'Revisitado' two volume set reveals it clearly. But we can also discover other curious things from listening to this collection. Hugo expresses himself in two major styles: Sampling based work, mostly comical/funny use of radio recorded samples over repeated fat IDM beats, like in 'Optimismos na Europa', 'Agostinho' and 'Ocorreram dois Acidentes'. These tracks use portuguese voice samples; The other major style is a more introspective, emotional one: Hugo slows down the Bpms, adds some textured keyboard and soft bass lines and sings in english/portuguese about broken hearts and lost lovers, like in 'I love your soft skin under the moonlight', 'One night stand' or 'If you could only love me'.
The two different approaches together make up for an interesting trip into the human side of Clorofila Azul (portuguese for Blue Chlorophyll). Stay tuned for next release, coming up in early September.» - Pedro Leitão
February 18, 2007
Today I finished some updates to the website that were long due:
- The release pages: the old ones were a little awkward and narrow, resulting in a difficult reading. They're simpler now, just a big 460x460 thumbnail of the front cover at the top with everything else below. The downloads table is cleaner too;
- The mp3player: test tube now has sound embedded! I added a player to the home page called Jukebox, which has in its database every release. Yes, every single one, and it's set on shuffle, so let it rip! I also added players to every release page. All future release pages will have its player, of course. The player uses the same bitrate mp3 files from the releases, which means high quality sound. One final note: you'll need the flash player installed before being able to enjoy the music.
February 14, 2007
FANCY MORE THAN 40 HOURS OF MUSIC ON A SINGLE RELEASE?
• tube'|dvd001 - v/a - test tube collected works 001 ~ 075
Now on pre-order (ready for shipping by late March), this beautifully packaged DVD-R compiles every release we did/will do from tube001 to tube075, plus a couple of extras to boot.
By the time the DVD-Rs will be printed, releases 071 to 075 are not released online yet, but we will include them anyway.
Pre-order now and be one of the first to get one copy delivered to your door. We haven't decided yet if this will be a limited edition or not, so... move it!
This DVD-R will be printed in 10 different covers to choose from. Learn more about this here.
February 10, 2007
WE ARE UNREASONABLE PEOPLE
• tube'|065 - Room - Forms Elastic
«David W. Newman is the guy behind the mixing desk of Audiobuld Records, the sheffield independent label of Exploratory Electronic Music. David has released a couple of tracks in his own label compilations before, but this is his true first release worthy of the name.
'Forms Elastic' album is classic IDM shit. And it is good shit. Filled with 8bit arcade-style synth lines, broken beat patterns and throbbing basslines, it delivers ten asseptic tracks that takes us back to the time WARP was on top of the 'braindance' thing, with acts like AFX, Two Lone Swordsmen and Autechre, just to name the most important. And David's even from Sheffield too, so he knows his IDM book-of-rules like no one else.
'Percule' is easily one the best tracks 'Forms Elastic' has to offer: click-style percussions, playful synths and a sweet, fat bassline. As we go deeper into the album, David messes with our sense of prediction, going back and forth with twisting beats, leaving us without directions most of the time.
'Centred on elasticity' could be from Autechre's catalogue, and 'Community' reminds of earlier Metamatics stuff on Neo Ouija. 'Rubb' has an awesome and edgy synth line, unsuspected childlike melodies and a typical sense of nostalgia we could only find in this music style.
This LP could not be complete without a couple of warm blankets and deep ambient harmonics, like the ones 'Little electronic' has inside.
'Forms Elastic' is the perfect fix for all you IDM hardcore fans who still miss the artificial intelligence years.»
- Pedro Leitão
February 03, 2007
As you might already noticed, test tube's artwork has suffered some changes. There are some explanations to be made:
- Extended Players (EPs) will retain our 'trademark'
white stripes (no pun intended), but with some minor cosmetic changes to the release number and titles, front and back. We consider an EP every other release running until the 34'59'' mark and having less than 8 tracks;
- Long Players (LPs) will have a 'cleaner' artwork look starting from tube063. We call an LP everything that plays longer than 35'00'' and has 8 tracks or more. This is to state a well deserved difference between longer and shorter works.
I'm also sorting out some other ideas for future releases, but all will be made in its due time. Possibly we will have a couple of invited artists doing covers for us... we'll see about that.
For all of you who might be asking yourselves about the promised newsletter: It's being prepared to go off after the next release is online. I'm not too confortable with spamming your mailboxes whenever a new release comes out. Let's do it once a month instead.