test tube news ~ #005 ~ apr 2007
Another month comes to end, and what a busy one this was! We've had 3 new releases, the STFU live dates and the production of the DVD (which has been selling quite well, we've made 96 copies and only 15 haven't found a owner yet). I'm tired as hell and the easter holidays arrived just in time for a well deserved rest.
STFU related: Erik (a.k.a. Svarte Greiner) and Federico
had a great time here in Lisbon and both venues had plenty people attending to. We'll miss those guys. Maybe we could do another STFU in the summer... we'll see. :)
March 31, 2007
• tube070 - Jan von Grafenstein - 13
«Another fresh pop-oriented insight into our catalogue, this time by Mr. Jan von Grafenstein who arrives from Germany lands. Jan is pretty much unknown in the netmusic scene, although he had a track - 'Luun' - released onto one of the famous Mercedes-Benz Mixed Tapes sometime ago. This thirteen track collection (hence the release title) that we're releasing could be easily filed under chillout, jazz fusion or even related to the highly productive late 90's Vienna scene. I guess we could call it 'old school' somehow.
Easygoing from beginning to end, with voluptous basslines, seductive orchestrations and crisp string arrangements, it has its apex with 'Backboogie', a fantastic and danceable track which pretty much sums up the whole album. Enjoy!»
- Pedro Leitão
March 25, 2007
Our friend Jerome (aka NNY) is back with a brilliant new album, titled '++', put together with the help of Kazuya Mise and Filipe Cruz (aka ps). Filipe is the brain behind Enough Records and he's also responsible for the curious but excellent artwork we can see represented above.
'++' is a dark and experimental journey into ambient noise territories, full of glitch and weird drones.It was released by Almasud, an independent label from Madeira island. Check its website for info on the release. This is NNY's first physical release, mind you. Well done, Jerome!
(Be sure to get to know NNY's release on test tube, here.)
March 20, 2007
• tube069 - Petr Drkula - 2
«Born and educated in the Czech Republic, Petr Drkula has a fine sense of repetition in music. You can easily breathe everything that he had learned in those matters over the last few years with his most recent work, «2». Contemporary composers like Terry Riley («A Rainbow In Curved Air», «Poppy Nogood»), Steve Reich, Erik Satie or the cadence of Brian Eno are an evident influence in this work. Although not explicit, eastern European folk music has an important role in this record. It runs the map of the melodies you hear and builds the road for which any of the other references above can be identified.
Because of that, «2» is a two-piece study over the importance of traditional vs. contemporary composition in the fields of electronic folk. «Duality» and «Polarity» are like one piece facing a mirror effect. They evolve from one beat-up drone, nearly raw and childish, that is over-produced with fake and incomplete melodies that, at the end, form one that is singular and kindly beautiful. «Duality» is more simple toned, transparent and direct, an underwater symphony that through repetition rises above. But «Polarity» is quite the opposite. You can easily daydream throughout its almost thirty minutes without any motivation of moving. You just want to stay there and see what happens or what you can or can not think of. It’s a child’s toy for adults who seek fulfillment through relaxation. It may seem lazy, but it’s nothing like that. It’s all about the basic mechanics of repetition in music, the complexity of movement over movement, even if it sounds, primarily, always the same.
Petr Drkula does in «2» what has been explored in some fields of music over the last fifty years. And it’s so damn close to perfection that you’ll feel sorry if you miss it.»
- André Santos
March 18, 2007
As promised, all the 75 releases (including unreleased ones) from test tube are ready and production of the special DVD-R
has started yesterday. We will serve pre-orders first, of course, and by order of arrival (older pre-orders first), which is the fair thing to do, as we are no factory and can only produce a small number of copies a day.
Also, as said before, the pre-order period has ended last friday and we have been forced to raise the price a bit (one euro) to cover for the updated costs of local mail charges. We're sorry but there's nothing we can do about this.
If you haven't order your copy yet, go ahead and do so. You'll be helping test tube to continue to put out excellent free music
month after month.
Visit the DVD release page now.
March 15, 2007
JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP!
Hey, we have great news: Test Tube and fellow netlabel Enough Records are producing/organizing some STFU gigs around here. Porto, Lisboa and Torres Vedras were the cities graced with the events. Check out the calendar here.
• e-Flyer for the south events (Lisboa & Torres Vedras)
The Porto gigs are scheduled for the previous weekend, that is, next weekend. Check out their webpage which has everything you need to know.
And be there!
March 10, 2007
A DAY IN LUCA'S LIFE
As you might already noticed, test tube's artwork has suffered some changes. There are some explanations to be made:
• tube068 - Bottegasonora - No Ordinary Day
«'Bottegasonora' - an italian word meaning something like 'Sonorous handicraft store' - is the musical self of Luca Ricatti, a Rome living musician who usually writes music for theatre plays and documentaries, but this time wanted to get away from his stressful day-to-day by writing a mini-concept album about what could be one out-of-the-ordinary day.
It starts with 'Late awake' and an alarm going off, ordering Luca to get off the bed. The day starts frantic with polyrhythmic beats and drum'n'bass style drums, but some soft guitars too, Luca likes them a lot. After that, Luca has to 'Drive to go to work', so he doesn't get there late as usual. This time we get some manic keyboards and basslines, as Luca tries to avoid the lunacy that is car traffic in Rome (and all of Italy, for that matter...). Maybe Luca's car starts floating near the end, because the track gets quite ethereal, a minute before he decides 'Leavin' the car, takin' a bicycle'. A cool decision, right? We must think global these days, and treat mother earth nice. Again, we are graced with Luca's guitars and he tried to mimic the feeling of bicycle riding, by panning the sound from left to right, and left again. Luca says he got this idea from 'In the Court of the Crimson King', back when he was a teenager listening to prog-rock. Yeah, yeah. Luca now has arrived to his work (we assume) and after another full day, he returns home, and there is already 'Night under the stars', a soothing melody made of guitar plucks and keyboard lines. But before wishing Luca good night and sweet dreams, there's still time to listen to 'Herbario nuovo', because Luca loves old technical illustration books, like the ones test tube takes some drawings from. Don't forget to watch the video too. Sleep well, Luca.» - Pedro Leitão