test tube news ~ #014 ~ jan 2008
Hello good people and happy new year!
A bit late on this newsletter but here we go: Another year for test tube went by, and we reached the one hundred release mark. I never thought that would be running a label and reach the magical number. It has been great, with many hours of great pleasure listening to stuff from the five continents (well... three actually, we haven't got anything from Africa or Antarctica... yet.), many hours working on artwork and covers, many good friends I have made across the globe, and all this time was indeed well spent. This netlabel thing was one of the greatest ideas I had in years! I extract much pleasure and fulfillment doing this and I hope that I'll always have some spare time in my life to keep doing it. Even if it takes asking for help from outside.
test tube has released 44 titles in 2007, which is an amazing number and almost accounts for a release every week or so. I understand that this translates in too many releases for the average test tube fan to keep track of them, so, I will try to restrain myself and keep this number under the 35/40 mark for 2008. The thing is, we still get many submissions every week and most of them are really good. I rarely miss the opportunity to put them out. But lets see this as a new year's resolution: refrain test tube's release agenda to a minimum.
On the other hand, the way things are going right now, we will have a second volume of the popular DVD-R release somewhere in the middle of this year. I haven't thought of the artwork theme yet, but one thing's certain: it won't be about psychoactive substances or general flora. I will have to think of something else. Good and interesting ideas are very welcome :)
We will start the release agenda of 2008 with yet another South-American artist who goes by the name of Cristian Gualpa. Very good and exciting music has been coming out of the new 'old' world. 'Flotante EP' will be out somewhere this week, so keep your eyes peeled.
Now for the locals: test tube will host an evening at 'O Século', which is a nice venue at Bairro Alto, Lisbon, located at Rua do Século. Pitch Boys will be playing a live set of minimal techno - which is an unusual genre for him, this might be interesting... - with live video by Junction. Following there will be a dj set based entirely of netaudio tracks, played by yours truly. Expect lots of ambient, field recordings, smooth and silky stuff, and maybe some IDM and minimal beats to boot... I'm not sure yet of what I'll be playing. Admission is free and drinks are cheap. Stop by to say hello :) Oh, dates! This event will be held January 17 (thursday) at 22/23h.
December 31, 2007
CALIFORNIA ÜBER ALLES
• tube'|105 - Eye - Plays
«Well... and here's our last tube of 2007. Please welcome again Mr. Fairbanks from Los Angeles, California, with this new collection of tracks, which he appropriately titled 'American Case Study'.
Norman has been steadily putting out high quality releases for a couple of years at least, officially releasing most of them through his own website. In this present case, we made a selection out of a couple of his latest works, rounding up roughly an hour of Fairbanks' tunes. 'American Case Study' helps us to explore an unusual side of Norman's creations, namely the ambient/spoken word approach. 'Element One' through 'Element Five' gathers some speeches from whatever - including the late Allen Ginsberg - and serves them with some of Norman's trademark spacious beats and drones. The rest of the album rests on the usual high quality of minimal techno and IDM, on healthy doses for good measure. To put it simply, Norman Fairbanks' music is an amalgam of contemporary American culture, synthesized in small packets of aural pleasure.
Happy New 2008!» - Pedro Leitão
December 26, 2007
• tube'|105 - Eye - Plays
«Peter Memmer is originally from Germany and is a former classical dancer who used to live in Portugal until very recently - the cover photo was taken by Peter at a typical portuguese Carnival festivity at Loulé - before moving again to another european country, Spain, if I'm not mistaken. Musically, one could easily think of Peter's work like something between Manitoba/Caribou and Kieran Hebden's Four Tet: Contemporary electronic pop with traces of pop-rock from last century. On the other hand, Eye also touches fringes of good old experimental territory, and even some electroacoustics too, churning out some nice drones and minimal textures somewhere along the middle part of 'Plays'. But the keyword here is 'Pop' without a shadow of a doubt. Excellent release!»
- Pedro Leitão
December 26, 2007
LATE FOR XMAS
Yeah, well... with all the family-get-togethers and stuff, I forgot to leave everybody a wishful xmas message. We are also late with the last two (well at least with one) 2007 releases, tube105 from Eye and tube106 from our favorite L.A. resident Norman Fairbanks. But we will put them out before monday, and that's a promise.
Meanwhile, keep downloading our previous releases and keep enjoying our latest by Cory Allen. And while you're at it, visit Con-V and download yet another Cory Allen's release 'Observing a Warmth'. Get it here.
December 19, 2007
• tube'|104 - Cory Allen - Satori in Atlantis
«As you struggle to stop your thoughts, you can still hear the conversation of some neurons. Sometimes they sound like little pieces of metal sliding over a self-constructed organism, or granular rings that create ephemeral vibrations. In any case, they lead you into a psychic silence where you are able to listen to a higher consciousness. The enlightenment and awakening of your being brings you the true nature of creation. As you listen, you can create a new world formed of legendary islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, pleasantly sink into deep waters, or embrace your own neurological research. Once you find yourself floating, “Satori in Atlantis” allows this experience to last longer and create new beginnings to deeply understand the world you imagined. With this insightful sonic production, you are able to associate and assemble the wisdom of eastern philosophies and quantum mechanics. Allen’s creations succeed in becoming a source of energy.
Satori can be found in every moment of life, it is wrapped in all daily activities, its goal to unwrap them to see and hear satori. Be ready to submerge into a very profound view of the unified field. Be ready to journey into deeper levels of intelligence in nature and establish a dialog with your “self.”»
- Sebastian Alvarez
December 11, 2007
ED IN WONDERLAND
• tube'|103 - Motown Junkie - Plagiarism Perversions
«Motown Junkie a.k.a. Ed The Sampler is Edgar Matos and lives very close to the spanish border in a portuguese town called Elvas, deep in the Alentejo's deserted countryside. Ed - for short - loves heavy metal rock, noise, goth, industrial and several other kinds, but he also enjoys sampling based electronic music and is quite fond of dark ambient too. As Nhoin - another one of his aliases - he has released stuff on our friend label Enough Records, but this time, as he puts on the Motown Junkie outfit, we will be graced with a different pallete of sounds.
'Plagiarism Perversions', despite its rather obnoxious or even tasteful artwork, is not about junkies or sex perverts, but rather about the art of stealing and appropriating of well known pop music phrases and references, and the consequent recontextualization of those elements, in an instrumental Hip Hop setting. Ed captured dozens of bass lines, guitars, drum beats, keyboard notes, etc., from pretty much everything he had lying around, mainstream or not, and built 15 tracks with strong hip hop beats and strings and basslines from various other styles turning the originals almost unregonizable (but still recognizable if you have a sensible ear). I won't say any names to not spoil your surprise.»
- Pedro Leitão
December 10, 2007
As mentioned a few days ago in our last 4XT, DOPO released very recently a new album with north-american's Foxglove Records, Mr. Brad Rose's (of The North Sea fame) own label. We've updated our shop with that item and a few others. Please note that we don't sell those third party releases ourselves, but we point you in the right direction, should you happen to buy anything.
Shop is here.
December 03, 2007
SONIC GASES OF INTEGRATION
• tube'|102 - krypton - Silent Drama
«Whether a fictional planet in the DC Comics universe or a chemical element, known as a noble gas that occurs in trace amounts in the atmosphere, Krypton has the ability to expand into your subconscious. Along these sounds, you would be able to walk through a cold hummed darkness to develop systems of echolocation that will take you into distant memories. In this realm, memory becomes a bright greenish-yellow light that glows and reverbs. Once submerged into the nature of “silent drama”, you might hear the images of a forsaken territory, of a territory that is like faint shadows, of a connection with the land that is not familiar any longer. Once thought to be completely inert, Krypton is known to form a few compounds. These compounds are substances formed when two or more elements are chemically joined. In this case these substances are sonic. By suddenly arriving with some metal keys being plucked up and down, “human rights” is one of the tracks that will probably bring you back into the human constructs of a cyclical and percussive time. On the whole, these seven pleasant and fluorescent tracks are aural treats that can make you understand that all is one, that there are no fundamental divisions, and a unified set of laws underlie nature.»
- Sebastian Alvarez
December 03, 2007
#01 - tube100 - Pitch Boys - Son of a Pitch [1314 downloads]
#02 - tube096 - Long Desert Cowboy - Western Spaghetti [633 downloads]
#03 - tube095 - Long Desert Cowboy - Sandshoes [588 downloads]
#04 - tube099 - Entia Non - Distal [572 downloads]
#05 - tube097 - Organic Anagram - London By Night [491 downloads]
#06 - tube061 - Project Swirl - Alpha Centauri EP [487 downloads]
#07 - tube098 - The Turtle - Hyper Riot [323 downloads]
#08 - tube063 - DOPO - For the Entrance of the Sun [319 downloads]
#09 - tube087 - Juan José Calarco - Plano Vertical [291 downloads]
#10 - tube006 - Lanolin - Untitled EP [248 downloads]
That's our 100th release at the top of the list, no surprises here. Both releases by Long Desert Cowboy are still going strong at #02 and #03 which is great.
There are however three surprises: tube061 - Project Swirl - which is from 2006 and tube006 back from 2004! That's awesome! And then there's DOPO's album at #08 with 319 downloads which isn't that much of a surprise since they've released their new album just a couple weeks ago on Foxglove, called 'Crossing Birds'. It's a 100-copies-limited release, so be quick!
See you in a month with a new 4XT!