|«Psychic Frequencies is the name of a musical project formed between artists Alistair Stray and David Clarkson in 2013. The name derives from the awareness and ability of the souls involved to perceive and sense the nature of the collaborative process from afar. It is a foresight and an extra sensory perception borne from the musical experience and ability of both individuals.
Alistair Stray: Stray has been involved in many areas of experimental music for the last 20 to 25 years, as well as being a visual artist, filmmaker and animator (mainly 8mm through video to digital). During the 90s, his main project was a film improvisation group called Deconstructed Cinema. He was also a founder member of the Raya Collective who played various venue types from clubs to squats and had a brief residency at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London.
Towards the end of the 90's, Stray formed an improv group called Irritants that mostly played the free party and squat scene as well as at Hugh Metcalfe’s
‘Klinker’ club night in London. In recent times, he has collaborated with his partner Anna Flack (a vocalist and experimental digital musician) under the
name Radical Elsewhere, releasing recordings on the DBS Sounds & Kreislauf labels. Stray has also released experimental music under the name Noosign on
the HAZE and Zimmer labels as well as on Bandcamp. The Kreislauf label has also put out his more dub based work under the name Inference.
In the last 30 years, Clarkson has been involved in many areas of music, mainly experimental. During the 80's, Clarkson released solo experimental/electronic music on cassettes under the name Central Processing Unit. In the year 2000, he formed the solo project Illuminati and has so far recorded 5 CDs, numerous vinyl appearances and has been featured on BBC radio and in film festivals. Illuminati also provided incidental music to the film of the media art installation ‘Human Avatars’ (Andrea Zapp, 2006) together with Vini Reilly (Durutti Column). Clarkson also co-founded the Lotta Continua label (2004-2010), Burst Couch experimental club night and co-formed experimental electronic trio Triclops (2001-2012) releasing 3 CDs. White Cube, Triclops and Illuminati have played more than 100 gigs sharing events with such artists as Keith Rowe, Janek Schaefer, Colin Potter, Andrew Liles, Biting Tongues, Crispy Ambulance, Melt Banana and Elbow. Clarkson is currently putting together new Illuminati material and has recently been involved in remix projects and a collaboration called Spectral Bazaar. A new website and bandcamp page under the name Cavendish House is due for launch.
As Psychic Frequencies, the collaborating duo's musical compositions are difficult to label. They are essentially tripped out journeys into the realm of roughly experimental and spaced out electronic music, with apparently no boundaries taken into account. Sometimes reminding of Twilight Zone, others of Space:1999 themed soundtracks, with probably some parts xamanic influenced... They are also weirdly populated with some sort of dubbed out future danceable cuts, kind of.
This stuff will likely mess up your head, for good.»
- test tube
|«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
|«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
|«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
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
Ilia Belorukov & Andrey Popovskiy
|«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
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