Buy “Aquatint”: CD »
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Buy “The Inexplicable Feeling of September”: CD » | MP3 »
FYN 99/TESTBILD!_AQUATINT (2009)
The release includes:
• A luxurious cover with a scent of tar, including a 6-page digipak with art design by Testbild! and Andreas Wagner.
• A 12-page booklet comprising a short story.
• A 70 minute long CD with 20 songs, recorded March 2007-September 2007 and mastered by Ola Stenström, including the recent mp3 single “My brother submariner” / “Garnet brand land”. Written and performed by Stepbrother Ernest, Jana T. Mekka, Nathaniel Mist, Goliath Quadslums, Furian Siber and Dustin Spunkvolt, except “My brother the submariner, written by Matt Jones of The Heoburns. See complete tracklist below.
• A short film by Pontus Lundkvist, included on the CD, with music from “Aquatint”.
• Furthermore: those who pre-order “Aquatint”, which is the fifth Testbild! album since 2002, will also get an exclusive present, a poster or something similar. An the names of those who pre-order will be published on the Friendly Noise website as a gesture of our appreciation of your support. (For those who prefer to be anonymous, just let us know and we’ll keep it that way.)
Someone has been in my study during the night. This person had tried to sweep away the traces as far as possible, but I still saw little signs of someone having been there. Water drops underneath the pedals of the piano, fine-grained white sand over by the threshold, fragments of torn paper in one of my folders. I wonder what it would feel like to be buried in that sand, to inhale those water drops. Or to be far below the surface of the sea, to slowly open one’s mouth, and allow salty sea-water to pour into one’s lungs, to have them slowly fill up with the wet matter until they are completely full, until one’s entire body is filled with fluid. To be one with the water, dissolved and incorporated with the waves. My skin would undergo strange colour transformations, marble-like spots everywhere, a faint tint of sickly greyish-green. And my eyes: hardly any difference between the white of my eye and the iris. The gaze like a faint beam of light through poison green sea-water. When I open my mouth, I realise that I have lost my ability to speak, and all that comes out is whale song.
(Extract from the short story)
“Aquatint”, the most ambitious Testbild! project to date, is a conceptual piece coloured by the sea. It comprises a short story – observations of a lighthouse librarian – and a short film, which is a look at our world from under the sea’s surface. The music is a dream-like descent into steam fog and black swirls. Layers of cinematic pop and 60’s jazz mix with sea shanties, Mexican trumpets and vibraphones. It is the echoes from a forgotten harbour, where the ropes never stopped creaking and the meteorograph went on ticking.
1. Sunset through a drinking glass
2. Lighthouse glow
3. Rippling icicle
4. Solid food invented by tigers
6. Soup and fog
7. Drowning, breathing
8. Disintegration in daylight
9. All of the fishes
11. The bathysphere
12. Damp meteorograph
13. Monochrome kaleidoscope
14. Four images of salt
15. Garnet brand land
16. Beneath transparent felt
17. A ship directed
19. The submarine
20. My brother the submariner
FYN 52 / TESTBILD! _ UNE TEINTE INTENSE (2007)
“Une teinte intense” is a beautiful tribute to one of Testbild!s greatest heroes, Isabelle Eberhardt. Excerpts from authentic diary entries and stories from Eberhardt’s travels are embedded in a dreamy sound environment in which bedouin drums and muezzin voices can be heard and where warm winds blow in the distance. The songs and pop melodies that also form the album flow like spring water in the irrigation canals. Smoke comes sweeping from the Moorish café and blue tones sparkle in the desert sand. Through the insufferable heat, the contours of an ivory white city, a mysterious oasis among the dunes, appears. Only to disappear…
Isabelle Eberhardt (born in 1877 in Geneva) was an explorer and reporter of Russian aristocratic background. She was raised as an anarchist, converted to Islam in her early twenties and set off for a long journey through the North African desert, under a male identity. She reported from her travels and covered wars in French papers, and wrote several short stories and diaries. Eberhardt was also selected to join the mystical Muslim brotherhood of Qadriyya. As a man she called herself Si Mahmoud Essadi and her anarchistic integrity and her view on love affairs and drugs made French and Swiss authorities consider her a dangerous person. In 1904, she drowned when the clay house she had rented in Aïn Sefra, Algeria, was destroyed by a flooding river.
1. Je Suis Seul, Et Je Reve
4. La Tombée De La Nuit
5. The Moorish Café
6. Evening Star
8. Une Grand Calice Pale
10. The Dying Mirage
12. Le Vent Du Desert Tarit Mes Yeux Humides
FYN 033 / TESTBILD! _ IMAGINE A HOUSE (2006)
Do you recall that rust-coloured old brick house on the abandoned site that lay next to the playground when you were a child? That neglected shack with broken windows and cracked doors, that you were strictly forbidden from playing in (but naturally did anyway)? That very house is where the new album by Testbild! was recorded. The four dream characters that make up the band have taken advantage of all the sonic singularities of the house, and adorned their surrealist pop music with humming radiators, squeaking hinges and creaking floorboards. If you keep really quiet you can hear the owls breathing in the attic and the family of bats scratching away on the walls.
The previous record by Testbild! - “The Inexplicable Feeling Of September”, nominated by Swedish National Radio for their P3 Guld prize in 2005 for best “Pop” album - consisted of pop songs devoted to autumn. This is a summer album. But it’s a summer influenced by the pictures of Edward Gorey, a summer confusing dusk with dawn. It’s music that sparkles like sun reflections on the water of ghost town canals, it’s tones from a shadow world in decay, melodies like frozen moments from a time that just maybe exists still.
“Imagine A House”, the third album from Testbild! and their best yet, is a lush package, a six page digipak and booklet with the lyrics to the songs, with the bonus treat of adding to the songs the 14 minute film of “Where Did This Begin”.
01: Inside Raindrops
03: Bas Jan Ader
05: Imagine A House
08: Shirley Dreams
10: Suddenly Aching
13: A Lullaby In Vain
14: Ryska valsen
15: The Attic
16: Where Did This Begin
FYN 22 / TESTBILD! _ THE INEXPLICABLE FEELING OF SEPTEMBER (2004)
Testbild! is a secretive project from Malmö, Sweden playing popmusic with avantgarde pretentions. On “The Inexplicable Feeling Of September” they mix surreal guitarpop with dreamlike constructions of recorded everyday sounds, the smell of moss and damp leaves of Autumn and visions of the honey yellow shade in the atmosphere that only a sunset in September can bring about.
Rain heavy cloud formations hanging over the ramshackle house where the recordings took place; the sound of fragmented melodies and choral arrangements is oozing out from the cracked windows and sinking like a sarcophag in the mould. Somewhere a child is crying. If it was possible to “dream” a pop record it would have sounded like this, peculiar melodies and quirky chords performed by four shadowy figures.
Testbild! has previously released the album “The Double Life Of Testbild!” (Radio Khartoum, 2002), the EP “Testbild!” (Rocket Science Society, 2003), and appeared on the compilations “Friendly People Making Noise” (Friendly Noise, 2003), “All Songs Are Sad Songs” (Make It Happen, 2001), “Panorama” (Benno, 2001) and “Amazing Grace Sampler” (Grace Recordings, 2000).
1. Another Day
2. Tangled Humidity
3. Rain And Air
4. Clouds In Transit
5. Little Crystals
6. A Secret Note
7. You Don’t Have To Go
8. Faded By Sun
9. The Inexplicable Feeling Of September
14. Clandestine Clam
15. Sparks From Extinct Steelworks