experiments in music

Test Tone Anthology Disc 1

Test Tone Anthology Disc 1

Test Tone Anthology Disc 1Texture, rhythm and movement in all of its guises, this anthology disc captures the myriad of expression that has become the hallmark of the Test Tone series at Tokyo's SuperDeluxe. Focusing on riveting improvisation and stark electronica, the music collected here covers a lot of ground, from balloon duets to helicopter compositions and other experiments in noise. Challenging and evocative, this presents wide-angle snapshot of Japan's current wave of international sound pioneers.

Track List

Track 1: Yukitomo Hamasaki

2008.04.08 Live at Test Tone 32

Yukitomi HamasakiRevealing a deep appreciation of harmonic structure, Yukitomo Hamasaki's compositions are layered with textures that seem to leave the listener suspended in time. Interspersed with irregular clicks, pops and beeps, the minimal breaks in time reveal the careful attention to detail in the depth and dynamics of his music. Hamasaki also heads up the splendorific Tokyo-based label 'matter', which seems to act as an extension of his own rarified musical sensibilities.

Track 2: Shintaro Miyazaki

2008.09.09 Live at Test Tone 37

Shintaro MiyazakiMedia theorist, curator and sound artist, Shintaro Miyazaki has taken an interesting journey to reach his current style of musical expression, which he calls 'pragmatic electroacoustica'. Rather than searching for the perfect piece of music, Miyazaki is more concerned with the outcome of meshing pure electronic sounds with organic sources such as field recordings, violin and voice. Finding himself dabbling in the traditions of plunderphonics, bastard electronica and maximalism, his sound experiments result in beautiful, challenging and unexplainable creations.

Track 3: Almglocken

2006.10.03 Live at Test Tone 16

AlmglockenAlmglocken is the duo of Takmi Ikeda and Etsuko Suzuki (electronic sound and spoken word, respectively). The self-declared aim: to produce a different kind of vocal music filled with metaphor and color. Lovely electronic sounds, occasionally reminiscent of classical avantgarde electronic music, collide with words and voice, and new meaning arises from the impact.

Track 4: Meri Nikula

2009.04.14 Live at Test Tone 44

Meri NikulaWith a diverse background in music, theater, dance and the visual arts, Meri has explored a wide breadth of expression, on equally-wide terrain, living and studying in the Netherlands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Ghana and most recently, Japan. She has explored the musical traditions of Brazil, Africa and her native Scandinavia as a vocalist and flute player, while also working in genres ranging from classical music to free improvisation and noise. Most recently, she is finding new inspiration as a sound artist with a concept she calls vocal mosaic, where she creates layered collages with her voice.

Track 5: Government Alpha

2007.04.10 Live at Test Tone 22

Government AlphaGovernment Alpha is Yasutoshi Yoshida's experimental harsh noise project that has been in existence since 1994. His debut outing a year later was a track on the compilation CD Extreme Music from Japan, on UK label Susan Lawly. Since then there has been a steady stream of Government Alpha output on compilation and collaboration CDs, as well as his own releases.

Track 6: Scriptones

2009.09.08 Live at Test Tone 49

ScriptonesArmed with an old Yamaha drum machine, a crappy effector, and some deftly chosen field recordings, Stan Eberlein looks deep into the world of interrupted sound, and sound as interruption. By attaching cables and using his hands in the open circuits of the electronics, he is able to throw well-conceived, yet seemingly random, elements of noise into our living spaces.

Track 7: Toque (Kelly Churko+Tim Olive)

2007.12.11 Live at Test Tone 29

ToqueThe collaborative project between Canadian guitarists Kelly Churko and Tim Olive takes its name from a distinctive bit of headgear, worn pretty much all year in Canada. From boiler room echoes to broken toys, everything you would never expect from a guitar, and more.

Track 8: EVOL

2008.01.12 "Winxy/Vorpal Punani" live at Test Tone 30

EVOLAt the core of EVOL is Roc Jiménez de Cisneros, a musician and composer living and working in Barcelona. This electroacoustic piece entitled 'Winxy/Vorpal Punani' addresses some of the main aspects of his work, namely: algorithmic composition, noise, psychedelia, diverse synthesis techniques, spectro-morphology and the musical application of fractal geometry and other mathematical phenomena.

Track 9: Zbigniew Karkowski + Christophe Charles

2007.04.10 Live at Test Tone 22

Zbigniew Karkowski + Christophe CharlesZbigniew Karkowski studied composition at the State College of Music in Gothenburg, Sweden, aesthetics of modern music at the University of Gothenburg's Department of Musicology, and computer music at the Chalmers University of Technology. He has collaborated with many experimental groups and artists, including The Hafler Trio, Blixa Bargeld, Merzbow, Stelarc, John Duncan, and Aube. Christophe Charles has been heavily involved in the Tokyo arts scene since he relocated here on a scholarship back in 1987; his installation and audio works go further back still to 1983. He has released several solo CDs on the Mille Plateaux label and has appeared on many other releases as a collaborator, remixer or contributor.

Track 10: Go Koyashiki

2008.12.09 Live at Test Tone 40

Go KoyashikiGo Koyashiki uses programming languages to create deceptively minimal works based on processed sine waves and manipulated field recordings. In addition to his offerings of electronica, Koyashiki also creates work for string ensemble and chamber music, while remaining active in composition for stage and screen.

Track 11: Missing Man Foundation

2006.05.16 Live at Test Tone 13

Missing Man FoundationMissing Man Foundation is a collaboration between Cal Lyall (Tetragrammaton, Jahiliyyah) and Peter Slade (Legofriendly) using minimal harmonic concepts that incorporate elements of abstract electronica and drone. The music takes a semi-improvised approach with push-button guitar and electronics responding to the shifting textures and beats of the laptop.

Track 12: Masaya Sasaki

2008.02.12 Live at Test Tone 31

Masaya SasakiMusician and poet, Masaya's work seems to be stripped of all unnecessary complexities, highlighting subtle themes and an inventive sense of rhythm and space. With a musical concept that is based in electronica, he works with minimal forms that can sometimes be likened to the early compositions of Terry Riley or Philip Glass.

Track 13: Shintaro Aoki

2008.06.10 Live at Test Tone 34

Shintaro AokiComposer, pianist and electronic artist Shintaro Aoki wants you to feel good. As a musician, he makes some of the most blissful passages of scintillating electronica in recent memory, and as the owner of the Japanese label Mizukage Records, he puts out music that goes straight for your limbic system, guaranteed to massage you into a winning mood.

Track 14: Henna Dress

2009.03.10 Live at Test Tone 43

Henna DressA self-described 'gadget player', Henna Dress has been making music using her Nintendo Gameboy since 1998. Hardly describable, Henna Dress comes out of nowhere with a marvelous mixture of live electronics, all crafted into a cataclysmic bounce with charming dance sensibility.

Video Summary

Listen in to sample audio from all 14 tracks.