Aquatint – Testbild! – £8.99 + P&P
- Sunset Through a Drinking Glass
- Lighthouse Glow
- Rippling Icicle
- Solid Food Invented by Tigers
- Soup and Fog
- Drowning, Breathing
- Disintergration in Daylight
- All of the Fishes
- The Bathysphere
- Damp Meteorograph
- Monochrome Kaleidoscope
- Four Images of Salt
- Garnet Brand Land
- Beneath Transparent Felt
- A Ship Directed
- The Submarine
- My Brother the Submariner
“…shaping up to be one of the best I have heard this year, beautiful music.”
– Shane Quentin, The Garden of Earthly Delights
“Aquatint is not so much an album as a soundtrack, a conceptual piece that has as much to do with art and sound as it does with music. It is what we have came to expect from the Malmo based collective Testbild!. Their music has always been on the edge of sheer brilliance and total annoyance but I’ve always fell on the side that these guys are borderline geniuses. The music is born from folk foundations with hints of electronica and a new wave psychedelic haircut. This is an album that is good for the soul. It is calming and captivating without being pretentious.
I don’t for one minute think that this will appeal to a wide audience. I mean is has no singles or radio hits on it. I can’t see them whipping a Glastonbury crowd into a frenzy but that is not point anyway. If you get it, you get it. Simple as that. Forget about the song titles as they give nothing away. Take Solid Food Invented By Tigers as an example. The title is nonsense as are the lyrics but the track is a sensory experience with the sound of birds and running water acting as a backdrop to the ethereal and atmospheric music woven on top. Perhaps it is the old hippy in me but I seriously love this record.
I’m not going to go through this piece pointing out individual tracks as their is no point. Although there are 20 tracks on here it is not intended to be dipped in and out of, although you easily can. It works as a whole and should be appreciated as such. This is beautiful and beguiling music that has a calming effect and heightens your emotional senses. I can’t recommend this record highly enough.” 5/5 – ALBUM OF THE MONTH JULY 2010 – www.themusiccritic.co.uk
“…It’s soundscapes are haunting, beautiful…”
– David Harry, Americana UK
“…powerful and moving…brave and graceful.”
– Mike Wood, foxydigitalis.com
“…rich instrumental arrangements, beautiful melodies and harmonies, sweet, intricate vocals…it creates its own world, its own poetic imagery…listen and enjoy…”
– Mattias Jonsson, The Sound of Music *
“…everything just flows in, flows across the tracks, sometimes bubbling up like soap bubbles, sometimes downplayed in gentle rivulets of cool water…delightful listening..”
– Patrik Lingren, Sonic *
“The inspired artistic drive that keeps Testbild! creating unusual, intriguing, electronic art pop discs continues with Aquatint, probably their most ambitious to date. The water theme throughout the album artwork gets echoed with the opening track — consisting of little more than the sound of rushing fluids — which makes the easygoing gentility of “Lighthouse Glow” a fine contrast as the album’s first song, as such. The album’s 20 songs touch on everything from the quietest of keyboard pieces to sweetly sung confections that shows the group’s Beach Boys love will never die to further collages of natural sounds and other elements, all within the overarching context of both the general water theme and a short film and story included with the album. In a nice touch, the concluding song, “My Brother the Submariner,” is actually an outside songwriting contribution from a simpatico source, Matt Jones of the Hepburns.”
– Ned Raggett, All Music Guide
“”Latest Testbild album doesn’t disappoint. I love listening to this while I’m busy at work.”
“…intelligent easy listening…complex and harmonious…”
– Hakan Engstrom, Sydsvenska Dagbladet *
* Translated from the original Swedish
Testbild! is a secretive project from Malmö, Sweden playing pop music with avant-garde pretentions.
Previously released albums include The Double Life of Testbild! (2001), The Inexplicable Feeling of September (2004), Imagine a House (2006) and Une Teinte Intense (2007), a thematic album about Isabelle Eberhardt.
Aquatint is the most ambitious Testbild! project to date – 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.
Originally a small-scale release on the bands own (now inactive) Friendly Noise label in 2009, this, Testbild!’s first full UK release is brought to you by Folkwit Records.
In 2010 the band released a collaboration with French singer-songwriter/arranger Louis Philippe entitled Ocean Tango which can be previewed and purchased at the Bandcamp page.