Ten years ago, Acid Test began with a simple concept – each track the label released would make use of the Roland TB-303. Like a producer purposefully paring down their studio setup, or the continuous imperative within underground electronic music to reduce, this concept engendered creativity with the introduction of what seemed to be an aesthetic limit. However, the decade that followed, which now culminates in the triple-LP compilation Ten Years Of Acid Test, proves acid is limitless. That the Berlin-via-LA label would expand upon the classical conception of acid house and techno is no surprise considering the cast of characters that have come in fold over the past decade. Ten Years Of Acid Test gathers key material from the label’s extended family of acid acolytes. There’s that Vienna-via-LA maestro of sad, elegant acid Tin Man (Johannes Auvinen), whose “Afters Acid” is both a highlight within his prolific catalogue and a distillation of his symphonic approach to the 303. Detroit giants Erika and Marcellus Pittman, both of whom have released remixes on Acid Test, present their respective and singular Bass Line visions. Erika, the Interdimensional Transmissions lynchpin, crafts a dark, delicate take on broken techno on “Violet Fungus” while Pittman continues his cubist house explorations on “Unknown Species,” both tracks straying from typical acid lines in favor of the intricate textures achievable on the 303. This variation in approach applies to tempo as well. Irish-based master Lerosa, as well as Delsin affiliate VC-118A, delve into downtempo atmospherics. Meanwhile, Japanese deep techno virtuoso Wata Igarashi, SUED co-founder SW. (a regular on Acid Test’s leftfield sub-label Avenue 66) and Patricia (one-half of Acid Test act Ociya) use acid as a creative jumping-off point for complex melodic concepts. Wata layers an orchestra of synth-bliss drone overtop a squelchy bassline on “Ephemeral.” SW.’s “ChaIAnJAzzz” cycles through an array of dusted chords eventually landing in skewed, fuzzy rave nostalgia, anthemic chords held aloft by a wicked UK-flavour bass line. Patricia’s “Higher Still” explores dreamy, IDM-flavoured acid, cinematic synthlines counterbalanced by propulsive, squelching acid. Acid Test devotees will be thrilled at the return of various luminaries from the catalogue, including Achterbahn D’Amour, Skudge, AAAA, John Tejada and Donato Dozzy, whose memorable remix of Tin Man’s “Nonneo” from Acid Test 01 served as a kind of proof of concept for the label. There’s new blood too. San Francisco up-and-comer Sepehr makes his label debut with the excellent “Persian Acid Prince,” as does Andreas Tilliander’s beloved hardware techno project, TM404. Ten Years Of Acid Test is a valuable portrait of a group of artists linked by a dedication to innovation within acid, in line with the genre’s storied roots. Over ten years, Acid Test has gracefully made a case for the 303’s past, present and future, the story of acid continuing to unfurl in unpredictable, addictive patterns.
Leopoldo Rosa AKA Lerosa has been fighting against lazy categorization for years, offering up tracks that go way beyond the deep house sound he cultivated in the early years of his career. Those who still think he makes records like that should definitely check “Bucket Of Eggs”, his long-awaited second album, because it’s far more thrillingly wayward, off-kilter and alien-sounding than anything he’s released before. It’s rooted in house music – and twisted acid house, in particular – but also doffs a cap towards Rephlex style mutant electronica, turn-of-the-90s Bleep and Bass (the superbly weighty and spacey “Sheffield”), skewed electro (“Subterfuge”) and even deep space electronica (killer closing cut “Don’t Worry”). In a word: essential.
Acid Test continues their journey with the return of Achterbahn D’Amour. On their first proper release in three years, Jool & Iron Curtis patiently craft an intricate sound world – with the opening track, major-key pads hearken towards a bright future, hi-hats rustle like leaves and on “Dehaveland,” percussive elements fall into beautiful, random unison like factory machines staging an after hours dance. Samuel Van Dijk’s vaunted VC-118A project steps up for a remix, turning in a taut techno version that unfurls smoke pillars of ghostly ambience. The duo wraps up the four-tracker with an unexpected dreamy electro turn, “Don’t Talk To Me.” Throughout Acid Test 13, they remain in lockstep with the label’s ethos – to bend, hammer and flatten acid lines into new, imaginative shapes.
The Trickfinger project was recorded 10 years ago with no intention of being released at the time, made purely for discovery and learning experience. ‘In my opinion, making music with no intention of releasing it is the best thing a musician can do for his own development in this day and age. The Trickfinger LP was made in that mindset, and it was the beginning of a new musical life for me. When I hear it, it sounds like I am opening up doorways to new worlds, and I never have had that feeling listening to music I made for the purpose of releasing it and selling it.’
Recondite aka Lorenz Brunner is back, this time partaking in some wild experiments with acid, on behalf of California’s Acid Test imprint. Beginning with the ultra-deep and reductionist “Compel” which is reminiscent of early Plastikman, he then launches into the funky R&B tempo of “Pass Up” and the sombre and emotional tones of “Undulate” which gets the first four to the floor beat going. Life & Death label mates Tale Of Us join Brunner on the stunningly soulful “Sequenze” while “Subdue” presents his darkest side on the album. Later on “Ley” gets a peak time level stomp on, in fine acidic style. While Brunner has most definitely found his stride, leading to current mass appeal, he certainly proves he still has underground credentials on this fine effort.
Achterbahn D’Amour’s machinefunk opus, “Odd Movements.” gets reworked with 4 sonically diverse remixes. Detroit don Marcellus Pittman kicks things off with a massive, unsettling flip of “Holy Roman Empire.” The Italian producer Chevel is up next with a virtuosic take on the LP’s title track. His cubist, artfully restrained version ends with over a minute of icy techno snap. Convextion, as well, chooses to hold back for maximum impact, infusing the moody “Passagen” with subdued electro bounce. Finally, SW. imbuesthe duo’s “Konigstr” with dubbed-out breakbeat pressure, occasionally allowing the original acid line to seep through a skittering rave rhythm.
California-raised Johannes Auvinen made his name blending hypnotic techno with the distinctive electronics of acid house. His most recent album, 2012’s Neo Neo Acid, moved further towards the sounds of Phuture. Ode, his seventh full-length, sits somewhere in between, delivering a sequence of deep, hypnotic grooves that utilise acid lines not to create energy, but as melodic hooks. With the addition of his own half-whispered vocals on a number of cuts, the result is an atmospheric set that feels like the soundtrack to a hazy after party. For the most part, it’s very impressive, and has a genuinely weary, late night mood that’s strangely attractive.
Veteran Italian producer Donato Dozzy and California’s Tin Man are old pals, with the latter having first remixed the former way back in 2011. Here, the two join forces for a voyage into acid-flecked late night science for Absurd’s ever excellent Acid Test series. “Test 7” sets the tone, delivering a hypnotic, heads-down journey into deep, stripped-back acid house. While it’s the EP’s most obviously floor-friendly moment, there’s something far more thrilling about the bubbling, beatless electronics of “Test 2” and “Test 3”. The latter, doused in minimal techno atmospherics, is intensely beautiful in its warm, melodic simplicity.
The debut full-length by Achterbahn D’amour (Johannes “Iron Curtis” Paluka and Jurgen “Jool” Albert), captures two artists coaxing the most emotional sounds to date out of classic Roland boxes. The album is the natural extension of the duo’s live-rooted sound, further defining the oblique dance moves contained on their three Acid Test EPs. They demonstrate a true reverence for the 303 and 606. On “Odd Movements”, lush pads and abrupt toms create a literal pedestal for the bassline machine. The duo have hit on a sound well-suited for dark rooms and towering sound systems.
Tin Man returns to Acid Test with the club ready track ”Mystified Acid”. the 12” also includes two remixes from his ”Neo Neo Acid” album: ”Finger Paint” remixed by RVDS and Joey Anderson’s remix of ”Futurist Acid”.
Acid Test’s first release of 2013 features two acid tracks from the French professor Pepe Bradock (his first release outside of his own Atavisme imprint in 10 years). Lifting Weights / Mujeres Nerviosas Recorded in LA, assembled in Paris.
Achterbahn D’Amour is delivering the latest 12 inch in the Acid Test series from L.A.’s Absurd Recordings. “Cardbox” is a laid back, stripped down and tripped out groove with a spacey dubbed out remix from Chicago’s Innespace Halflife on the B-side along with the bonus cut “Harmonia”.
Tin Man presents an ambitious but club ready album of 303 centric dance tracks. 8 cuts that ably followup his breakout single ”Nonneo” from 2011 which launched the popular ”Acid Test” series on Absurd Recordings.
Acid Test’s first double pack is a mini album of deep melancholic acid tracks from the Berlin producer Recondite. Includes a remix from Tin Man as well as a remix from Scuba.
After their debut, Achterbahn D’Amour (aka Iron Curtis & Edit Piafra) return to Absurd, with 2 new tracks plus a massive remix from Skudge.
The third part in Absurd Recordings’ Acid Test Series is “a spaced out ambient acid tune” recorded for the Labyrinth festival in 2010 by Donato Dozzy. Labelmate Tin Man remixes the track on the flipside and turns it “into a dark tripped out acid journey” with his added vocals.
This is the 2nd Acid Test 12” from Absurd Recordings done by Iron Curtis. Features the original mix of Your Love along with two remixes from the Idjut Boys.
This is the debut release in this new series done by Absurd Recordings. The first Acid Test 12″ features 3 tracks from Tin Man, including a remix of “Nanneo” by Donato Dozzy.