Meontological Research Recordings: Teste Tones

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One of the more bizarre entries in the T.A.G.C. catalog, Teste Tones, also known as Meontological Research Recording Record 2, with its simple black cover with photo of an oscilloscope jagged wave might be mistaken for an album of some kind of scientific research tones. The start of the album, a couple seconds of a 40 hz hum, a voice intoning, "This is only a test" and then another high-pitched tone, certainly wouldn't dispel that idea. The tone drones endlessly, is joined by a few others without compromising the extreme minimalist aesthetic, while the voice, which is also used on the more dance-oriented 12" single "Broadcast Test," repeats. On this record, Adi Newton seems to have ditched most of the group from earlier efforts, as well as the jazz elements, for a work of pure electronics. The third track, "E.P.M.D.," cuts loose from the mode, as a clanking, bare-bones electro beat becomes the backdrop for sirens, panicking voices, and other suspense sound bites. An even more fascinating track, "A.A.A.," starts off with very simple repeating elements, and slowly layers more on top until the piece achieves a strange tension of changing sounds similar to some of Steve Reich's early tape experiments. The pair of longer tracks at the end are more in the minimal ambient sonicscape that T.A.G.C. has done elsewhere just as well, but on the whole, this is a strange disc, not at all accessible, but so what? Who listens to T.A.G.C. for accessibility?

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