The Double Life of Testbild!

Radio Khartoum

Testbild — that is, multi-instrumentalist Petter Herbertsson — has made a strangely, beautifully captivating introverted electro-pop concept album, uniting Kraftwerk and the obscure 1970s synth-outfit Space with contemporary acts as hugely diverse as Broadcast, Air, and Mice Parade. The album narrates the blurred story of Eniac and Univac, two explorers in different elements — sea and space — who may or may not be the same person, but who either way compete with each other to satisfy their own egos. Or so it seems. The story is told in a series of vignettes, detailing various aspects of the characters’ lives, and Testbild manages to convey both enigma and suspense throughout the album.

All that, obviously, wouldn’t matter much if the album didn’t cut it musically. Thankfully, it does, and impressively so, even. From the swing jazz vocals of “Molloy In Orbit” to the modernist piano piece “New York” and the classic electro of “Eniac vs. Univac,” Testbild constantly explores the minimalist analog landscape he initially maps out, while always staying true to his story and the founding sound. Hardly a pioneering work, Testbild has nevertheless produced an album of lovingly rendered melodies, that takes in everything and still manages to come up with something that makes beautiful sense. Stunning and visual music.

Radio Khartoum: http://www.radiokhartoum.com

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