Photo: Kurø (Teste)
It’s a good time for rough and bleak techno, for dystopian and transgressive sounds. Teste’s return after many years of radio silence isn’t that surprising then, perhaps their tracks – like the iconic 1992 belter “The Wipe” – are no being played more often than ever. David Foster, the last remaining founding member in 2018, doesn’t mince words about his comeback, which sees him teaming up with Martin Maischein alias Goner for an EP on Phase Fatale’s BITE imprint. “I will try and compete within the ‘Business Techno’ paradigm we find ourselves in Industrial Techno Incorporated™ these days,” he dryly writes via e-mail. Teste’s contribution to our Groove podcast however is as abrasive as you’d think it was.
Teste was founded in 1992 in Hamilton and disbanded in 1994. What lead to the project’s end?
Teste in the 90s was brief and cataclysmic. We were misplaced, mismatched outcasts and in my case from the “wrong side of the tracks” from Hamilton no less – which is itself pretty much the wrong side of fucking everywhere! Those days were marked by extreme conflict and the whole thing was doomed from the start for too many reasons. I do believe the best work is done under chaos and extreme conditions which were delivered in abundance!
For the Rewipes series, producers like Rrose or Steve Bicknell remixed the iconic “The Wipe” track from 1992, the second time after 2006’s The Wipe Remixes. What made you come back to the track several times?
Well, to be clear I had nothing to do with any of that. That enterprise was more to do with Edit Select who was a very ardent supporter and I appreciate his efforts to relaunch it to mostly skeptical ears at the time. Basically the selection was of classic and current producers that had some influence from the release.
With The Box Man, you will release the first Teste record in 25 years. What made you reactive Teste – and what does Teste stand for in 2018?
Well, at this point in my constant barrage of output as Huren, Organg 2, Obscene Mannequin, Perceptrons, and collaborations in O/H and others I can’t remember over the decades, it has become apparent Teste is my most commercially viable project and since I have no substantial work skills or other options I will try and compete within the “Business Techno” paradigm we find ourselves in Industrial Techno Incorporated™ these days. Basically hoping to reap some of the rewards before it becomes the next minimal techno trend that experienced a well-deserved demise. Everything goes in cycles! Just hoping Berlin next year doesn’t incite some sort of progressive house and funky breaks backlash! Then I’ll be looking for some service industry positions! Teste 2018 is DEPRESSiVE TECHNOiD SLOP iN THE ATTENTiON ECONOMY. DiSMAL ELECTRONiCS FOR THE SHORT TERM SOCIAL VALiDATiON FEEDBACK LOOP – and we’re looking for shifts at a festival near you!
The new line-up features Martin Maischein, known for his work under the Goner moniker. How did he become a member of Teste and how is your working process like these days?
Martin was a chance meeting through an introduction from Rich Oddie of Orphx last year during May Day riots in Kotti in Berlin. We hit it off and have a nice creative counterpoint. My unyielding nihilism and his German precision! Strains of new electronic revolt!
Your contribution to our Groove podcast is your first published online mix, if not your first published DJ mix at all. How did you approach it and what was your idea behind it?
Not to be deliberately contrarian but this is the second Teste podcast, the first of which is on the illustrious Lithuanian site SecretThirteen and as Huren I have many others all readily available with an internet search browser function. For this podcast, we approached it rather light-heartedly and lopsidedly with a range of influences and some current releases. It strays into some areas of gauche 90s acid and overwrought lounge-lizard camp but captures the many guises and sides of our work as a whole. There was too much raw material to go through – I would have contributed more but since our Ableton versions were incompatible we were unable to synch in more of my contributions. After this I am definitely going to learn Bitwig to avoid these situations! I really wanted some Wire and Bruce Gilbert’s He Said projects in it but sometimes we don’t get what we want out of life. Marty did a great job with his cuts and volume envelopes!
Last but not least: Where can we see you live in the near future, and what are your plans as producers?
Once the dust settles from this recent media campaign we play Up To Date Festival Poland, Berghain and Khidi in Georgia and perhaps more by the time the media frenzy plays out!
Stream: Teste – Groove Podcast 165
01. Teste – The Box Man
02. Kobo Abe – Interview with EMS Synthi
03. Regis – The Master Side
04. Future 9596 – The Abyss
05. Visage – Damned Don’t Cry
06. Mad Mike – Lotech Reality
07. 4E – 96 Killer
08. Coil – Cold Cell
09. Ghengis – Acid Body
10. Didemus/Maischein – Horn80
11. Jon Hassell – Manga Scene
12. Birushanah – Akai Yami
13. S.C.U.M – 586
14. Skidoo23 – Kundalini
15. UVB76 – TenEightSeven (Huren Remix)
16. EON – Phaze Test (30beatscycle)
17. Richard Bone – Sordid Affair
18. Xynn – Schooldays
19. To Rococo Rot – He Loves Me
20. Swell Maps – The Graveyard Shift
21. Bruce Haack w. Ed Harvey – Crazy Dream
22. Tonetta – My Bro
23. Add n to (x) – The Sound of Accelerating Concrete”
24. Autogen – Slimnieks
25. Giuseppi Logan, Don Pullen, Milford Grave – More
26. Human League – Dignity of Labour
27. Devo – Mongoloid
28. Antonio Cora – The Cellar
29. John Zorn – Leviathan
30. Nash The Slash – Swingshift
31. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Cracked
32. Pink Industry – What I Wouldn’t Give