Originally self-released as a tape under the artist name Pest(e), this 1996 collection of IDM and analog electronics is in fact the debut Lowfish album. Intended as a demo, it caught the attention of infamous UK label Skam —but after months of fruitless phone tag with the label, it was time for Gregory De Rocher to strike out on his own. Dropping his Pest(e) moniker in favour of Lowfish, in 1997 De Rocher co-founded Suction Records with like-minded producer Jason Amm, aka Solvent. While that Test(e) tape wasn’t technically a Suction Records release, it served as the impetus for starting the label, and we’ve always referred to it as catalog # suction000.
Fans of mid/late-90s Artificial Intelligence classics from Autechre, Locust, Aphex Twin, u-Ziq, and Bola will recognize those hallmark sounds here, alongside traces of formative influence from Skinny Puppy, OMD, and Tangerine Dream. Recorded live to DAT with a bedroom full of analog classics (Roland Jupiter 6, TR-808, TR-606, Arp Odyssey, Korg MS-20), a sampler, and an arsenal of cheap FX units, the melodies here are lush and addictive, with layers of warm, lo-fi-ish (get it?) grit - often intentional, sometimes just a product of the process. Although largely on the armchair techno tip, the dense drum programming also nods to the burgeoning drum and bass movement, which De Rocher was firmly (but only briefly) obsessed with.