The guys are celebrating their second release together as ‘Test Tone’ this week which was signed to German giant Mobilee. We caught up with them both for a quick chat.
Thanks for talking to us today, and congratulations on your second release as ‘Test Tone’. Tell us a bit about ‘East End’ and the vibe you were going for with this record?
Mark Fanciulli: This was created on our last week back in December at John’s studio in Stockholm. When working together we heavily emphasise thinking outside the box and to do whatever we want. With “East End” our idea was to maintain a very gradual and dynamic sound with focus on an intense undertone.
Zoo Brazil: I recall this as one of the last tracks we did during the last studio session we had over here in Stockholm. We talked about doing a deep, atmospheric, haunting-sounding track but still progressive and forward moving that keeps the dance floor excited, like one of those songs that keep you on your toes and makes you wanna hear more.
Tell us a bit about how you both met, what was the catalyst behind the alias and how did it come together?
Mark Fanciulli: I have been a big fan of John’s output for a long time and when I was looking after Saved I was taking care of one of his releases when we started to chat. We share so many common interests in and out of music and he kindly invited me over to his amazing setup in Sweden. I was so excited and the first session back in 2016 went really well, we produced so much music and that has been the case on every trip since. Choosing track titles is something I find very tricky to do, but a new project title, that’s even harder. We wanted to go with something simple but that reflects us and so we came up with “Test Tone”.
Zoo Brazil: We first came into contact when Mark was running Saved Records. We started talking about the old Rave and Break Beat scene in the UK and we really could not stop talking about it, so we started to talk about the idea to make a song together. Mark came over to my studio and after two days we had five songs and after the next session we had 10 songs. We thought it might be a good idea to team up and do something more than just a few one off records, to think of a new project name. Coming up with a name was the hardest thing really.
The sound of your Test Tone releases is a contrast to both of your personal productions, would you say that’s a fair assumption, and how would you describe the sound you’re looking to create?
Mark Fanciulli: My personal sound is very diverse, covering the whole of the House & Techno genres so I would say that the Test Tone sound fits perfectly into this. It’s very techy stuff, but there is a lot of House/Groove to it as well. The only way it perhaps differs is that it reaches a more progressive direction than my solo output, but that’s just nit-picking. As Test Tone, we want to create literally what is on our minds at the time, for example, I will pull up a record and say to John, “ This is amazing I would love to create something like this, listen to the way the synth goes out of time”.
Zoo Brazil: Nah not really, I make all kind of music all the time and I have always done all kind of styles, and Mark as well on his side. But I can feel it’s a kind of relief to work with somebody in the studio and you definitely influence each other and push each other which is great, always fun and easy to work.
Tell us a bit about your production set up, how do you approach each project and do you work together from the same studio?
Zoo Brazil: My studio is packed with vintage analogue synths and gadgets so what we do is how I have always done it, playing around with the synths and have fun. It can be a sound you come up with or a drum pattern, we just play around and try to go with the flow. It’s been a perfect way of doing it, Mark and me jam here and we go from there.
Mark Fanciulli: John’s studio is one of the best out there, it really is a place where great things can be made. He has an arsenal of synthesisers and a wealth of knowledge. Spending time with him there has definitely influenced the way I work when I come back to work at my place.
Having released your debut EP on Saved last year, your follow up is here on the much loved Mobilee Records, how did your relationship with the Berlin label come about, and what were the main reasons for signing the EP with them?
Mark Fanciulli: A few years ago I did a release on their sub-label, Leena and since then have wanted to continue working with them, so when we had the tracks ready they were on our hitlist. I believe they are responsible for delivering some amazing music and we’re release no199 that just shows the calibre of underground label they are.
Zoo Brazil: Mark was good friends of them, I have never really had contact with them in the past, but after a few emails and chats and they really loved the music. It feels great to be part of the label, also with the great history they have. They where really friendly and welcoming, so it feels great to be part of the Mobilee family.
What else can we expect from Test Tone in 2018? Will there be any live sets?
Mark Fanciulli: Last year we played two shows in Stockholm which went really well so more of them will happen and we’ll look to evolving them into live sets. Another release is scheduled to come later in the year on Joris Voorn’s “Green” imprint but more will come on that later.
Zoo Brazil: We are working on some more music here now and yes we have done two DJ sets together just for a simple test. We had never even been in a club together before which was bit funny, so we just went with flow B2B, so much fun and I must say it went really well. The club promoter already asked us to come back so we must have done something right.