Mark Tester – “Super Hiss” CS
8 / 28 / 2020
Mark Tester – Super Hiss
A psychedelic tapestry of vignettes and loose, homespun pop-adjacent songs, Super Hiss finds Indianapolis musician Mark Tester at his stream-of-conscious best. Tester plays in Crazy Doberman and in Caldwell/Tester, alongside longtime collaborator Landon Caldwell, with whom he also co-runs the experimental label Medium Sound.
Akin to his previous solo outings, Super Hiss derives its meaning and magic from the mundanity of everyday life – taking clips from outdoor sound anomalies, hand clipped tape loops and other patchworked found-sound moments recorded as a phone memo. These pieces are then dumped onto a 4-track cassette for a few layers of overdubs and then sometimes onto an 8 track reel-to-reel. The album is comprised of synthesizers, real instruments and faux-instruments derived from a floppy disk. The playful spirit and boundless creativity of Tester oozes from his solo work. It’s music imbued with his everyman philosophy that music, sounds and inspiration are all around you, waiting to be plucked from this universe and into your own. That freedom from rigidity and overthinking has resulted in Super Hiss, a free-flowing pop collage of experimentation and brilliant, melodic weirdness.