TESTCARDS 1989–1995

Format: DB-CD
Released: April 1997
Label: Test
Catalogue: TEST 1

Artist: Martin Hall
Written and produced by Martin Hall
Design: Signe Toft Jacobsen

INDEX

CD 1:
1. Curtain Fall 7:55
2. Calling My Name 6:45
3. Shining Through 5:14
4. The Crystal Sky 5:46
5. Killing Fields 6:07
6. Chain of Events 5:46
7. No Questions Asked 4:55
8. House of Cards 6:24
9. Cradlemoon 5:17
10. Like the Touch of Rain (Performance) 4:40
11. Journal of Another Heart Laid Bare 5:29
12. Behind Closed Eyes (Cue) 3:30
13. The Tempest 4:52

CD 2:
14. Untouchable 5:02
15. Rota 2:30
16. Urban Heat 2:13
17. Coming Your Way 3:58
18. Afterglow 4:05
19. Harder 5:29
20. Pure 5:00
21. Transfer 2:50
22. Stigma 4:52
23. 20th Century Love Theme 7:12
24. Melt Away 4:36
25. Second Nature 6:16
26. Elysium 6:14
27. Erasing the Traces 4:08
28. A Temporary Display 5:18
29. Palladium 3:50

LYRICS
Curtain Fall

The moon upon the sky
It’s bleeding light on gardens made of stone
Under the jealous clouds
The shadows break and leave the world alone
All on its own

The strangest of beliefs
Is to be found within the empty eye
All beauty looks so weak
You move your hand towards it and it hides
It hides and dies

Oh my love
Your flesh and your blood is all I need
Everything I know

And I’ll count every tear
Every tear that you’ve cried
And I’ll melt every wave on the oceans of ice
From the stars in the night there’ll be shining a light
Dirt and dust is the earth that we try to hide

Oh my love
You shine like a summer dream
The sky high above
It fades like a dying scream
Oh my love
Will you think of me?
My love
Will you set me free?

Immaculate as need
Immaculate perfection on your skin
It slowly blows away
A scent within the air is all that stays
Upon the stage

The play is at its end
Your face, it seems so pale within the light
A secret most supreme
We’ll meet again in someone else’s dream
In time you’ll see

And I’ll count every tear
Every tear that you’ve cried
And I’ll melt every wave on the oceans of ice
From the stars in the night there’ll be shining a light
Dirt and dust is the earth that we try to hide

Oh my love
You shine like a summer dream
The sky high above
It fades like a dying scream
Oh my love
Will you think of me
My love
Will you set me free?

My love
You will live deep inside me
At the curtain fall

Calling my Name

She’s a silent voice inside me
She’s a voice that calls my name
She’s a quiet dream inside me
She’s a dream that stays the same
She’s a distant world inside me
She’s a face within the rain
She’s a moment and a memory
And she’s calling me again

She keeps on calling my name
She keeps on calling inside me
I see her face in the rain
She keeps on calling

Through all the days of my life
I’ve searched for some higher meaning
I’ve paid whatever the price
Only to find out that I need her

She’s a world inside a moment
She’s forever and a day
She’s a portrait of a longing
Of an age that’s far away
She’s a tear that shines like diamond
She’s a face within the rain
She’s a golden world of silence
And it’s calling me again

Shining Through

Shining
Shining through the darkness
A face made of fire
A face made of dreams

Shining
Shining through the silence
I feel her beside me
I feel her inside

And I see her
Shining through the night
And I need her
Just to feel her
Lying close by my side

Shining
Shining through the empty
She touches like reason
She touches like light

Shining
Shining through the sadness
She’s all that I’ve asked for
She’s all that I need

And the silence
The silence is hers
She’s my reason
She’s my religion
She’s everything that I know

In the heartland of the night
Every feeling melts into mind
She gives me meaning
She gives me feeling
She’s the silence I’m feeling inside

The Crystal Sky

The crystal sky, it shines no shelter
The crystal sky, it shines so hard
A crystal heart, it never disappears
‘Cause crystal hearts, they never die

And their faces keep on shining through the night
And their silhouettes, they flicker in the light
They shine so hard

The tired skin, it needs a shelter
The tired skin, it needs the night
The ticking clock, it doesn’t know the time
The ticking clock, it doesn’t care

And the traces on my skin, they shine at night
Underneath the prison of the crystal sky
It shines so hard

Voices seem to whisper underneath the floors
And the eyes, they keep on burning through the walls
They shine so hard

And the crystal sky is shining through the night
Shining painfully on all that never dies
It shines so hard

Killing Fields

Hear the voices on the airwaves
See the faces on the screens
There’s a world of best intentions
Turning into killing fields

I used to think that we were different
I used to put my trust in you
And in the days of never-ending time
I guess that you believed it too

Now I’m looking at your face
As you sit on turning tables
As you’re trying not to think of the irony
You always wanted everything
But you lost the guarding feeling
You wanted more than you could steal
Became the son of killing fields

Like the sweetest contradiction
Like the strangest of beliefs
In a world that changes overnight
Flesh and blood, it seems so weak

No one seemed to understand you
No one even seemed to try
Not an unsolved piece of mystery
When you start to wonder why

Through the windows of the world
You could see a thousand faces
But you never took the time to try to understand
And when the rain began to fall
There was nowhere to seek shelter
There was nowhere left to hide
Except the killing fields inside

The stars were burning in your blood
As you reached out for the angels
It only seemed a breath away
But then it seemed to fade
And when you fell down from the sky
Seems you got your all-tomorrow
A never-ending set of trials
The killing fields of your own mind

Chain of Events

Can’t remember how it started, guess it’s always been this way
I was waiting for the moment that kept slipping into days
In a room without a view you’ve got all the time you need
To remember who you are, to recall the things you’ve seen

Just like a perfect puzzle, like a story without end
I was caught between the lines in this chain of events
I watched the teardrops burn out, watched the world change its skin
Thought I’d leave it behind but then I went further in

At first it all seemed like nothing new
The same old disease without a cure
The only thing changed was the measure of sand in the glass

I saw the stars fall from the sky
I saw the days getting shorter
I saw the hearts bleed in the night
I saw the ice turn to water
I saw the wastelands of dead eyes
I heard the whispering silence
Within the corners of my mind
The faces kept on returning

So perfect paranoia is perfect awareness
At least that’s what I thought but no one seemed to want to share it
A ghost on every corner and a world too out of hand
Seemed they just ignored the values that they didn’t understand

With so-called nothing to hide they all shined their empty hearts
While they told me that the lies were in the story from the start
Never thought I’d be returning to the place it all began
To the tainted heart of longing where feeling travels hand to hand

I followed the pathways of the scars
I followed the guidelines of my heart
Wherever I went, all I saw was the face of the past

I saw the stars fall from the sky
I saw the days getting shorter
I saw the hearts bleed in the night
I saw the ice turn to water
I saw the wastelands of dead eyes
I heard the whispering silence
Within the corners of my mind
The faces kept on returning

Don’t forget the past
If we forget it, we’ll repeat it
All the poison that we’ve had, I never thought that we would need it
Oh God, I hate their narrow minds and all their new world master plans
All they’ve ever seemed to do’s to turn tomorrow secondhand

The words are said, the same old lines
A world that’s falling to pieces
In the innocent blue eyes you’ll see the spreading diseases
In the kingdom of the blind conquistadors are returning
And their target is your mind
They’re just waiting for their season

Seems like the story never ends in this chain of events
Could we make the circle end?

No Questions Asked

If all the stars within the night
Could burn a hole upon the sky
The heavens high would fall like rain
Tell the story once again

When I see her
When I breathe her
On cool, white sheets
She defines me
She reminds me
Of the sleep I need
Of all I need

No questions asked, it’s all the same
She holds her hand over the flame
If walls could talk I’d listen in
Hear the story once again

House of Cards

Turning around to catch the feeling
Watching it fade into the air
All of the reasons you believed in
Never seemed to be there

Time after time you heard their stories
Time after time you missed the point
All of the time you looked for answers
Never saw the questions you found

You tried to hold on to broken pieces
You tried to believe what wasn’t there

I know the way it’s falling inside you
I know the way it feels when it falls apart
I know the way it keeps falling
When it’s falling like a house of cards

Trying to count a thousand reasons
Trying to keep a single thought
All of the world to disbelieve in
For a heart
Torn apart

I know the way it’s falling inside you
I know the way it feels when it falls apart
I know the way it keeps falling
When it’s falling like a house of cards

The water keeps running through your fingers
The silence keeps hanging in the air
You’re watching the stranger in the mirror
There’s nobody there
Nobody there

Cradlemoon

The fire and the water keep mixing in my blood
The sons and the daughters seemed to give it all up
They got too tired of the waiting, too tired to believe
In the promises that nobody keeps
I’ve seen a generation coming, I’ve seen a generation go
And the more I see, the less I know

I want to go to sleep
I want to drown in the deep of the cradlemoon
I want to touch the sky
I want to lie down and die in the cradlemoon of the night

So I followed the shadows by the trail of the waste
And it led me into the heart, to the heart of these days
Never wanted to remember, never wanted to believe
But you don’t ask why when the thunderheart beats
All I wanted was a reason, what I got was so much more
Felt my heart would burst by the things that I saw

I want to go to sleep
I want to drown in the deep of the cradlemoon
I want to touch the sky
I want to lie down and die in the cradlemoon of the night

In a world full of stories, they will never explain
Why the cry of my heart and my soul stays the same

Like the Touch of Rain (Performance)

Fields of living fire
You’ll see me reaching into the air
The shadow of a survivor
I turn around but there’s no one there

I’ve been looking for reason
Some poisons taste like the sweetest wine
But all I ever believed in
Was all the things that I couldn’t find

Now I believe the silence holds the answers
And I believe that nothing ever stays the same
I’m gonna keep on taking any chances
‘Cause I believe that love is like the touch of rain

Hear the cries and the whispers
The touch-and-go of another night
The afterglow of desire
Shines with the flame of a lesser light

A line of nameless faces
Fading away in a sea of time
A heart of empty spaces
Is far too often what’s left behind

But I believe the silence holds the answers
And I believe that nothing ever stays the same
I’m gonna keep on taking any chances
‘Cause I believe that love is like the touch of rain

Like a circle never ends
There’s a fire in my blood
And no matter what I do
Seems like it’s never going to stop

Journal of Another Heart Laid Bare)

Another heart laid bare on the doorstep to my exile
The salt and pantomime of any world
I see the bended heads, always humble in the daylight
Playing the servant’s role to never see

Of all the souvenirs that you left for my keeping
The one I like the most is the world outside
I never thought I would but the distance seems so perfect
I can’t deny the fact that I’m pleasantly surprised

Another victim cries, points his finger at the heavens
But when the sun goes down he counts his coins
The traces on my skin, they keep shining in the nighttime
A fingerprint on every memory

Behind Closed Eyes (Cue)

The cities of light, the mirrors beneath the stars
In all of my life I’ve followed my untamed heart
It keeps raging like a fever in the sleepless nights
In a somewhere behind closed doors and behind closed eyes

The sea of the sky keeps shining a world of gold
The sweeter the song, the sadder the tale that’s told
There’s a story, there’s a secret that I’ll never know
There’s a feeling that will follow me anywhere I’ll go

I’ll walk on the waters
I’ll quiet the storms
With you as my reason
With you as my calm

The Tempest

I’ve been wanting
I’ve been needing
I’ve been longing for you
Like a hunger
Deep down under
I’ve been starving just for you

‘Cause I want you so
And I need to know
If you need me like I need you
Please answer my prayers

I need to know
I need you so
I need to breathe you
To be near you
To feel you
I need your love
Your finger touch
I need to feel you
Burning on me
Inside me

I’ve been hurting
I’ve been searching
I’ve been thirsting for you
From the gentle
To a tempest
I keep yearning just for you

‘Cause I want you so
And I need to know
If you want me like I want you
Please answer my prayers

Untouchable

From blood into ashes
A word in the night
I heard someone whisper that I’d passed the line
The scream of my heartbeat
It’s burning in cold anger by the things I hear

Blood into ashes
And in the night the rain keeps on falling
And in the streets the silence keeps calling

In the untouchable of each moment
In the untouchable of the silence
And in the night the rain keeps on falling
And in the streets the silence keeps calling

I’ve heard enough statements like “everything’s relative”
Go jump from a rooftop, there goes your philosophy
‘Cause the map they’ve made isn’t the landscape
Although nicely drawn

Over and over
Falling all over again

In the untouchable of each moment
In the untouchable of the silence
And in the night the rain keeps on falling
And in the streets the silence keeps calling

Tears of dust
Colours of the night
Words of chains
Memories of lies
Gonna break on through
Fantasies
Poisons taste like wine
In a dream
In a dream of time
The untouchable
Gonna reach the untouchable

Rota

I watch them come, I watch them go
I watch them go to pieces
Where they’re going nobody knows
But it’s the way that seems easy

Easy come, easy go
Where they go no one knows

The rhythm of the rota never stops
We’re such stuff as dreams are made of

I watch them run, I watch them fall
Within their own wall-to-wall smiles
The story goes, it goes ’round and ’round
The way up and down is the same

Urban Heat

Urban heat and urban child
I remember running wild
Urban heat and urban blood
I just couldn’t get enough
Cutting wires, running hot

Urban heat and urban baby
Sweet thing going bitter maybe
I don’t doubt your intuition
But it seems you need resistance

Hear the thunderdrum, it beats
In this drome of city heat
Knock on wood and knock on head
Better check if something’s dead
In your life or in your head

Urban heat and urban baby
Maybe I’m just going crazy
But I wonder where you’re going
‘Cause it’s never really showing

Urban heat and city fire
Going higher to get higher
Touch-and-go, the line is knife sharp
Pity those who struggle too hard

So get it on and get it right
You’re gonna miss me when I die
Are we to be or to be not?
We’re here to go

Coming Your Way

I’m a storm rider, mind rewriter
Last survivor of emotional backlash
Born to why it, born to die it
Levitate it in this “memento mori”
Heavy pathos, shining razors
All-erasure on the edge of this nowhere
Tantalizing, fantasizing
Going nowhere if you don’t think about it
Think about it now

‘Cause it’s coming your way

I’m a soul diva, dancing Shiva
Burning fever in my brain and my body
Heavy thinker, heavy feeler
Heavy going with a delicate outline
City children hate religion
Going deeper, underworlds of survival
Stimulation, entertainment
By exhaustion, slowly-slowly it gets them
Gonna get you now

The invisible warfare

And it’s coming your way
Coming-coming your way
It’s all coming your way under Scorpio rising

I’m a loud-talker, city walker
Western prophet, gonna tell you about it
Transformation coming your way
Recognize it, not just know-all-about-it
Mind dispersion, soul perverting
Hell parading, 20th century brainwash
In the mirror, one to zero
Coming your way under Scorpio rising

Afterglow

Deeper
Rain falling in the night
Burning
White is the flame
Afterglow burns
Glitters within the rain
Cuts like a knife
Cuts like the fire of eyes

Never enough
I can’t get enough
Never enough
I can’t get enough of your love

Like rings
Spreading in the water
Circles
Circles of you

Harder

Rising on the horizon
Shapes of things still to come
Turning point getting closer
Shadows fall harder now

Here comes the rain
Here comes the fire

Rising sense overloading
Hunger lives in the blood
Reason comes from a longing
Nightless dark deepening

Here comes the rain
Here comes the fire

It’s coming down harder

Pure

Pure
I need you

Pure
I feel you inside me
Pure
I know you’re there

Pure
I need you

Pure
Cast like a shadow
Pure
I feel you near

Transfer

All you know is my name
Just a face in the dark
Would it change anything?
If you came to know

On the edge of the knife that divides
Turning point
Turning day into night

Pressure burns
I need love under will

Stigma

Child
You live with no tomorrow
Where time is just a memory

Where’s the fire in your eyes?
Is it fear by your side?
Why don’t you cast any shadow?
What’s that mark on your skin?

Is that a rock’n’roll stigma?
Another rock’n’roll stigma
Is that your rock’n’roll stigma?
Another rock’n’roll stigma

Child
You’re playing with a fire
That burns
Burns your heart and soul

20th Century Love Theme

Love is unknown
Love is silent
It’s a whisper and a cry
Love is safety
In a moment
Love is still

As the night falls like a shadow
It still rains
All the questions don’t need any answers
For a while

And love
Is like rings in the water
Rings around you

And love
Love is like you
Oh it’s soft like a shadow
It’s warmer than blood

Love is unknown
Love is silent
It’s a question that doesn’t want any answer

Melt Away

Time
In the still of a moment
Of a glimpse
Still
In the ages gone by
Still to come

Melt away like the day
Melt away like the night
Melt away in a dreamless sleep
Melt away in the light

Melt away all the flesh
Melt away every bone
Melt away all the nightless darkness
Melt away in the unknown
If just for a moment

Melt away this chain of evil

Second Nature

Give me shelter
Give me time
Touch my longing
With your mind

See the faces
On the sky
Burning teardrops
Breaking ice

The images keep on changing
Within the light of the day
One side is shown in the mirror
Another’s hidden away
My second nature performance
A journal written in grey
The neitherworld never changes
The winterlands stay the same

Time ran out on empty questions
Time ran out on empty answers long ago
Now I’m living in this exile
Hiding all the things I ever came to know

Like the faces seem to hide within the rain
Turn away your eyes, the world remains the same
Try to count the times you’ve felt like this before
Feel the teardrops burning out forever more

Elysium

She’s my Elysium
The only empty room inside me
She turns the world away
She cools the light of day
She covers me

Whenever she’s near me
Her beauty’s a calm where danger lies
A whispering silence
It’s cool like the darkness in her eyes
A centreless feeling
That spreads like a word within the wind
She’s forming the open
And catches the stars on the heavens

The traces on my skin
The frozen fingerprints inside me
A crowded field of dreams
Enacts its memories outside of me

Whenever she’s near me
Her beauty’s a calm where danger lies
A whispering silence
It’s cool like the darkness in her eyes
A centreless feeling
That spreads like a word within the wind
She’s forming the open
And catches the stars on the heavens

I need her Elysium

I need her skin to cover me
I need her mind to set me free
I need her touch to burn on me
I need her feel inside of me

I never thought I’d be returning to the place it all began
To the tainted heart of longing
To the writing in the sand
No matter where I seemed to turn
Dreams were drowning in the rain
Like imaginary worlds made of all-escaping days

Voices calling in the night from the corners of my mind
From the desolated worlds I was trying to leave behind
I was lost within a circle, in a season without end
But with a breath she seemed to break the chain of events

Erasing the Traces

Salt and sand thickening my blood
In the heritage of never quite enough
I tell the story once, tell the story twice
Insincerity dies

Heart and soul and the riddle of the mind
You get to know yourself at the dividing line
The feeling in the air comes as no surprise
Signing off with a sigh

Time has come to turn another card
Read aloud the secrets of my heart
Burn another handful of the past to erase the traces
Spread the ashes high above the clouds
Hide it underneath the hardest ice
Take it to the corners of the world and then erase the traces

Counting stars in the middle of the night
Losing sleep again under burning skies
I used to call a name, used to call in vain
Best friend of man is his pain

Feelings come and then suddenly they go
There always comes a time when you just don’t know
Another thousand years under second views
Superiority cured

Time has come to turn another card
Read aloud the secrets of my heart
Burn another handful of the past to erase the traces
Spread the ashes high above the clouds
Hide it underneath the hardest ice
Take it to the corners of the world and then erase the traces

Touching the world with a feeling of disbelief
Fall apart like the play of my memory
Hold the hand of the feeling inside of me
Never easy
Easy coming, easy going
But things never change, they stay the same
There’s a writing in blood out in the rain
Seems like perfect paranoia is perfect awareness
My mind is full of the traces

A Temporary Display

It’s all the wrong reasons with the right ideal
Written like need all over your face
Contemporary nothing medaling itself
Losing grace under pressure
The animal heart speaks again

And it falls like night
And it reaches everywhere
Makes me want it all
With a feel that burns so blind

Can’t remember how
Guess it’s always been this way
Like a house of cards
Just a temporary display

The comfort of strangers is all that I need
The palm of my hand keeps the shadows away
Enjoying the sweetness, the taste of the salt
Always watching the backgrounds
The character cast stays the same

And it falls like night
And it reaches everywhere
Makes me want it all
With a feel that burns so blind

Can’t remember how
Guess it’s always been this way
Like a house of cards
Just a temporary display

In a room without a view
Under skies of silk and water
I’ll be watching how the kindest fire burns

Palladium

Never thought I’d ever be myself
Thought I was within my prison cell
‘Cause the windows gave the view
That all to know was what I knew

Sharing weaknesses with so-called friends
In a game that’s called “it never ends”
Had to leave it all behind
And face the prison of my mind

In this Palladium
In this Palladium
And I know you know it all
Behind mirrors, behind walls


Musicians

Henrik Marstal: bass, cello
Iben Teilmann: viola
Martin Hall: vocals, instruments
Tina Schæfer: backing vocals

Recorded and mixed in Mind and Media between 1989 and 1995.

Info

Testcards 1989-1995 is a double-cd released by the independent label Test in a limited edition of 500 individually numbered copies. The material consists of 29 private Martin Hall demo recordings made in the period 1989–1995, almost two and a half hours of otherwise unreleased songs (including radically different demo versions of four Random Hold tracks).

The background for the release of the double-cd and the limited stock is explained in Test’s press announcement:

” The idea with this release is to give the more dedicated Hall listeners the opportunity to get acquainted with material that otherwise would be lost. The reason behind the limited edition is due to a demand from the owners of the recordings who don’t want to see the double-cd launched in a major fashion. “