Teebs - Estara

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  • Mtendre Mandowa, AKA Teebs, has known darkness. He wrote his debut album, Ardour, while mourning his late father. But his music, in which he micro-manipulates loops into a gorgeous, amorphous mist, exists in a precious realm impervious to sadness. In the tradition of West Coast acts dating all the way back to the classic rock bands of 1960s, this LA-based producer radiates an easy, sunkissed warmth. Estara sounds like the work of a young man who has nothing more taxing ahead of him than a day of surf, girls and late-night beach BBQs. That could be irritating were Estara quite as upbeat as that sounds, but Teebs is far too clever for that. He creates moments of beauty and wonderment without any recourse to cheesy signifiers of joy. If anything, the composite elements of his sound are more commonly used in music filled with fear and melancholy. Teebs employs dusty library music samples, astringent drones, twinkling percussion, punchy hip-hop drums and woody, autumnal tones to create defiantly utopian music. This record's sonic palette hints at sadness, but that sadness is kept triumphantly at bay. Ardour was a rather baggy sprawl, but the 12-track Estara is far more concise and purposeful. The lovely, lilting "NY Pt.2," "SOTM" and "Holiday" (with Jonti) are obvious peaks. The latter sounds how the Beach Boys might have, had Brian Wilson, like Teebs, once shared an apartment with Flying Lotus. Even the album's shorter pieces, such as "Piano Days" and the extraordinarily pretty "Mondaze," seem painstakingly considered. True, on the closing "Wavxxes," with its goofy, stoned guitar samples and pootling clarinet, this beatific miasma begins to sound a little too cute for its own good. But overall, like the California sunshine, it's an irrefutable tonic.
  • Tracklist
      01. The Endless 02. View Point 03. Holiday feat. Jonti 04. Shoouss Lullaby 05. SOTM 06. Hi Hat feat. Populous 07. NY Pt. 1 08. Piano Days 09. Piano Months 10. NY Pt. 2 feat. Prefuse 73 11. Mondaze 12. Wavxxes feat. Lars Horntveth