Los Angeles hip-hopper Teebs returns with his first album in five years. 'Anicca' was recorded at home, seemingly he didn’t hide himself away to do it either. He admits that somewhere in between the Roland SP-404 sampler, Mellotron M4000D synthesizer, his guitar and Ghanaian lute you can hear his daughter and wife going about their day. Teebs is also a member of My Hollow Drum collective and Sons Of The Morning.
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Ever since he debuted on Brainfeeder at the start of the 2010s, Teebs’ music has always stood out for its warmth. The one born Mtendere Mandowa initially made hip-hop beats so lackadaisical they almost slumped into ambient composition, with early records like Ardour and Collections 01 shuffling on like a sleepwalker in the midst of a particularly pleasant dream.
Fast-forward to Teebs’ third studio LP Anicca and we find that Mandowa has managed to maintain that air of heavy-lidded beauty while also bringing his sound into (somewhat) sharper focus. Take opening track ‘Atoms Song’, a lengthy number built on gently chiming loops and beatific synths. The Teebs of a decade ago would most likely have let these sounds unravel like spooling thread, but even without anything much resembling a beat each individual line follows a distinct path. Mandowa’s other solo cuts here (‘Slumber’, ‘Mirror Memory’) are similarly well-planned bits of niceness.
If Teebs’ previous album, 2014’s Estara, was notable for its number of collaborations, then Anicca ups the ante still further. Eight of the record’s fourteen tracks feature guest appearances, and though some of them might be stylistically disparate in their own work - Panda Bear, Sudan Archives, Pink Siifu, MNDSGN under his given name Ringgo Acheta - they all make sense when orbiting around Teebs’ sun. The star turns go to those who use Teebs’ aesthetic to draw out underused elements of their own sound - Pink Siifu channels mid-2010s Chance The Rapper on ‘Daughter Callin’ while ‘Studie’ sees Panda Bear revel in the same Grandfather Of Chillwave role he adopted on 2009 Atlas Sound collaboration ‘Walkabout’.
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