Teebs is one of my favorite artists ever. The guy makes singularly utopian music that I can vibe to for days at a time. The sound is so unique, it’s like a medium itself that the artist simply plays in. I could hear one second of a tune and know it’s his.
Today, I realized I really want to get a friend into his music. This is where I hit a conundrum: which song makes a great introduction? Despite the homogeny of his sound world, there are hooks for the uninitiated, landmarks to guide. I found a good one:
I skipped around through his albums until I realized that this song, SOTM, nails that sweet spot perfectly. It drifts for miles, but it’s anchored by a solid beat. The chiming, floating, blissed-out atmosphere is balanced with a narrative pull. There’s gravity at work here, actively guiding the listener through Teebs’ unique palette. Reversed echoes, analog crackle, and harp-like trills leave a trail of breadcrumbs right into the center of this world, where the sudden thump of hand drums picks up the pace. It’s a warm embrace, an invitation to ecstasy in song form.
Teebs creates music I want to live inside.
Teebs, whose real name is Mtendere Mandowa, was a visual artist long before he began making beats, and it shows in the painterly expanse of these tunes. There’s a sumptuous patience in the way his songs unfold, every little texture and effect given just as much attention as the beat itself. Instead of window dressing for a rhythm, the atmospheres become the songs themselves. This elemental tapestry floats suspended, undulating in the breeze until taking form for a moment, before evaporating like warm ocean water.