Teebs – SOTM

teebs-4.10.2014

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.

This song comes from Estara, one of the best albums of 2014. It’s probably my favorite Teebs release, but they’re all equally valuable. You can buy it right from Brainfeeder via the Ninja Tune store.

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