Teebs, E s t a r a – album review

teebs albumCalifornia-based electronic producer and artist, Mtendere Mandowa, better known as Teebs, makes his return with his sophomore album. Jess Matthews checks it out:

It was with a lazy expectancy and a classic case of positive association that I delved into Teeb’s second album release, E s t a r a.

Teebs is signed to Brainfeeder, the brainchild of the creatively insatiable genius Flying Lotus. If it was considered socially acceptable, or humanly possible, I would fuck Flying Lotus’ sense of creativity. Ipso facto, after hearing E s t a r a my sexual sentiments also extended to Teebs.

Unsurprisingly, Teebs is also an artist, a fact that you can hear blatantly embedded in his music which is so synesthetic that it borders on tactile.

With a casual elegance Teebs creates an unencumbered, sonic landscape layered with diverse textures as dense as they are lush. Fitting loosely into the hip-hop/trip-hop beats scene, E s t a r a is all billowing beats, broad loops and irregularly layered instrumentals.

E s t a r a’s release follows a period of ‘relative calm’ for Teebs and represents a time of creative liberty where he was able to produce music completely free from chaos or pressure. It’s a fact that comes across organically and subtly, just as it was intended.

There’s a whole lot of beauty in subtlety, a fact for which E s t a r a becomes a musical metaphor. In that I mean that sometimes, as consumers or audiences, we shy away from ambiguity, haziness and uncertainty because it’s scarily undefined. When applied correctly as an artistic medium though, it unobtrusively provokes a sense of pensiveness that can only be accessed by a natural trickle of thoughts.

Often we measure the success of modern creativity by its ability to shock or persuade. Everything comes already embedded with a pre-determined concept, image or idea that it aims to perpetuate. The result is a controlled reaction and a safely measurable consumption. E s t a r a is not that. It’s mildly unassuming, blissfully fuzzy and gorgeously limitless. And only seeks to ask us ‘why can’t we just let things be?’

E s t a r a is out now through Brainfeeder via Inertia.

jess matthews


Words by Jess Matthews.