Review

Teebs

Estara

Brainfeeder • 2014

What Teebs does is a form of art, there’s no question about it. The covers, his pictures, the whole artwork, the sound. However, he doesn’t do it through an academic approach but rather from his deep, natural drive. At least that’s what I like to imagine when listening to his music. For his second record, »Estara«, Mtendere Mandowa didn’t even try to convince his listeners that it has anything to do with instrumental hip hop. Because the whole album is much more spherical, yet without experimental rhythms as we know them from artists like Flying Lotus on »Until The Quiet Comes«. It’s not a ride through the night but instead a way to expand your mind. Of course, you’ll find some crackling vinyl on »SOTM«, but tracks like »Holiday« immediately tell you that it’s not a means to an end, but an essential part of the track. It’s all part of it, it is structure, it is essence. And then, on »Piano Days«, we finally dive into the wonderfully sparkling widths. And the beat finds its way through the song and stays in front of it, so that it seems as if Astrale’s travels have never been as easy as in these very moments. The sketches of melodies, bits and pieces – Teebs connects them all neatly on »Estara« without drifting off into spirituality. It’s like breathing in deeply, like moments of utter relaxation. It’s the kind of quiet that’s normally to be found on Japanese productions, from artists like Nujabes or Haruka Nakamura. In contrast, the colleagues of Brainfeeder, like Lapalux, are known for shooting at our synapses much more hectically. »Estara« is the right record for those moments when the sun dawns behind the city and there’s still a pile of work waiting for you. The record that makes your thoughts find their way into existence. It’s a great piece of art.