Teebs, Collection 01

[Brainfeeder]


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Of the Los Angeles beat scene, Teebs is perhaps the artist with the fastest rise to prominence. A long time associate of the Brainfeeder and My Hollow Drum camps, he has been honing his compositions into delicate mixtures of fractured beats and elegant melodies since his debut in 2009. After releasing atmospheric EPs and mixtapes, his debut album Ardour felt curiously sterile and overproduced when compared with his charmingly off-the-cuff earlier productions. It’s fantastic, then, that he assembled Collections 01, a short compilation of ideas with the feel of a mixtape. Instead of a complete album statement, the music appears to capture a specific time in one musician’s growth.

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Much like hip-hop mixtapes, there are a few tracks which play out long samples without much evidence of many hours spent manipulating or editing. The string melodies of “Cook, Clean, Pay The Rent (New House Version)” are one early example that’s immediately followed by “Pretty Polly,” containing a long vocal sample as its anchor. These two songs are wrapped in Teebs’ dusty and off-beat rhythms, but are given a compellingly haphazard atmosphere through the sample combinations. In a way, it’s like pulling and collating sound from the radio onto tapes, letting songs bleed into each other once in awhile. The stop-and-start string samples of opener “Just The Yellow Bits” have a similar feeling of being blended in from another channel before settling into the groove.

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The atmospheric middle trilogy of “Jahara,” Verbena Tea” (with Rebekah Raff), and “Your Favorite Weekday” lead into one of the most finished sounding songs on Collections 01. “LSP” features another Brainfeeder member, Austin Peralta on piano, and it slowly unfurls amidst hypnotic water sounds and minimal percussion. It’s an effecting mood piece, certainly fitting Teebs’ goal of capturing moments in time. Even though the songs on Collections 01 bear similarities to Ardour, the record’s most arresting elements arrive where they diverge. While Ardour felt like one long composition with many pieces, this release shows off different sides of Teebs’ production. The percussion on closer “Yellow More New” is more staccato, while the melody sounds like an inverse to it’s counterpart opener “Just The Yellow Bits.” As he closes the loop with this variation, Teebs wraps up this musical time capsule with a new facet and opens his mind for future explorations.

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