1. The Endless
In Spanish, the word estar means “to be”, but there’s more to it than that. More specifically, estar refers to where someone is at – physically or mentally – at a specific moment. Simply put, there’s nothing permanent about it, which is a big reason why E s t a r a is the perfect title for the second full-length album from Mtendere Mandowa, better known as Los Angeles-based producer Teebs.
In truth, the LP takes its name from the house where much of the record was created. Although Teebs visited a handful of beautiful studios in the hills of Los Angeles in the process of creating the album, he ultimately kept coming back to his modest bedroom studio and the same Fruity Loops-based set-up that he’s been using for years.
When it comes down to it though, what’s changed is Teebs himself. His first full-length, 2010′s Ardour, was an effort that came together in the midst of personal turmoil and the death of his father. In contrast, E s t a r a was created during a period of relative calm; more importantly, the LP encapsulates a time when Teebs – who continues to work steadily as both a producer and a painter – has been making art entirely on his own terms. That freedom has not only strengthened his creative voice, but has also enabled him to craft some of the finest work of his career.
E s t a r a contains plenty of the breezy melodies, rustling rhythms, gauzy atmospherics, and loose ties to hip-hop that have always been present in Teebs’ music, but the LP also finds those elements coming together in a bolder, more cohesive fashion than ever before. Whether he’s swirling melodic textures on songs like “The Endless” and “View Point”, flirting with leftfield pop on collaborative efforts “Holiday” (featuring Jonti) and “Hi Hat” (featuring Populous), looping guitars on “Shoouss Lullaby” and “NY pt. 2″ (featuring his Sons of the Morning partner Prefuse 73), or getting pensive on the shuffling “NY pt. 1″ and the melancholy “Piano Days”, Teebs sounds sharply focused, impeccably nuanced, and spiritually potent.
In the end, E s t a r a is absolutely, undeniably a representation of Teebs, but Teebs as he is right now. He may no longer be the upstart beatmaker that FlyLo once took under his wing, but that doesn’t mean that Teebs has shed his past – he’s simply evolved from it.
E s t a r a is a remarkable album in its own right, but it’s ultimately just the latest step in what has already been an incredibly fruitful musical journey. We can only hope that every chapter of Teebs’ story will prove to be this engaging
A follow up of Teebs' 2009 record sleeve series, Ante Vos is a collection of 400 sleeves with guest collaborations. The show also features three weekends of events with special visual & sound releases catered specifically to each night.
Music taken from Teebs upcoming 2nd album release ESTARA out April 6th, 2014 on Brainfeeder.
Photography By : Theo Jemison
Edited By : StrangeLoop
DIRECTOR: B+ (MOCHILLA)
PRODUCED BY MYSPACE
Slam poet champion and rapper DProsper has finally released the much-anticipated music video for his track “Elephant Ride.” The animated video is a socially conscious effort on DProsper’s part to help spread awareness around elephant poaching and the illegal ivory trade. It was executive produced by Myspace in collaboration with DProsper’s label, Brainfeeder, as part of Myspace’s Music Video Collaborations With Artists We Like program — a series that empowers artists by backing them with creative resources and collaborations.
“There are 500,000 African elephants in existence. Upwards of 25,000 of those elephants are being killed per year. The idea for the song Elephant Ride was to enlighten people on human rights and digital rights while the visual animation component deals with anti-poaching for animal rights,” says DProsper.
“Elephant Ride,” which was produced by Flying Lotus, comes from DProsper’s debut solo project #Atom 12.12.12. The duo are also announcing a new Brainfeeder-released project slated for 2014 titled #ATOM “Echoes of Truth”.