Album of the Day: Teebs, “Anicca”

Producer Teebs—born Mtendere Mandowa—has been both a cult figure in the L.A. beat scene since his 2010 Brainfeeder debut, Ardour. Two albums followed—2011’s Collections and 2014’s E S T A R A—but he’s remained relatively quiet since. His new album, Anicca, marks an end to that period of dormancy, and arrives propelled by a formidable roster of collaborators: Sudan Archives, Panda Bear, Anna Wise, Pink Siifu, and more. 

The album is designed to work as a cohesive whole, with instrumental tracks giving way to vocal-driven numbers. That pattern is established immediately: the soaring, album-opening instrumental “Atoms Song” gives way to “Black Dove,” where agile vocal work from Sudan Archives provide warmth against rippling synths and bass-heavy rhythms. “Shells” slows things down, laying jazzy keys over a shuffling beat. The pastoral “Prayers II” is a slow burn, Teebs continually adding layers, offsetting the murmuring percussion with lush strings and synths. Then, there’s the hypnotic Pink Siifu feature “Daughter Callin’,” a cut steeped in Dilla-influenced hip-hop, a showcase for Teebs’s range. More than anything, Anicca proves Teebs’s time away hasn’t dulled his abilities. With its gentle oceans of electronics and lithe, soulful melodies, the album is a formidable reminder of why people were excited about him in the first place.

-Tara Mahadevan

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