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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Teebs: Otherworldly Rhythms on debut album Ardour.

The latest signing to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label talks about his debut album, Ardour, and how he began making his own music.

Written by David McNamara

South County Dublin boy without the accent or heino addiction, ask fled to Bristol under a desperate attempt to become the next Ally McBeal. Following more pints than points of law it soon became clear this wasnt to be. After a year in Paris, find I found my true calling and went back to being a fresher this time by the sea in Bournemouth and got swept into the world of fashion.

A marriage, a couple of funerals, more parties, and eventually a graduate collection inspired by dandies past and present all led to a move to the capital. Here I design menswear for the high st and dream of a fashion empire developing at my feet.

So having just hit my 30s, which should be noted I am welcoming with open arms, and bizarrely a marathon, (It’s the done thing these days apparently.) I’m designing suits, writing, enduring long runs in the rain and loving London. Other than that I’m most often seen propping up a bar with a group of mates debating the intricacies of politics, fashion, music, and possibly Strictly. Its not a bad life really and hey someone’s gotta do it.

South County Dublin boy without the accent or heino addiction, pharm fled to Bristol under a desperate attempt to become the next Ally McBeal. Following more pints than points of law it soon became clear this wasnt to be. After a year in Paris, this I found my true calling and went back to being a fresher this time by the sea in Bournemouth and got swept into the world of fashion.

A marriage, a couple of funerals, more parties, and eventually a graduate collection inspired by dandies past and present all led to a move to the capital. Here I design menswear and dream of a fashion empire developing at my feet.

So having just hit my 30s, which should be noted I am welcoming with open arms, and bizarrely a marathon (It’s the done thing these days apparently.) I’m designing suits, writing, enduring long runs in the rain and loving London. Other than that I’m most often seen propping up a bar with a group of mates debating the intricacies of politics, fashion, music, and possibly Strictly. Its not a bad life really and hey someone’s gotta do it.

South County Dublin boy without the accent or heino addiction, mind fled to Bristol under a desperate attempt to become the next Ally McBeal. Following more pints than points of law it soon became clear this wasnt to be. After a year in Paris, pill I found my true calling and went back to being a fresher this time by the sea in Bournemouth and got swept into the world of fashion.

A marriage, approved a couple of funerals, more parties, and eventually a graduate collection inspired by dandies past and present all led to a move to the capital. Here I design menswear and dream of a fashion empire developing at my feet.

So having just hit my 30s, which should be noted I am welcoming with open arms, and bizarrely a marathon (It’s the done thing these days apparently.) I’m designing suits, writing, enduring long runs in the rain and loving London. Other than that I’m most often seen propping up a bar with a group of mates debating the intricacies of politics, fashion, music, and possibly Strictly. Its not a bad life really and hey someone’s gotta do it.

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Matt Bramford is the son of a coal miner and Miss Butlins 1979. A fan of fashion from an early age, abortion Matt could be found sporting Spring/Summer 1988′s pastel pallette on Blackpool’s glorious sands, embarrassing his parents by carrying his matching bucket and spade in the crook of his arm. He can only apologise.

Nowadays, when not designing layouts featuring Stacey Slater or Ronnie Mitchell or, erm, Stacey Slater, at Britain’s favourite TV magazine, he’s usually chained to his desk replying to emails or editing pictures. He takes a hot snap and is a massive fan of Autostitch and Hipstamatic for iPhone, although he gets the occasional pang of guilt for cheating with the latter.

If you want to know what he had for breakfast this morning, find him on twitter @mattbramf. If you want to see some of said ‘hot snaps’ you can here.

Matt is fashion editor of Amelia’s Magazine
Your previous work has explored Poe and Baudelaire – what drew you to their writings and inspire you to visualise their literary landscapes?

They are both writers who utilise the city as a character within their own mythology. They blur the line between the now and another world. There is an atmosphere of insubstantial things, viagra order essences and emanations, viagra dosage of beauty as a manifestation of a perpetual beyond. Of smoke, fogs, shimmering obfuscations and of a moon setting sail over the city. Through their absent, distant world, I can better see my own city, with its scuffed, graffiti-layered surfaces—another forest of symbols, veilings and half-read signs, a world of unstable meanings, porous images which flow into each other.

Your exhibitions contain both the static and moving image, how would you describe your relationship to these two methods of representation?

The drawn images both in the show and the film are an attempt to crystallise a particular idea or thought, the moving three dimensional fimed sections are more about conjuring up a state of mind or world

What possibilities of expression or narrative does film offer over the static image and vice versa?

I can be more open ended with film. when I’m making the images for my film, I create sets and project light and images into them and take hundreds of pictures ,so I often end up with something very different from what I began with film allows me to juxtapose and arrange images and have more than one thing going on at the same time by appealing to both the eyes and the ears, it also overlays images so someones impression of the film is a group of visual memories

The sets of the film resemble Victorian Children’s Theatre, possibly a stage for shadow puppets, is this a design inspired by research or relationship to the themes within the films?

I think my Poe film was more theatrical because his writing is very stagey and melodramatic

How did you discover Swedenborg and what drew you to his dream journals?

I went into the swedenborg society book shop out of curiosity, I like that part of town. it is also near to where Poe lived in London and also The conway hall and I loved the imagery in the dream diary and the struggle between reason and imagination

Which illustrators, artists or filmakers inspire or are used as reference within your work?

The Quay brothers, David Lynch, Kiki Smith, Paul Klee, Marcel Proust, Goya, Leonardo Da Vinci, Henry Darger

The enigmatic mood of the films feel similar to Alice by Jan Svankmajer, have you seen this film?

Yes I have seen it and I very much like it so I’ll take that as a compliment

What interests you with regards to Alchemic Drawings or the relationship between Science and Faith?

I like the use of Heiroglyphic language in Alchemy, the linking of the rational and the irrational and the idea that the smallest thing is linked to the greatest, the idea that the whole universe is a code where everything is both itself and something else.

Where did you study?

Cambridge University and Chelsea

Watercolours are frequently used within your drawings, what attracts you to the medium?

They’re very bright – I use radiant watercolour inks. also I like their irreversableness
teebs

Flying Lotus seems to be a man that can do no wrong at the moment. His latest album, sildenafil Cosmogramma, was met with resounding praise from critics across the globe and his new EP, Pattern + Gridworld, looks set to enjoy the same success. In addition to his personal prominence at present, FlyLo’s Brainfeeder label is enjoying similar notoriety due to some inspired signings that are taking hip hop production to dizzying heights. His latest offering, Teebs, is likely to increase the LA label’s popularity even further.

teebs_ardour_cover

Teebs, real name Mtendere Mandowa, is a 23 year old Californian beat maker who is about to unleash his inspired debut album, Ardour, this month. The elegant piano flourishes and spellbinding harps are closer to the works of Caribou and Bonobo than they are to the works of fellow label mates and beat purveyors Gaslamp Killer and Lorn. This is an album so understated and mystifying that label owner Flying Lotus refers to it as “like an island vacation. The way Avatar looks.” Radio 1 DJ Mary Anne Hobbs has been heaping praise upon it during her weekly show, calling it “a unique and tender magic.”

The Chino Hills native began producing his own music after he tore his Achilles tendon during a skateboarding accident. Due to the fact that he was not physically able to pursue one of his passions, he simply decided to replace it with another. “I was out for half a year and just made music and art during that time,” says Mandowa. “That’s when I just got stuck, since I got the same feeling I did when I was skating.”

Soon, Teebs’ creations took on a life of their own and resulted in the producer making regular trips to Los Angeles to perform at Low End Theory, the experimental hip hop haven that has produced the likes of Daedelus and Shlohmo. “Low End was the Mecca,” advises the young producer. “I think it still is for a lot of artists coming up in the LA area. It’s freedom in the purest form. Anything goes there as long as it has its own honest feeling to it.” 

It didn’t take long before Flying Lotus became aware of Teebs’ talents and the pair forged a friendship through their similar philosophies about what hip hop should music could be. Says Mandowa: “After a few visits to his old place in the valley and a beat CD that I passed over to him, Lotus just texted me and it read something like, ‘So whatsup, will you join us?’”

This seems like a fairly informal way to score a record deal, but Teebs’ attitude in general tends to give the impression that he takes everything in his stride and tries not to force anything too much. This may just have worked in his favour as his debut album, named after his preferred digital audio workstation, easily ranks as one of the most ambitious releases on Brainfeeder to date.

Despite the fact that Teebs’ first album sounds like a focused collection of works that were meticulously threaded together, he is happy to confess that none of it was intentional. “It’s definitely just a collection of tunes that I pulled together after I was asked to make a record,” confesses the 23 year old. “I never thought my music would get pressed or that I would ever really put stuff out seriously until I got on Brainfeeder. It was a strange feeling like, ‘Oh I need to make this work as a single record now.’”

Ardour is out now on Brainfeeder.

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