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Syndicate: Teebs + The Beat Invitational

In the world of modern electronic music, no one else embraces and bolsters the future sound as tenaciously as LA's Brainfeeder collective. Counting experimental, forward-thinking electronic music luminaries such as Flying Lotus, Lapalux, and Samiyam among its members, the progressivist entity also functions as a record label, putting out some of the most highly-acclaimed records in recent years including last year's Nostalchic and Until The Quiet Comes the year before. This year the gem looks to be E S T A R A, an extremely lush spectrum of warm, welcoming beat music that could only come from the mind of Mtendere Mandowa aka Teebs

Thus it was a most welcome surprise when audio-visual collective Syndicate announced that he'll be dropping by for a show come June 6th at Ann Siang Hill's Zui Hong Lou dim sum bar. There'll also be another round of Syndicate's Beat Invitational Showcase, with the likes of Gerald Ang, M X N D//K R F T and more premiering their latest tracks in an intriguing listening party. 

Fans will be in for a treat. Teebs - an artist in all sense of the word who dabbles in illustration, painting, photography and other visual arts - will also be exhibiting his Ante Vos collection, a project that found him reworking and painting over album covers. When asked what went behind Ante Vos, Mtendere mentioned that it was "....a lot of work traveling to all the record stores and around Los Angeles and tons of meditation on the direction". Using old, unwanted record sleeves as his canvasses, he admitted that Ante Vos was mainly his way of getting people in touch with vinyl again.

It's also interesting to note that the young, multi-talented producer also has roots in the culinary arts, studying in one of the best culinary arts school in Southern California, the California State Polytechnic University for a brief period of time. "(It's the) same mind trying to solve problems and searching for new answers", he says of the similarities between the creative process in cooking and making music. Perhaps it is true - cooking after all is simply finding the right combination of elements from different sources to create a variety of distinct flavours and palates. We couldn't help but ask: what's the perfect meal to accompany E S T A R A? "A whole cooked Branzino stuffed with herbs with olives and tomatoes on the side", he laughed. 

The progression from culinary school student to a respected producer who's on one of the most revered record labels in the world is surely no easy task. Regarding his close working proximity with label head honcho Flying Lotus and his fellow Brainfeeder wizards, he attributes them both as playing a large part in his growth as a musician. "He's an inspirational person," Mtendre says. "All my friends have inspired me to search further into my own thoughts and ideas". 

With the trend of other electronic producers such as Bonobo and SBTRKT expanding their live sets to a full band, Teebs also expressed his definite interest in exploring the concept: "I played a few shows with Austin Peralta years ago and from there had a secret live show for my album release last month with a band. We plan on doing much more". It'll be exciting to see this in the flesh, but for now we'll have to be content with his solo set this Friday. As a parting word of advice to folks who aren't convinced of the exciting new trajectories in electronic music him and his Brainfeeder crew are leading, Teebs recommends checking out (#1) anything from his catalog (#2) anything from Burial (#3) anything from Samiyam. And listen to him, you should. 


The Beat Invitational Artistes

Darren Dubwise

Which tracks will you be showcasing at Beat Invitational?

It will be one track that I wrote on my iPad and another that I wrote together with Gema.

Tell us more about the tracks.

The one that I wrote on my iPad is a slow chugger, disco-ish and deep. And the other is just straight up house.

What do you want to put forth in your music?

Like when I am out DJing, I just generally want people to feel something when they have a listen, be it to lay out and enjoy the beats or jump up and dance.

What/who do you draw influences from?

Everywhere and everything, and at times even from discordance.

Most of you on this roster have collaborated with someone and/or are pretty experimental in your music, what else would you like to try out next?

Perhaps somewhere along the line I would like try my hand at vocalizing or singing :)


Gerald Ang

Which tracks will you be showcasing at Beat Invitational?

Two unreleased tracks. I haven’t yet decided which ones.

Tell us more about the tracks.

Techno influenced - in the broader sense.

What do you want to put forth in your music?

Emotion.

What/who do you draw influences from?

Personal experiences, the environment I’m in, family, close friends who put music as part of their lives, and the music I grew up with. 

Most of you on this roster have collaborated with someone and/or are pretty experimental in your music, what else would you like to try out next? 

When the timing is right, it would be a short live set next.


Gindara

Which tracks will you be showcasing at Beat Invitational?

  • 'New Age'
  • 'お待ちください...'

Tell us more about the tracks.

A labour of love, sprawled within the last year or so.

What do you want to put forth in your music?

As long as the end user enjoys it, that’s all that makes me happy. 

What/who do you draw influences from?

Nujabes.

Most of you on this roster have collaborated with someone and/or are pretty experimental in your music, what else would you like to try out next?

I am not sure, it’s always a journey. 


IM

Which tracks will you be showcasing at Beat Invitational?

I will be showcasing two tracks called 'Nile' and 'Stellar Collision'.

Tell us more about the tracks.

'Nile' was inspired by Mediterranean tunes I heard while watching a Middle Eastern film. Once the rhythm played out, I was immediately drawn to the hymn-like flows and I felt inspired to create a modern interpretation of the culturally rich beats.

As for 'Stellar Collision', I’ve always been fascinated by the wonders of the universe. When the modern remake of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” was aired this year, I knew I had to produce a song about the future of our galaxy.

What do you want to put forth in your music?

Some of the most influential works of art successfully impart something to remember: a thought, a feeling, or a way of perceiving something. I hope to share exactly that with my music, an experience that my listeners can relate to, on a very human level.

What/who do you draw your influence from?

There is no one source of influence or inspiration, it varies. Today, it may come from a conversation I had with my peers. Tomorrow, it might come from a movie or a particular experience/encounter I had. To put it simply, inspiration comes from all aspects of my life: my thoughts, my opinions, and feelings with regards to something. 

As far as music producers go, I really like the sounds of Flying Lotus, Onra, Apparat, etc.

Most of you on this roster have collaborated with someone and/or are pretty experimental in your music, what else would you like to try out next?

The first thing I would want to do is to grow guts to actively perform in front of a live audience. Once I’ve conquered that fear, I would want to record my own album.


M X N D//K R F T

Which tracks will you be showcasing at Beat Invitational?

Just two tracks I’ve been working on recently. 

Tell us more about the tracks.

They’re just beats I made recently influenced by the music I've been listening to, ranging from malay folk songs, post-rock and hip hop. 

What do you want to put forth in your music?

M X N D//K R F T is a place for me to create without boundaries. I just make music for my own listening pleasure. I would love my tracks that tell stories but I’ll save those kind of tracks for my debut EP!

What/who do you draw influences from?

Rojak. Anything and everything. I’m always exposed to new music everyday whether I am working on pro tools at the studio or at home chilling. I love listening to local producers like FAUXE, FZPZ and IM (just to name a few, theres many more talented producers!) on Soundcloud as their tracks always inspire me musically. 

Most of you on this roster have collaborated with someone and/or are pretty experimental in your music, what else would you like to try out next?

I’m working on my debut EP right now. It seems like I’m never going to finish it because I’m always exposed to new music everyday. I am still in the process of experimenting and maturing musically. Hope to complete it soon! I would also love to play more gigs! 

Do catch me at The RSC’s 100 Band Festival on the 15th of June and also SCK’s Enter The Void Deck 5 on the 21st of June! I’ll be playing loads of drafts and unreleased stuff from my EP! See ya there! 

Ryan Pittam

Which tracks will you be showcasing at Beat Invitational? 

I'll be showcasing 2 tracks using samples as the main driving melody, as that's my strongest forte. They are both very Hardcore Hip Hop influenced style beats. 

Tell us more about the tracks. 

The first track will be instrumental, with samples from an old P. Ramlee song, and the second track with samples from a Lebanese Orchestra, will feature Masia One (Singapore), Unknown Mizery (Toronto), and WesNihil (New Jersey).

What do you want to put forth in your music? 

I have 2 forms of beats I like to create, 1 of which is more experimental, of which I would like to push the boundaries and see where my mind takes me, and the other more traditional Hip Hop where I want to push to the envelope of quality control. 

What/who do you draw influences from? 

I don't have any specific person I draw influence from as a producer, however as a DJ I like listening out for things such as Ninja Tune artists, Low End Theory podcasts, Glitch, Underground Hip Hop, Old School Hip Hop and Hardcore Hip Hop. These type of songs will store tiny bits of photographic information while I'm producing! Haha! 

Most of you on this roster have collaborated with someone and/or are pretty experimental in your music, what else would you like to try out next?

As I've mentioned, I want to push my sound quality-wise and reach out worldwide. Currently I am working on an Avant-Garde Trip Hop Project back in KL.


Syndicate Ft. Teebs 
6th June | Zui Hong Lou

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