Under the management of Flying Lotus, Brainfeeder have spent the past decade furthering the cause of lo-fi instrumental music that stands adjacent to hip-hop while occasionally embracing it. Teebs has been a key player in this, and his new record is full of atmospheric textures, downtempo beats and vocal guests that serve to flesh out the songs.
One of the instant highlights of Anicca is opening track Atoms Song, a collaboration with Icelandic musician Thomas Stankiewicz that passes through multiple engaging suites while never losing the thread. It is easily the longest track, and the rest of the instrumentals on the album flit by with significantly less structure. This is not to denigrate them, as passages like Prayers I and II also leave a lasting impression with their scalic chord sequences and evocative sound design.
Studie is the most FlyLo-esque track, a syncopated drumtrack underpinning samples that feel like they’re slowly melting and Panda Bear’s hazy lyrics (“sugar cube, clever thing / you might find darker days / mix it up with the boring kind, generate / two like minds spring a leak”). Meanwhile, Universe appeals with its laidback vibes and daydream masi’s vocal delivery that at times is a dead ringer for Khalid, and Threads featuring Anna Wise is enthrallingly moody, all elegant plucks and ethereal ambience.
Not everything is as enjoyable as these tracks: Stankiewicz returns for closing song Muted, a less successful affair that comes across plodding and redundant, and Daughter Callin’ featuring Pink Siifu never quite comes together as a cohesive piece of music. However, these moments are surrounded by better things – Slumber’s peaceful lilt, for example, is another highlight – and with this record Teebs continues his reputation for immersive, sophisticated instrumentals.