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Monday, March 4, 2013

T.E.A.M.S Sierra City Center (Diamond Club)

The internet is crawling with talented bedroom producers and beatmakers who are ambitious of becoming the next Skrillex, following the pied piper in a rush to conformity, trying to get their track on Majestic and get mad views and recognition. Then there's a small handful of producers who truly deserve to be called 'artists', who march to the beat of a different drummer, doggedly pursuing their own uncompromised musical vision. Teams belongs firmly in the latter catagory. He released two seminal EPs in that epic musical year 2010 that might justly be called classics, and while many of his class of 2010 contemporaries seem intent on sanding off all the quirks and rough edges of their music, Teams' releases mark the progress of an artist in a constant state of ahead-of-the-curve development.

His tracks have prefigured each of the series of microgenres or memes radiating from the leading edge of internet music culture, and by the time I've even heard of a trending new microgenre, Teams has already been there and done that and moved on to defining the next thing. You never know where he's headed...

Sierra City Center (Diamond Club) is Teams' first album release since the Teamm Jordan Champion LP collaboration with Daytime Television about a year ago, and the first as Teams  in almost two years. It's a radical departure. On my initial listen, I had to double-check the files to make sure I hadn't gotten something mixed up, because the psychedelic surf-rock sounds were closer to what you might expect from Ariel Pink than the damaged dragged blown-out disco of 2011's Days XXF. Are these sampled, processed sounds from obscure late 60s California rock songs? And who is this singing?

I asked Teams about the vocals and use of samples. "All my vocals, all my recordings, except Andy Cary of SNOW WITE played the solos on 'Hatsumi' and 'When Jesus Talks To Me', and some samples were used on 'Watching Her', for the beat."  Amazing.

Check out the noisy frenzy of 'When Jesus Talks To Me',  or the moody weirdness of 'Watching Her (Make Me Feel)', to get a taste of the rock side of the LP. Or groove with the slightly more familiar pleasures of the title track and 'My World Is Crashing / Trinity Center Confessions' (Teamm Jordann 9 Volt Edition). And last but not least,  check out the transcendent 'Yuma - Donner Scenic Byway', my personal favorite and a true California dream, available here as a free download.    


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