is / was is incredibly proud to introduce the enigmatic, insanely gifted, man-of-many-vibes himself, teakup. hailing from ohio, our man is yet another in a long lineage of shut-in freak-beat enthusiasts from the humble state. with a style referencing the melodic funk and swing of titonton duvante and the broken, advanced-beat wizardry of archetype, teakup steps into this proud heritage with a 4 tracker of various vibes sure to sate even the most discerning of dweebs. “lose my mind” is of the swung and jacking nü haus variety popularized by the will & ink lads. “shimmer” soothes with soft pads and throbbing bass while simultaneously spanking you upside the head with cracking snares and corrosive claps. “darkcore 2020” indulges in sci-fi breakbeat antics, earning the much sought-after status of “banger”. lastly, “i don’t fkn kno” slinks along in the timeless tradition of low-slung n’ swung house groovers. welcome to the sound of teakup.
mark ambrose doubles up on his appearance on was/is with this strident bout of deep end dwellers, kicking off in style with the charged up strut and punchy mono bass of makossa (mix 1) making a point of stepping into a more peak time sound. makossa (mix 2) takes things in a more bugging direction, but there s still plenty of pressure to be felt in the wriggling low end mess and nagging hi hats. the teakup mix of makossa is a devilish broken beat track, and then wagamama slips in a loopy melodic hook and lets a firm but freaky slice of techno roll out underneath
deeply concerned with the here and now versus sister label was/is electro archaeology, is/was delivers the goods once again with this various artists 12- zeroed in on the pittsburgh scene. you can feel the steel city tension reverberating in naeem s edgy beatdown -forward facing-, while hits only takes things in a slightly cleaner, modernist direction that aligns with some of the uk soundsystem interpretations of electro that have emerged in recent years. shawn rudiman takes control for the b side with two jams that tip their cap to the veteran producer s long and accomplished career, but they sound as fresh as anything else on the record too. -derelict- is a gnarly, bloated banger of a track, and -asimolar- takes the route towards cybotron, kraftwerk and the truly foundational version of electro in all its lysergic glory.
after a strong start with an ep from dwayne jensen, pittsburgh-based label is / was returns with an absolute firecracker from chase smith. nous nous au danser is the kind of jam that will guarantee everyone in the room starts freaking, so infectious is the bright and bold acid strain smith offers up. orange geena is equally stunning, all warm bass and dazzling synths. work it over takes things in a punchier direction, leaving a little more space in the mix for the rhythm section to help things get really nasty. tour de trepan takes on some new beat qualities as it unfurls a noirish beat-driven fantasy to finish off an utterly flawless ep.