“Congotronic” is how Teme Tan has described his sound.
Hailing from the Democratic Republic of Congo but having travelled back and forth between Belgium, Kinshasha, Brazil and Japan, his influences have stuck to him like flypaper, resulting in his sound creations being a giddily modern amalgam of cultures and techniques.
One thing that is a constant is his willingness to simply make up his own rules as he tackles these tunes.
With zero regard for genre boundaries, he unites tribal rhythms, various languages, and intercontinental melodies with both electronic grooves and acoustic instruments.
There’s something very homemade about his sound, a bit like Gotye if you will. And it’s this DIY ethic that adds a humanity and personality to these songs that belie their electronic, digital foundation.
Champions sounds like a fun experimental doodle but it sticks in your head like glue, while the sampled shouts of glee in Menteur combine with a snappy bass synth and slick nightclub guitar chords to produce a little number that demands the attention of both your feet and your ears.
Elsewhere, Matiti is otherworldly and emotionally charged with its falsetto sung tune and exotic percussion backing while Hospital closes the album on a mesmerizingly dreamy note as it evokes stunningly beautiful images of home and comfort.
Teme Tan is an unusual talent indeed and this debut album shows all the sparks that could ignite a forest fire.
Exploratory and fun.
Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.