TEETHCLIPPERS: TCVA001: DON’T BITE YOUR TONGUE – Album Review

Chris Britton

Woah! Shit! Welcome to me listening to music and giving you my totally unnecessary, unprofessional opinion on it! Today, I’m looking at TEETHCLIPPERS first ever release, TVCA001: Don’t Bite Your Tongue.

TEETHCLIPPERS is a record label and club night, and a fucking good club night at that. They have been bringing breaks to Wellington when breaks are what we are lacking. Founded in Pōneke by Emanuel Psathas, most of their talent is locally sourced. The first semblance of TEETHCLIPPERS came about when Emanuel returned from living in the UK with, big surprise, UK on his mind. Seeing a distinct lack of some of the predominant styles that are played over there, he decided to hit up some friends and make a night of it. I attended one of their club takeovers back in June 2021, which was great, and I would highly recommend attending any future events. This then grew in popularity and scope, with the latest move being the record I’m reviewing today.

TEETHCLIPPERS Instagram

Mental health is an important topic for all the artists involved, with quite a few of them being pretty vocal about their own struggles with the issues around it. It’s a big theme for this release, with all proceeds going to the Mental Health Foundation Aotearoa. This means if you like the record, you should go buy a copy!

This album’s strength lies in the variety that it provides, while maintaining a lot of cohesion. No contribution feels out of place despite some vast differences in style and feel, making for a never boring, ever changing listen. The record follows the theme of a lot of good electronic music works, it either wants to be blasted at a dark sweaty club or put on in the background while you do other engaging shit. In both situations, this collection of music provides hard.

Starting out with the breaks, Shli (Tim Ward) opens it up with a great track called Formula 50. This sets the tone for most of the music contained in this record, with a lot of hip-hop inspiration mixed in. Kieran Tahir (actual name) comes through with a beautifully put together work, U All I Need. Awesome dry feeling percussion happening with smooth vocals. A lot of soul shines through in this track (not the genre you fool) with a very sincere feeling Arabic vocal sample chopping the track in half. Rolling on from there, Lakeboon (Curtis Lake) provides us with some very saucy bongo samples in (Ga)rage Break on top of deep wobbly basslines, chilling the album out for five minutes. Just beyooduful.

Dubzle (Katie Double) and Paige Julia (who needs no introduction in Wellington, for good reason) make their mark with Blueberries. An ethereal, full bodied track with lots of layers. One of the more laid-back tracks, but a fantastically enjoyable experience none the less. The style of some of these more relaxed songs in this collection are great and work really well with the overall composition of the album. Azure’s (Liam Murray) input, Under Elm, is a great example of this, with even more ethereal qualities and ghostly vocal samples.

The last track I want to talk about is probably my favourite from the album, Alice Agnes – Call Me What. Pwoooarrr what a stonker. Hard ass vocal sample starts off the track and carries on throughout the entire thing like a zooted metronome, with some huge heavy hitting techno beats coming through later on. I quite literally laughed out loud at the creativity of this awesome track when I first heard it.

All in all, Emmanuel and the artists involved have outdone themselves on this one. It’s fantastic to listen to front to back, contains massive variety, and is all in all an astounding effort for a first release under the label. Make sure you go show love for these people when they play live, so they can support themselves while making the stuff we all enjoy. Lastly, I would like to commend everyone involved for putting up some amazing music for a good cause. That’s the Pōneke music scene I know and love.

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