Working as Teebs, producer Mtendere Mandowa developed a distinctive style of floating, dreamlike beatmaking, one that reflected the easygoing climates and warm breezes his Los Angeles environs. Following his 2014 album Estara, Teebs became a father and music took a back seat to parenthood for a time. Life lessons and personal experiences from the five years between new work inform his 2019 album Anicca, a warm and generous-feeling collection of Teebs' signature ethereal production and collaborations with like-minded peers. The album opens with the languorous ambient piece "Atoms Song," made with Icelandic musician Thomas Stankiewicz. The slowly unfolding track is a perfect prelude for Anicca, with minimal percussion-based beats and scattered string arrangements blurring into different lush atmospheres as the track ambles forward. Stankiewicz shows up again for the placid album closer, "Muted," bookending an album about growth and learning with its most patient, comforting songs. In between, Teebs is joined by a plethora of guest vocalists who compliment his simple-yet-meticulously crafted productions. Sudan Archives shows up for the smoky drift of "Black Dove," adding layers of breathy harmonies to a pulsing stop-start beat. The song speaks of youthful insecurity and anxieties, but delivers the lyrics with a steady confidence. Teebs' relaxed instrumentals range from the gentle celestial looping of "Marcel" to more rhythm-forward tracks like "Mirror Memory," and he intersperses them with songs featuring cameo vocalists. Anna Wise reflects softly on inner demons on the gorgeous "Threads," and Panda Bear's one-of-a-kind harmonizing graces the jaunty "Studie." Elsewhere on the record, Teebs is joined by Daydream Masi, Pink Siifu, and other guests who bring a wide range of color to the already bright album. A sense of nearly parental patience and understanding flows throughout, reflecting some of the maturation and new feelings Teebs was living through while making Anicca. It's another excellent slice of the producer's developing language, one that manages to be mellow without fading into the background.
AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas