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Teebs – Lefto – Free The Robots
Born in New York to Malawi and Barbados origins, Mtendere (pronounced “ten-de-ra”) (Chichewa for “Peace”) Mandowa, is an electronic musician and painter who bounced around the East Coast before finally planting his feet in the Southern California suburb of Chino Hills. Already successful in music with Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder and ‘My Hollow Drum’ Collectives, Teebs’ painting is similar to his music production; collaging and illustrating images to create meditative and minimalist soundscapes on canvas.
Chris Alfaro always has a new story to tell with his ever-evolving solo project Free the Robots. The next chapter, titled ‘The Balance’, is exactly that. The sound resonates somewhere between chaos and solitude, where Alfaro has literally found balance. As a musician, beat maker, DJ, and owner of the iconic restaurant / bar, The Crosby, he has always had the ability to jump in and out of other worlds inspiring a unique signature sound that hints at jazz, psych, electronic, and hip hop, while remaining un-genre-fiable. His open-ended imagination and tendency to break free from any boundaries keeps a steady flow of ideas running through his head, constantly moving him forward; away from robotic monotony, ultimately freeing the robots.
Rooted in Santa Ana, CA, Free the Robots has spent over a decade taking his craft to audiences around the globe. Known as one of the pioneering artists to come out of LA’s beat movement, he continues on building his line up of original recordings in directions still unknown. The energy and technical skill behind his live performances have landed him among the greats, sharing stages with the likes of Dj Shadow, Prefuse 73, Flying Lotus, to Afrika Bambaataa.
With the recent release of ‘The Balance’, Alfaro continues to demonstrate a consistent flow of freedom and diversity with his sound. From beginning to end, listening to ‘The Balance’ will take you on a cerebral journey through your inner world. While you’re there, let go of your surroundings and let your imagination run free.
Described by Fact! Magazine “your favourite dj’s favourite dj”, affiliated with Brownswood Recordings, Blue Note, !K7 Records, and one the most important tastemakers Europe has to offer. This bearded early riser is consistently a couple steps ahead of your average early adopter. He doesn’t wait for the next thing to land on his lap, he actively seeks it out, therefore just take a peek at one of his 580 shows on Belgium’s foremost national radio station Studio Brussel which received compliments from Rough Trade Shops, Gilles Peterson and featured on MTV Hive.
However, don’t assume that he’s only working futuristic angles – no sir. Firmly rooted in jazz and hip hop, he sharpened his digging sensibility working at the now legendary Music Mania record store in hometown Brussels.
His passion for jazz resulted in a remix album for Blue Note which was well received by the community and a mix for the famous Ninja Tune Solid Steel series.
LeFtO is forever moving forwards but always got an ear in the past. Famed for his gloriously eclectic dj sets, he switches effortlessly between genres. He’s not only a deejay and producer but also curates his own stage at the Dour Festival and his own nights in the Belgian city of Gent. World renowned, LeFtO regularly blesses sound systems from Tokyo to Seoul , Singapore to Manila, Kazakhstan to Germany, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
With residencies in Amsterdam, Paris and New York, the man is unstoppable..
The travel resulted in a compilation on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings with DJ Simbad, a compilation for Universal Music, a couple releases in collaboration with Los Angeles based label 101 Apparel, and his latest compilation for BBE/Southport Weekender.