Cama, the first official release by Lebanese drummer and electronic producer, Teddy Tawil (aka TEDTEDTED), is a staggering debut of five gritty jungle and rattling drum and bass tracks that certainly makes an impactful first impression, hitting with a confidence and control usually categoric of a seasoned veteran.
Over the course of just over a year, Tawil’s short string of self-released EPs on Soundcloud caught the ears of several Lebanese industry veterans like Ziad Moukarzel of Woodwork Studios and Anthony Sahyoon of (Fadi Tabbel-helmed) Tunefork Studios, as well as Ziad Nawfal of essential Lebanese label Ruptured Records, which released ‘Cama’ earlier this weekend.
Across the length of Cama, Tawil brings his background as a percussionist to the forefront, blending this influence with blisteringly fast chopped breakbeats and a rumbling low-end that punches through speakers with an incredible clarity (no doubt due to the engineering efforts of Moukarzel and Sayhoun).
Kicking off with anything but a soft opening, Cama launches directly into a full frontal assault with the first tune ‘Wil’, which immediately establishes the sonic profiles of the album; futuristic jungle breakbeats, and melancholic synthesizer notes layered on top of ethereal vocal chops. ‘Wwhl’ continues this veritable braindance of shuffling hi-hats and fluttering shakers, before diving into a positively warped breakdown, twisting itself into near unrecognizability before smoothly swinging back in with the somber chords.
In a break from the thunderous breakbeats of ‘Wil’ and ‘Wwhl’, the self-titled third track ‘Cama’ steps fully away from TEDTEDTED’s heavy focus on percussion, and instead expands upon the wailing synthesizers and moody ambiances of its predecessors. In this brief moment of respite, Tawil’s sound design is given ample room to breathe, highlighting the intricacies of his abrasive sound design in a way that seems grounding and rather human compared to the alien breakbeats that punctuate the rest of the album, especially due to the use of stuttering vocal samples amidst the reverb-soaked Blade Runner-esque synthesisers.
Just as ‘Cama’ fades out, it’s right back to a thumping rhythm as Tawil dials up the distortion for the fourth track ‘Opp’. By far the heaviest track on Cama, ‘Opp’ also brings with it the most breakneck speeds present on the project, with a driving rhythm and off-beat snare fills giving the track an almost militaristic surge forwards. In comparison, ’Oyo’ seems like an exploration of bass, with numerous different subs giving the track a futuristic bounce over the stuttering snare rolls
Considering that this is Tawil’s first official release as TEDTEDTED, we’re more than impressed with the Lebanese producers debut with Cama, a release best likened to the soundtrack of an extended chase scene from as-of-yet unreleased dystopian sci-fi epic. Amidst the chaos, Cama brings some surprisingly tender moments, as well as an incredible amount of diversity in terms of arrangement and sound design despite appearing very cohesive on an initial listen. Overall, we’re definitely going to be keeping TEDTEDTED on our radar moving forwards, and eagerly anticipate their future works.
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