Shirushi by Teke::TekeRelease date: May 7, 2021
Label: Kill Rock Stars
Ok, so maybe you’ve heard it before. Trying to combine some world music elements, in this case originating in Japan with the sounds that the rock music audience is more accustomed to can produce some not-so-usual sounds. Of course, that combination can go two ways. It can produce something seriously good and original, or it could sound like combining oil or water. Or, if you want to be really critical, like chicken in silk underwear.
Luckily for Montreal-based seven-piece Teke::Teke, and even more so to the audience that picks up their latest album Shirushi certainly falls firmly in the first category. So what did the band actually do here?
As they started out, Teke::Teke was sort of a tribute band to a Japanese guitar legend Takeshi Terauchi, who himself was obviously inspired by the early sixties surf guitar sound. And throughout Shirushi, Teke::Teke doesn’t shy away from such ‘heritage.’ They keep that surf guitar line alive (and really well) and add quite a few other things into the mix.
You can start counting – from some traditional Japanese sounds to sixties spy flicks, to some mean jazz and Brazilian Tropicalia, you name it. And you can probably find a few other clues along the way on your own. But, instead of making all this sounding like a musical stew that just doesn’t blend, they actually keep true to the album’s title.
Shirushi translates into ‘sign of big changes to come.’ And Teke::Teke simply picks up on something that some might consider old and bygone and turn it into something that is absolutely fresh and new while still not messing up the musical strands that they are trying to connect. Quite brilliant, to be frank.