Dandy Teru: Adventures
Ubiquity Records

Issued on the California imprint Ubiquity Records, Adventures is the debut album by Dandy Teru, who was born in 1984 in the south of France and has been producing music since 2006. Leading up to the album's release, Teru established himself as a radio host on Laid Back Radio (a monthly show with Quiet Dawn called French Toast) and as a music producer helping to spread the word about young French artists in the hip-hop scene (some of whom appear on Adventures). Teru steps out of the shadows for the release, which supplements a modest seven originals with three remixes by Tall Black Guy, Belgian production duo Monkey Robot, and Quiet Dawn.

Teru's preference is for neck-snapping beats that ooze a kind of dusty lope sure to appeal to Dilla-heads (it's no surprise that Teru contributed to the 2012 Do The Dilla compilation by Food For Ya Soul). The tracks are laid-back in feel, the opener “Burned” a perfect exemplar of the album's style; in fact, it's hard to decide whether the instrumental backing is more relaxed than Sami K's sleepy flow or vice-versa. Soulful and jazz-tinged pulsations of acoustic piano, bass, and drums, Teru's smooth backings are sprinkled with synthetic flavour, an occasional turntable scratch, and even a harpsichord (on “Below”).

His choice of vocalists and MCs is solid throughout. Things take a decidedly soulful turn when Rita J grabs the mic for “Wake Up Now,” and “Fragile Things” is boosted considerably by Sarah Gessler's seductive coo. As strong as the vocal cuts are, one of the tastiest bits is “Waters,” the instrumental collab with Quiet Dawn, while those with a taste for French flow will be charmed by Tchad Unpoe's contributions to “RWVNLL.”

The remixes generally amp up the energy level of Teru's originals: “Wake Up Now” grooves harder with Tall Black Guy aboard; “Below” receives a synth-heavy jolt of animation from Monkey Robot; and the hyperactive bump of “Fragile Things” turns trippy in Quiet Dawn's hands. The release is relatively short, with ten of its thirty-four minutes constituted by remixes, but is satisfying nonetheless, breeziness in this case extending to the release's duration plus its overall vibe.

June 2013