Well, the end of last year was crazy. It seems that once the semester ends, my “time off” is packed with everything I’ve left undone. Add to that a toddler, limited childcare, multiple Christmases, and the pressure to decide what I want to do for my birthday (which is nothing as I’m old, and it’s usually superseded by other obligations anyway). Oh, and the next term’s deadlines are early and often.

All that is to say, I haven’t been able to paint much, let alone write or listen closely to music. One tradition I have this time of year is starting mixes composed of all the new or newly discovered music I hear. And during the holidays, I start populating next year’s list. And 2024’s will prove to be a good one. I’ve recently been discovering new music on Instagram reels. Recent examples are KAMAUU (I CANNOT WAIT for that track to be released), Norman Sann, Odelly, and most recently, this week’s selection.

When their performance on KEXP popped up, their sound threw me off, and I didn’t like it. But I just had to listen to it repeatedly. And that usually means they are going to be a new favorite. So many bands end up on my list this way; I dislike them but have to listen to them until they stick.

They describe their influences as Japanese music from the 60’s and 70’s. Which is likely why I was drawn to them. This sound reminds me somewhat of Dengue Fever, whose music was similarly inspired by Cambodian music from that era, which in turn was inspired by Californian Surfer Rock brought over by American Soldiers during the Vietnam War, something I also hear in this band’s music.

This band goes a step further and infuses psychedelic sounds, punk guitar, and, of all things, a flute and trombone, further reminding me of what punk and Ska brands did as their genres merged. This kind of mixing of sounds from the past with traditions gleaned from punk and post-punk makes TEKE:TEKE a perfect addition to the studio mix, where you’ll find all of these genres.