I first encountered the melodic waves of American Matt Gardner, also known as Terekke, in the sonic journeys curated by the Swiss maestra Sassy J. She was co-hosting a three hour The Do!! You!! Breakfast Show with Charlie Bones on NTS on September 29th, 2017 to be exact. I think I heard this edition on archive sometime in the summer of 2019 while living in Austin, Texas. I remember soaking in the usual triple digit temperatures in Central Texas, developing a habit of listening to long form mixes as a way to pass time during the hottest parts of the day.

The Do!! You!!! Breakfast Show w/ Charlie Bones & Sassy J 29th September 2017
How Do You feel this morning? Different? Me too. Do!! You!!! Whats going on? Who knows! Lets ask. Hang loose with Charlie Bones, and guests.

Nestled after a heady Goan psych track around the 38 minute mark, JQM from the 2017 release Plant Age (L.I.E.S.) gracefully gives the listener a chance to catch their breath. Judith mixes out of twangs into an underwater ambiance so crisply, it feels as if you swan dove off an Indian subcontinental cliff into an aquamarine sea. Charlie and Judith break the trance with a track ID and a brief shoutout to L.I.E.S. proprietor Ron Morelli. JQM just suspends you as they chat. Terekke seems to find an edge between noise and electronic house and tip toes it with ease. The effect is perfectly relaxing, equally at home playing in an upscale lounge or in headphones while sinking into focused work.

The rest of Plant Age follows suit. The entire record finds this underwater groove with steady lo-fi distortion and ringing piano melodies. Tack sings, while Bb2 drops you deeper into the ocean of bass. Need U slows the tempo down a bit, the water gets more shallow, and light dances along the bottom. If Need U is a snorkel along the shallow, Swim is a walk through the lapping waves along the beach. The second half of the LP is a bit more spaced-out. The aforementioned JQM is dark but in a relaxing, sensory-deprivation-tank sort of way. Closer feels like drifting along the stars in the deep-purple-black you see at the top of your periphery looking out the window of an airplane.

Next Steps

Terekke's first EP on L.I.E.S, Damn, was arguably ahead of its time. Thrumming drum and bass with super tight snares aren't really a new concept but for some reason appears to have stayed in fashion through various forms throughout the last decade. Any time Damn cycles through my rotation, I can't help but link the sounds to the Baikal Acid EP by similar artist, Khotin. There's no doubting the cross-polination between the Vancouver scene and releases out of New York.

Drum pattern similarities abound.

Plant Age is a great place to start in Terekke's discog. If it strikes your fancy, another step deeper is to dive into LM024 on Libra Mix. Deep linking is tough from Libra Mix, but navigate a new tab to https://libramix.org and scroll down to LM024. You can play and download this mix for free.

In addition to dropping some Moodymann and Theo Parrish bangers in the mix, Terekke slips in an alternate version of Amaze from his 2013 release YYYYYYYYYY (also on L.I.E.S.) right around the half way mark. While the version in the mix isn't drastically different from the official release, its drop is perfectly timed and alludes to the underwater soundscapes found later in Plant Age.

EP version of Amaze

Deep Cuts

Never Noise creator and fellow contributor Corey owns a copy of Improvisational Loops (Music From Memory). I'm not as prone to throw on 40 minutes of ambient music, but I appreciate the even deeper side of Terekke's discography. Loops feels to me like one long spaced-out interlude, or how I feel at work on Monday after being spun for the weekend. That's not to say it isn't good, but it doesn't put me in the breezy mood of Plant Age.

While we're on the subject of archived L.I.E.S. releases, we would be remiss not to mention this absolute heater from Steve Moore.

If you're not smacked in the face in the first measure, I can't do anything for you.

Support Terekke, Steve Moore, and the rest of the L.I.E.S. lineup on Bandcamp.