Dandy Teru’s debut album is hardly the adventure that the title suggests. Adventures is a jazz-rap album that just isn’t so captivating.
Dandy Teru is an anomalous name to most. The French producer likely wasn’t on your radar before now. However, Dandy Teru is looking to change that with his debut album, Adventures. On this album, Teru plays the role of overseer, guiding the music in one direction and handing it off to an accomplice to veer down a different path. The tracks of Adventures are attacked from a variety of angles. "Burned" features blues vocalist Sami K, Sarah Gessler sings on "Fragile Things", and some well-known rappers like Moka Only and Count Bass D lay down some verses on Teru’s beats.
Adventures has a hip-hop vibe, but is far from being a strictly rap album. It feels like lounge music.n Something that could be played in a coffee shop. A coffee shop that is aimed at a younger crowd who wants a bit of rap and house mixed in with their nu-jazz and soul. Unfortunately, background lounge music might be the maximum potential for Dandy Teru’s Adventures. While he shows an ability to sequence records and guide a collection of artists down a similar path, the music lacks an x-factor to jump out and grab the listener. The beats generally don’t have much progression and are at best relaxing. Don’t expect a Madlib-type relaxation where the melodies at the same time take your mind to another state of consciousness. This music is kind of just there.
The so-so production fails to bring out memorable performances from the guests. Both singers and rappers feel like they’re only half-into what they’re reciting. The most energetic appearance comes from Tchad Unpoe who is rapping in French, so consequently his lyrics have no sticking point for me. A mailed in verse from Moka Only is still a solid verse, but it’s not anything that will have fans pouring in to check out who this Dandy Teru guy is. Adventures is a quick ride, lasting a little over half an hour. It’s a great length for a laid back album like this, because it ends up being over before you can find yourself getting too bored with it.
It does, however, start to gain some steam at the end. The last three tracks are the highlights of Adventures. The bad news for Dandy Teru is that they’re not his original works. These three final tracks are remixes from Tall Black Guy, Monkey Robot, and Quiet Dawn. While these remixes enhance the overall listening experience of the album, it’s never good to get out-shined this hard on your own album. Tall Black Guy in particular steals the show on Adventures. He takes a previously uneventful song, "Wake Up Now", and transforms it with a banging, spaced out beat that sounds like an old Digable Planets record. He even manages to bring new life to the previously drony performance from Rita J. Dandy Teru’s debut album is hardly the adventure that the title suggests. Adventures is a jazz rap album that just isn’t so captivating.