After taking inspiration from Japanese surf rock to Brazilian psychedelia to Bulgarian folk and tearing those compositions apart, Montreal-based TEKE::TEKE have built a beautiful new beginning out of destruction on debut album Shirushi (2021).
Fittingly, TEKE::TEKE found its origin within the form of another project, as guitarist Serge
Nakauchi Pelletier, drummer Ian Lettre, and horn player Etienne Lebel began jamming together
while members of another artist’s backing band. As they shared music and learned new tunes,
they found themselves particularly drawn to the work of Japanese surf and garage rock legend
Takeshi “Terry” Terauchi.
The trio were joined by rhythm guitarist Hidetaka Yoneyama, bassist Mishka Stein,
multi-instrumentalist Yuki Isami, and vocalist Maya Kuroki, and immediately set to immersing
themselves in Terauchi’s work and simultaneously building out their own expressive style. Their
first performance came at a psychedelic music festival, acting as a Terauchi tribute act. After
earning rave reviews and expanding from that concept, TEKE::TEKE began adding more and
more of their own original material and style into the mix.
The seven musicians holed up in a cabin in Canadian countryside to write, and followed that up with a stint in Rhode Island’s notorious Machines with Magnets studio to ensure they could focus on the unique world of the music.
The result of that reconstructive project, Shirushi is a dazzling mosaic of styles and eras in
which ripping guitar riffs and silvery flute trills fly in formation. The record incorporates traditional instruments, draws influence from ‘70s soundtracks and the sentimental balladry of Japanese enka, and yet sounds as if it comes from some distant future.