No matter what other cities have to offer, London has always been the hub of electronic music (in England at least). It’s a place where electricity extends its wirey reach far beyond the underground networks of trains, igniting DJ’s speakers long into the morning. TSHA, otherwise known as Teisha Matthews, is a child of this city. Growing up in Fareham, a small town near Portsmouth, and moving to London at the age of 19, TSHA has the energy of the capital deeply entrenched in her music. Yet it was not until an encounter with the powerhouse of electronica that is Berlin that she discovered her desire to produce herself, or so the breadcrumb trail of online press releases tell.
A bundle of smiles and intricacy, TSHA’s sophisticated sets have taken the electronic scene by storm. From the release of her first track in 2018, it didn’t take long for this self taught producer to carve a space in the male dominated DJ world entirely of her own. By the time of her standout sophomore release ‘Sacred’, it was clear that TSHA had found her sound and left her inspirations, such as Bonobo, Four Tet and John Hopkins, at the door. Listening to ‘Scared’ is like a holy experience. Akin to meditation, time disappears before your eyes, or should I say ears. The fuzzy static which skips on your frontal lobe from the very start guides you throughout the song, constantly shifting its exposure through the different musical landscapes. A testament to TSHA’s production, every element is lightly touched into place. There’s no obnoxious drop or ear destroying loud bass, just a perfect balance. Mixed to an extraordinary scale, it reverberates space as you are transported through a maze shifting in depth, with light samples speaking up in moments of transition.
To date, TSHA’s largest body of work is her EP ‘Moonlight’, released in the latter half of 2019. These six mixes, guarded by the artwork of a dragon-braided deity, go far beyond solidifying TSHA’s immense skills in production. ‘Me You’ builds its clean layers as if creating the most precise musical card pyramid in the world. It need not rely on repetitive samples to grab the listeners attention, allowing the copper tinged instrumentation to do the talking. ‘Back To You’ (featuring the vocals of dark pop princess Reader) brings something entirely different to TSHA’s musical repertoire. Reaching out of the depths of the night, this track fuses TSHA’s delicately produced rhythms with, in essence, a pop song, able to capture the busy ear of daytime radio audiences.
Beyond her own work, TSHA’s remixes often rival original releases in scale and sensibility. Her recent remix of Willaris. K’s ‘5 O’CLOCK’, for example, takes what was originally a scuffling elixir of insomnia and synchronises it into something more danceable and euphoric.
Unsurprisingly TSHA’s talent has not gone unnoticed. Still comparably new to production three years in, she has already been thrown in with musical heavy weights in Spotify playlists with over 1 million streaming fans, radio mixes on Beats 1 and has even been featured as one of NME’s 100 essential artists for 2020. One of her biggest supporters though has been the man who inspired her to make music in the first case, Bonobo, who in 2019 added her mix of ‘Sacred’ to his fabric presents mix and asked her to open his 4 hour set at the mix’s launch alongside Throwing Snow.
There is insurmountable evidence that 2020 is going to be TSHA’s year. Soon set to inspell Leeds in support of O’Flynn’s show at Headrow House on the 1st Feb, it’s the perfect chance to check her out before her debut album makes her a household name in the electronic scene to rival her idols. A debut, might I add, which she has said will allow her to tour with a band to create a techno fever dream of an audio visual experience. Now that’s something I don’t want to miss.
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Image courtesy of Clash Music.