Treasure Teeth
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Treasure Teeth

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Brooklyn, New York, United States
EDM Experimental

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"Treasure Teeth"

I've been working for a little while on mastering a single for this relatively new band Treasure Teeth. This duo is from London but now lives in Brooklyn and they sound kinda like if High Places had only ever listened to Massive Attack and ran all their gear through a Jamaican mixer where King Tubby was dubbing the right channel while Laurie Anderson was tweaking the left. Super stereo and supremely fantastic songs. It's actually a project from Barbara from Whiteoak, who I wrote about all the way back in the summer of 2008. Remember that? ME FUCKING NEITHER!! Check out songs, sights and goings on from Treasure Teeth on their blog. - Fred Thomas


"Treasure Teeth"

TREASURE TEETH is the collective works of James McKillop and Barbara Elting; the ultimate collaborative duo. They share all aspects of the creation of the music, from writing to producing and engineering, and further to performing. This also extends into the realm of art, where they create installation work regarding the mythology of the spaces that surround music, using the means of song, video, interaction, participation and performance as our mediums.

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELVES….LOCATION, BAND MEMBERS, PERSONAL HABITS, FAVOURITE FOOD, TYPES OF SHOES, ETC.
Barbara:
I’m from London! I have been living in the US with James for almost a year now…
James:
I’m from Miami, it’s too cold here.
Barbara:
In regards to habits…James is a little OCD. Though we both like to lock ourselves up in our little submarine flat/apartment to create our music and art….everyday. Also, I’m a bit icy.
James:
Like ice cream, sweet but cold.
Barbara:
My favourite food is tuna sashimi, anything from Borough Market in London.
James:
Smothered Chicken and Waffles or Bangers and Mash, sushi is good too.
Barbara:
As for shoes….I like brogues.
James:
My gold Le Coq Sportif sneakers.
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCE(S)?
James:
My cousin Nived the 3rd Eye Monster who took me aside when I was 14 and introduced me to beat making on the MPC.
Barbara:
I try to avoid direct musical influences (if it’s of the seriously subconscious kind, then it’s beyond my grasp so kudos to that). That said Rosemary’s Baby, Michael Elting (my dad), Ivor Cutler, Miranda July, the Troll soundtrack….
WHAT WAS THE LAST GIG YOU’VE BEEN TOO AND IF YOU COULD HAVE AN MUSICAL ORGY WITH ANYONE… WHO WOULD IT BE?
Both:
A band we got to know during our stay in West Palm Beach, Florida, namely Cop City/Chill Pillars played at CakeShop in NY, it was intense and eerie.
James:
For musical orgy, Sun Ra, Frank Zappa, Burial, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Thom Yorke, Harry Merry, Tom Waits, YMCK, Kate Bush and Juana Molina….in a castle under the sea.
Barbara:
Matthew Herbert, Cat Power, Four Tet, Luke Fishbeck, Grieg, Inca Ore, Nick Zammuto, MF Doom, Delia Derbyshire, Rio en Medio, Pseudo Nippon…..in a secret English garden.
WHERE’D YOU GET YOUR NAME AND ARTWORK?
James:
It was between the completely regretful “Snorkle Rock” and “Honey Research Unit”, then we mixed and matched some independent written words together and we eventually got TREASURE TEETH; it stuck out like a sore red thumb. With our mild fascination with “Grillz” and our collective consistent problem with our teeth, it felt like a winner. As for artwork, we do a lot of it ourselves, but the cover of our upcoming single was made by none other than the Goodiepal himself.

PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN BY JOSEPH TOVEY FROST
DAY JOBS?
James:
Freelance producer and sound designer.
Barbara:
Freelance curator and media person for a company I won’t disclose…
ONE AMAZING FACT ABOUT EACH OF YOU.
James:
I ran with a herd of elk in the Rocky Mountains…
Barbara:
I scream really, really well. Like… Laura Palmer standard. Just search Laura Palmer scream in youtube.
RECOMMEND US SOMETHING WE WOULDN’T HAVE HEARD ABOUT.
James:

Barbara:
It’s probably not new to anyone here…but I can’t love a venue any more than I love Cafe OTO in London, I’ve seen my favourite shows there….or maybe I shouldn’t say that.
Both:
Goodiepal. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodiepal - Come Into Land


"Artist Spotlight - Treasure Teeth"

Do you know about Treasure Teeth?! TREASURE TEETH, TREASURE TEETH, TREASURE TEETH!

We have the exclusive streaming of their new EP, Sell Your Gold, which will be available to buy September 9 on vinyl as well as digital. Get to know these two in the interview below or listen to them in their own recorded interview for Alt Citizen.

Alt Citizen Interview by TREASURE TEETH

The use of sound effects plays a significant role in Treasure Teeth’s music, are these sound effects self produced or samples?

James: They’re both really, kind of straight down the middle 50/50 between sounds we’ve recorded ourselves and sounds we’ve sampled from other artists/videos/movies/tv etc. One thing that is shared between the sounds we’ve recorded ourselves and the things that we’ve sampled, is the processing. We can really morph a sound into our own little creation. We usually process sounds or “samples” to the point where they become completely removed from the original source material, whatever that may be.

We’ve sampled some things from our vinyl collections back in our old homes (The Cosmos, Supertramp, William Byrd, King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, & Czech Folk songs to name a few), as well as sample kits created by friends of ours, such as Circuitree Records, and also crazy sample packs we’ve found online from mainstream artists such as Prince, Kanye West, Pitbull, J Dilla, Wu-Tang Clan, Ying Yang Twins, 5 folders of Arabic vocal syllables. It’s endless.

Barbara : A lot of our songs have been recorded in different places. I think one of our tracks, Aquariums was birthed in London in 2010 (where you can hear us in my back garden treading on crispy leaves and squishing water bottles full of gas onto a BBQ to make a gushing noise), continued in Sumterville, Florida 9 months or so later, and finally finished in New York.

Place is so important to us, and I think there’s something rather romantic about a 5 minute song containing all that place in it, knitted through sound, it’s magic. And these feelings still translate towards our use of samples that we haven’t self-recorded, for example Prince. We use a lot of Prince samples, (though you would never recognize them on the tracks as they are slight things such as a snare, or hit, or a section of a bass line), but it’s still magical, it’s still place, and though I wasn’t the one who recorded it, it’s just as important. To simplify, it might conjure up the first place & time we heard Prince, that sample, or that song. It’s not really ersatz nostalgia for someone else’s recording that has nothing to do with us, but plain nostalgia for the place and time we experienced the sound ourselves, in our lives.

James : I think we really love that through the sounds we record ourselves, we let the environment seep through into it. I feel it would be lying in a way, to eradicate all traces of the natural ambient sounds of the space that you’re in when you’re making music. This may just be that the majority of my recording experience has been home recording without proper isolation, I feel the little things you pick up doing this gives atmosphere and a feeling of space, that I would like to recreate even if I had all the possibilities in the world at my fingertips.

Barbara : As for everything else, we record a lot of it ourselves. I play the viola and James plays the piano/keys. We also work with a lot of software for our tracks, such as Reason, Reaktor, Massive, Max MSP and more, and through processing, these all add up to the “sound effect” like qualities of the sounds.

Are your recorded songs difficult to reproduce live?

Barbara : It can be for sure. Recording and performance are almost two entirely different things. Sometimes you have to approach both with a different mindset. And often you have to make a choice which kind of route you wish to descend into. And whether it’s a route (these are extreme) of emulating the electronic noises from scratch or almost performing as if you were a “DJ”, both we feel are as relevant as the other. Since we are fundamentally an electronic band, live it’s inevitably going to be electronic due to our circumstances (equipment, there’s only two of us). The transition from a recorded track to a live performance tends to be sample based for us right now, However that’s not to say we might want to change things up a bit and involve a guard of backing singers, or instrumentalists, for example.

James : Live, I work with the percussive samples on an SP 404, whilst running it through a Line-6 Delay pedal and Reverb Pedal. a homemade synth, and play live keyboards. Barbara sings, triggers background vocal samples on another SP, processes her vocals through Ableton live via laptop, and also plays keyboards. She plays viola really well, so we’re currently working the viola into our live shows more and more. So there is a balance of prerecorded tracks and live playing. And we really believe in samplers and laptops bein - AltCitizen


"From the NYC Open Blog - Treasure Teeth EP Release"

Treasure Teeth released their new EP "Sell Your Gold"at Public Assembly on September 9th. This is - reportedly - a US-UK duo based between NYC, Miami, and London (somebody must travel a lot!) making aquatic womb-like experimental glitch pop with hip-hop and R & B inflections. - (as posted in The Deli's Open Blog - post your band's entries, videos, and Mp3s here). The Deli's NYC Open Blog is powered by The Music Building. - The Deli


"Best of NYC"

"A collaboration spanning from London to Miami to NYC, Treasure Teeth is probably one of the most emotionally intense quirky bands we have ever heard. The fact that the sensitive female lead vocals don't sound at all disconnected from the constantly evolving, somewhat bizarre electronic arrangements represents some kind of production miracle." - The Deli


"New Music - Treasure Teeth"

"...When I discovered US-UK husband-and-wife duo Treasure Teeth, I felt like a pirate who had unearthed a chest of golden coins. Pretty fucking ecstatic. Barbara has the voice of a mermaid (I imagine mermaids as having better voices than angels) and James twists together these fantastic aquatic labyrinths of sound that me me roll around with glee like a furry otter in a kelp forest; an otter with a penchant for hip hop/r&b bits and bobs no less." - Subbacultcha!


"Treasure Teeth: “Island Eye”"

Following serial relocations, the Anglo-American husband-and-wife duo Treasure Teeth are currently based in NYC and have just released their debut single, with artwork (above) by none other than Goodiepal himself. Barbara’s cut-glass vocals are familiar from her solo work as Whiteoak, but rather than the mesmeric folk-drone of that project, here they are foregrounded by equally trance-inducing hip-hop and R&B inflections. Over a stuttering half-step beat, “Island Eye” creates an irresistibly womb-like atmosphere, with hypnotic waves of reverb and aquatic pulsations reminiscent of Aphex Twin’s “Analogue Bubblebath”. The swooning vocals weft and warp above this backing, and when the track eventually slows and dissipates, it’s as if we’ve woken from a dream that we would have liked to last longer. Our wish may be granted this summer, as the duo plan to release a full EP then. - International Tapes


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Barbara Elting and James McKillop are Treasure Teeth. A duo that collectively originate from both London and Miami and currently reside in Bushwick.

Musically influenced by a wide range of genres and artists, such as Terry Riley, cLOUDDEAD, Lil' Wayne, Cat Power, Bjork, Coco Rosie, Four Tet, Burial, El-B, Julia Holter, Goodiepal, Ariel Pink, Tom Waits and more, Treasure Teeth find untouched ground, where lo-fi and hi-fi meet in an unique manner.

This duo's mission is to capture the full experience of sound. Regarding the first song on their recently released "Sell Your Gold EP", “Aquariums,” Barbara explains: “You can hear us in my back garden treading on crispy leaves and squishing water bottles full of gas onto a BBQ to make a gushing noise.” Having been recording in London, Florida, and New York City, their EP is an exploration of our own individual private worlds, versus external forces such as geography and time.

To quote Treasure Teeth themselves...

"We’d say our music is melodic pop filtered through a cold dungeon-like underground Londonesque club that is somehow located in the sun beaten tropical paradise ghetto that is Little Haiti. Once removed to Bushwick. Again to be removed, probably."