Under the Overpass: FRNT BZNZZ, aka Ted de Oliveira


It was late one night at Bevy. Me, Oliver, and Hideki were wrapping up another Soul Time in Hawaii party, something we did every month (but recently scaled back to doing semi-annually). The time was maybe 1:30am, the bar was pretty much empty by that point and the bartenders were closing up before the 2am end time. That's when, to our surprise Ted de Oliveira walked in. I'd never met the guy, only heard stories. Oliver and Ted go way back to the early 2000s, if not earlier. They grew up in the Honolulu hip-hop music scene, b-boying, DJing. Ted is the son of two accomplished musicians — Carlinhos do Pandeiro, a legendary Brazilian percussionist who now resides in LA, and Sandy Tsukiyama, once Nohelani Cypriano’s backup singer and percussionist and now host of The Brazilian Experience, one of Hawaii’s top radio programs. "I rejected it initially", Ted said in a 2011 interview. "I played guitar, started messing around with an SP202 sampler in 1999 at high school — carrying it around in my backpack with little computer speakers. I used to sample drum and bass records, my mom’s koto, and video game sounds. I eventually got this program called Reason in 2000 and started figuring out how to use a synthesizer." Before I met Ted in March 2017, everyone kept telling me he was some kind of musical genius. Oliver and his wife once showed me a video where Ted was in Easy Music Center, picked up a guitar and made up a song on the spot with singing, beatboxing and freestyling. It was dope. That night at Bevy when the bar's lights came on, Ted plugged his phone in to the house system and played us a bunch of tracks he'd been making recently. Needlessly to say, we were intrigued! That 2011 interview reveals more about where FRNT BZNZZ — his electronic producer pseudonym — comes into the picture. "I had an acoustic set and I used my name on the release, but I needed to come up with a moniker for my electronic stuff. I was looking at double meaning words and phrases. Front business is a shell corporation. It’s not my main acoustic stuff but is a side project that caters to a different demographic, and it's also a funny way of saying a mullet haircut!" After that evening at Bevy, Ted's shared countless tracks with me and Lei. Often these tracks are the result of collaborations with local musicians, producers and vocalists, recorded in his home studio tucked away on the side of a mountain in Manoa Valley. Sometimes the music he creates is entirely his own, completely self-produced. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bhv0Kp7gDD3/?taken-by=frntbznzz In December 2017, FLUX Sound hosted a concert and talk story featuring Thundercat, myself, FRNT BZNZZ, and Izik. At that talk story I shared music from Lemuria, Mike Lundy, and ÆOLUS. When the panel opened the discussion to questions, our friend AJ Feducia (of the local indie prog rock band At Sea) asked if there was any new music on the horizon — prying for an answer about FRNT BZNZZ. AJ knew that we'd been going back and forth with Ted about which tracks to release first (there's a pretty massive catalog accumulating!). I indulged the question with something like "Yes, of course, there's a release on the way with Front Business, and so you know I'm also wearing a Front Business T-shirt right now." Just over one year later after meeting Ted de Oliveira, we're proud to present to you AGS-7009, a limited 7-inch that represents some of Ted's most recent self-produced output — spatial, sometimes haunting electronic boogie. This is Ted's first time on vinyl. The songs are "Cool It, Pump The Brakes" and "My House Under The Overpass" Music from the Hawaiian Islands often evokes images of sunny beaches and laid back encounters. We want to show you another side of Hawaii, a sort of sonic anti-thesis to the common perceptions of a carefree paradise. Artwork by Dana Paresa. Limited to 500 copies worldwide. Grab a copy here.

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