As a nomad, David Vincent Reep is accustomed to trying new things. It comes with the lifestyle. With travel tickets that blaze a trail across the United States and Europe, Reep is a wanderer, whose fleeting whims and curiosities can change into passions just as easily as he changes his home. Take music, for example. Inspired by the likes of DJ Shadow and plugged into the local rave scene while in South Bank, London, Reep picked up his first synth, giving birth to a musical science project.
Elephant & Castle, named for the famous London intersection, is the culmination of a few years of experimentation, which has wandered with Reet to his new Bay Area digs. Started on a whim, E&C has been refined at sound engineering school. It’s been polished at the legendary Studio 880 in East Oakland and then in Los Angeles at Low End Theory, the finishing school of Flying Lotus and Nosaj Thing. And now it’s ready with Reet’s debut LP, Transitions.
Despite his travels and influences, Reet’s project remains true to the dreary British landscapes where it was born. Infusing down tempo glitch hop with non-traditional sound cuts, E&C is somber, recalling the British rains and shades of grey. It’s also beautifully eerie, luring in the wary with soft-spoken samples, as on the first taste of the album “En Memoria.” Featuring Merrill Garbus, the mind behind tUnE-yArDs, the song crackles along, adding an attic-full of odds and ends along the way. A hand drum sample here, chimes there, “En Memoria” is jumbled and majestic, as Garbus coos and coaxes. It’s the subtle–and fitting– announcement of the arrival of one well-traveled producer and artist, whose own transient existence may have him here today and gone the next.
Transitions is out on Plug Research on March 13.
Elephant & Castle- En Memoria (ft. tUnE-yArDs) (download)