David Vincent Reep isn’t really from any one place. The young musician has already lived in Colorado, Texas, London and California in his lifetime. The son of working parents, music wasn’t something that held prominence in the house during his formative years.
Through some combination of intuition, curiosity and boredom during his seven year stay in London, David picked up an acoustic guitar and dove into the world of the blues and soul music for a while. He was also an avid skater at the time, spending hours in Southbank, London, with occasional trips to the infamously dreary Elephant and Castle area (that place that would later become his music moniker). Upon return to the U.S., David was enamored with the rave scene that had spawned here and recalls being captivated with DJ Shadow’s music. It was during this time that he first picked up the SP-303 and began to experiment with his own musical ideas.
Despite his musical curiosities, David’s originaly had his sights set on journalism as a career and moved to California to pursue it. But after leaving UC Santa Cruz because they canceled their journalism program, he relocated to the Bay area and enrolled in audio-engineering school.
While enriching his knowledge of music and sound at school, David had the opportunity to intern at Studio 880, home of Amp Live of Zion I and a general hub for East Bay music in general. Through his tenure at Studio 880, David stumbled on the bright idea of starting his own DIY music label after realizing he probably would not be able to be hired at a label as he once thought.
In 2007 and 2008, he self-released a handful of 7”’s and full length efforts by friends and musicians he had met in his years in the Bay. He continued his own musical explorations on the 303 but they were still contained to the realm of impassioned hobby, until one fateful South by Southwest a few years ago.
David was all set to attend the heralded music and media showcase in Texas when he ran into a roadblock: his flight was overbooked. Disheartened but not deflated, David set out to Oakland’s Groove Yard record store bent on making a project he describes as “modern sounding, but from records only.”
A month or so later, his Analogue EP was born. On a whim he asked the Godfather of Low End, Daddy Kev, if he would consider mastering the project. Much to David’s surprise, Kev said yes and like that David was on his way down to LA to sit in the session at the famed Echo Chamber in downtown. After receiving an unexpected pep talk from Daddy Kev (as well as a shot at playing Low End Theory), David sent out the EP to a few blogs and it soon found its way on Pitchfork. This combination of events propelled David to take his own music a bit more serious.
Putting his label ambitions aside for the time being, David spent the better part of last summer working on the Transitions LP, to be released on Plug Research. Compared to his previous EP, David says, “this album is way more ambient. It’s not as beat oriented, it’s a little more jazz influenced, has a few songs with weird time signatures, making it a bit more complex of a record.
During it’s creation, I was making music that was much more spacial and flowing.” The mostly instrumental project contains influences from DJ Shadow, Flying Lotus’ early work, Burial and matthewdavid. but it’s ambitions lie a bit further than just another beat-music record.
“Anything emotion-based is usually my favorite kind of music. With this project, I chose music that resonated with me because I’ve found that if I get a strong emotional reaction from something, chances are other people will feel it too.” David, as Elephant and Castle, has grown into a versatile producer, employing both technical proficiency and intuition to push his music forward.