Elephant & Castle – Transitions LP [Album Review]

03/27/2012

I’ve always found it difficult to describe my tastes in electronic music. Mainstream sources often lean to either extremes of heavy bass or mellowed ambient. Leaving my fondness for subtle distortions, varying rhythms, unusual samples, and intricate layers as jargon phrases to the average listener. I’ve tried highlighting popular musicians (in my mind) to explain elements like Flying Lotus’s layering, The Postal Service’s rhythmic patterns (rather than say Dntel), Groove Armada’s variations of house, or the Art of Noise’s re-imagining of Debussy. More often than not these flop and again I’m muffed.

But thanks to Transitions, I have an album that will do the explaining for me. The debut album of Elephant & Castles is the project of Oakland-based producer David Vincent Reep. The album wastes no time exhibiting its diversity. As the porous opening track “Adjoining Souls” evaporates a dynamic shift occurs with “Rise” propelling the listener with layered rhythms and vocal samples used like kicks. As the albums plays you get the feeling that Elephant & Castle is an exploration for David as well. Whether adding whale noises to “En Memoria,”  soft crackles to “Distance To The Sun,” glitches to “RGB_,” or distortion to “I Will,” Transitions incorporates playfully different elements of production styles; quickly, escaping the perils of redundancy that plague many producers.

Download Mp3Elephant Castle: “Rise”