Reef Project - Deep End

deepend.jpg
deepend.jpg

Reef Project - Deep End

6.00

The second Reef Project album originally released in in March of 2003.

Resident Advisor Review:

Los Angeles DJ Thee-O (Jacob Ofilas) has been a part of the city’s club and rave scene for over a decade. After his initial rave experiences throughout the early 90’s, Thee-O became enchanted with the ever present chill out room. He then began producing under the studio name Reef Project (after his love of aquariums), and has since gone on to release two albums worth of original material.

“Deep End”, Reef Project’s latest release, features a mix of lush sounds, ambient soundscapes, and atmospheric melodies. It combines trippy electronica, danceable minimalistic stylings, as well as bits of drum ‘n bass and dubby house - a true mesh of sounds for the wee hours of the morning as the party begins to wind down.

The disc begins with “Angel (Bitwise Edit)”, which feels like a journey into the future as it would have been perceived in the 1950’s. It is like a trip to Disney Land, featuring samples layered of vibrant synth-notes. That leads into “Crazy Sword”, a minimal dance track that could work in either the chill room or the early periods of a house set.

Other highlights of “Deep End” include the jungle-tinged “Dwarf Lion” – a track that is reminiscent of early Aphex Twin and Squarepusher works. “Sponge” is beautiful in its simplicity, as is the downtempo “Cuttle”. All in all, there isn’t really a production on the release that isn’t among the finest experimental material released so far in 2003.

The 12+ minute opus “Dying Star” rounds out “Deep End”, and ends what is a truly satisfying experience.

While those living in Los Angeles and around the West Coast region may be quite familiar with the name Thee-O (and/or Reef Project), it is time for the rest of the world to get educated of this truly innovative and exciting producer. To learn more about Thee-O, visit www.djthee-o.com or e-mail him at info@biohazardproductions.com.

Add To Cart

Audio Clips:

Further Reviews:

Reef Project - "Deep End"
Reviewed by Elevated Beat Magazine

A monster force in the LA club scene, Thee-O is widely regarded for his dance floor control and sweeping trance melodies. You can imagine my surprise when I received “Deep End” in the mail from him under the guise of Reef Project. Expecting something indicative of his energetic live sets – Thee-O as Reef Project has put together a magnificent journey into Ambient and Chill music. I settled into my easy chair and let the warbling bass, notchy squelches and swirling, thick melodies wrap around me. “Deep End” is 100% original material that Thee-O created in his studio and it is the most beautiful chill out album I’ve heard. Fans of early Orbital, early Moonshine and even Future Sound of London will love this album. (Nathan Smith)


Reef Project - "Deep End"
Reviewed by Windandwire.com


Here's a veritable primer (i.e., a guide) to all manner of electronic music, offered up by the talented Jacob A. Ofilas (a.k.a. Thee-O and recording here as Reef Project). [deep end] (lower case intentional) contains twelve tracks, nearly all of them killer, which flit from ambient dub to drum and bass to dark ambient to electronica to glitch, never settling on one genre too long, but always serving up the music with polish, ingenuity, and skill.


"angel (bitwise edit)" (a brief intro-song of about a minute, with a cool 2001: A Space Odyssey dialogue sample) leads into the first dub track, "crazy sword," which is as good as anything coming from Waveform these days; in fact, this could easily be one of the songs from that label's break-out compilation CD, One A.D. Thumping dub beats, whirly-giggling electronic textures, and plaintive bell-tones in the break points of the song all fit together seamlessly in a heady propulsive mix. "electric eel" opens as a spacy swirling mass of assorted synths and drones, with a disquieting edge to it all, including nice use of a forlorn reverberating tone. Eventually a pattern of emerges, through the introduction of subtle midtempo thumping rhythms, as well as sad horn-like synths and a vaguely didgeridoo-like sound that ebbs and flows in the background - nice!


"dwarf lion" is a solid drum and bass number that starts out quiet, with hushed synth choruses, but the snares, cymbals, and other percussive elements soon overwhelm the ambience and begin a dark rhythmic journey of high energy on which they are joined by repeating refrains on bell-tones and mesmerizing keyboards. "snapper" is another dub-like track, featuring a SF-film dialogue sample (don't recognize it, though), with way-cool synth-vibes and a mild scratch-effect added to the drum-kit rhythms as well as reverberating notes carrying the main "melody" and later use of chugging organ.


Some of what's here is brilliantly unconventional, such as the slow rhythms and dark shadings of "aquatic pulses" (subtle synth bass beats and snare rhythms underneath floating synthesizers that hint at danger and shadow) or the deep ambience of "blind cave" (warm washes of synths, near-glacial slow beats, and deliciously mysterious echoed bell-tones that seem to recede farther and farther into the murky depths of some indiscernible blackness). The album ends with "dying star," featuring scratch effects, midtempo electronica beats, minor key melodies played on a variety of electronic keyboards and snippets of religious dialogue. The cut fades into a "false ending" before continuing on (so you could consider what follows to be a bonus track, I guess) in a wholly different vein - abstract electronics (a la Autechre or other Warp Record artists), thumping beats, and glitch ambient textures.


I played [deep end] many times before writing this review and nearly always heard something in the mix that I had missed before. This is deeply textured music and multiple playings will reveal its complexity to the persistent listener. Of course, you can also just cue this puppy up on your CD player as background ambient music and either trip-out to the beats or submerge yourself in the more drifting tracks. Either choice works - and works damn well. Ofilas/Thee-O/Reef Project knows his way around the electronica block and [deep end] is proof-positive of that statement. Recommended. (Bill Binkleman)

 

Reef Project - "Deep End"
Reviewed by Ambientrance.org


Heavenly abstractions glow through angel (bitwise edit) (1:44), a gateway into fantasy worlds... crazy sword's double-edge of beatiness and beauty is hammered into shape by straight-ahead rhythms, then decorated with soft piano curlicues. Spacetronic electric eel writhes in a beatless morphosis of radiance and deeper drones.

Powered by drum-n-bass stylings, dwarf lion charges across a field of fantasy swirls, which is followed by another percussion-free zone of celestial thrum-and-twinkle. Stringsounds and electric oddities mingle in cuttle, all being spattered by crisp, zesty hits. More down-tempo, sinuous aquatic pulses entrances with its silken grooves and cool beats (occasionally etched with rappish vocal meanderings buried within).

The title track sparkles, gleams and thumps when keys and e-drums form a spiraling string of dreamdance loveliness, while muffled murmuring underscores. Low tones simply drift along the winding corridors of spacious blind cave... sweet, though in stark contrast to the brazenly rhythmicated contours of true clown. 

Though heavy with evangelical-speak samples, the setting sun of dying star (12:32) glows warmly with gorgeous vibes, sassy beats and even a jangle-along guitar part. A moment of silence is followed by weird blurts and throbbing bass.

Just-plain cool electrosounds emanate from the deep end, thanks to reef project 's playful artistry. Set in a vein of "classic" ambient-beatronic styles, with urbanized rhythm sections, the 75.5 minutes fly by on lustrous arrangements of tone-and-groove. (A) (David J Opdyke)

Reef Project - "Deep End"
Reviewed by Raves.com


"Deep End" ranges from soothing hypnotic ambience with an oceanic feel to Downtempo to hints of Drum & Bass and is considered "almost danceable deep house with minimal and sparse electronica." "Deep End" is a limited edition release being distributed by Pure Acid and is deservingly hoping to be released on a larger label allowing for expanded availability and marketing. For kicking back during a chill mode, this CD fits well into the background with its positive vibe, pleasantly curving melodies, and wonderful sound design. This is the second release from Jacob Ofilas (a.k.a. Los Angeles rave/club DJ Thee-O) under the guise of Reef Project. Ofilas has definitely been honing his skills and is nearing perfection for producing music to fill the need for soundtracks for the Ambient moments which are so few and far between in this fast paced world. (4.5 out of 5) (Jules Mari)


Reef Project - "Deep End"
Reviewed by Igloomag.com


EM:T was (is) a record label that once stood at the forefront of branching out to microcosms of sound netting artists from Taylor Deupree to Gas to Scanner. These days many labels like 12K, ~scape, Mille Plateaux, Deluxe, Bip-HoP, Raster-Noton and Bette have sprouted up to heed to the call of the early 90s in bringing to life sounds that are smaller than ever. Biohazard is a production service that works primarily with DJs, and in this case Reef Project (Thee-O). Billed as the chillout project of Thee-O (Jacob Ofilas) this long play disc is that and a whole lot more. What starts out as something seemingly lifted from Seti's "Pharos" mainstreams towards background noise. Though this man can't keep too quiet - he has a penchant for restorative beats. Built on freeky twee sounds and some pared down secrets, the set changes mode unexpectedly on tracks like "Cuttle" where the synths remind me a bit of having stepped into a Wurlitzer shop in the mall circa 1983. There is an obvious growing, learning, channeling aspect to this recording with great promise. This is classically strewn out of the context of dancefloor fare, though sticks too close to conventional hooks to be as musing and tranquil as its underlying intent seems to intend. "Blind Cave" is one such track that airs on a bittersweet edge of darker, more romantic ambience. The whisk and warble of "True Clown" is clouded in bass and toy noise. A few nips and tucks and voila - Reef Project could remaster himself for the sonically aware. This would appeal to fans of Delirium or artists on the Moonshine label and maybe even fans of early Depeche Mode. (TJ Norris)

Reef Project - "Deep End"
Reviewed by Clubland.biz

For anyone who has been a fan of Thee-O, they probably know him for, what I term as, soulful, uplifting and energetic trance mixes. I have the fondest memories of being at various underground events and having Thee-O come on the decks and watch (and dance my ass off) as he masterfully brings the floor together into one spiritual mass of tribal like hysteria. Thee-O, knowing exactly what is needed to take the floor yet higher.

With the "Reef Project" Thee-O is equally masterful, however, in a much different light. The "Reef Project: deep end" is a CD containing all original music from "the man". The "Reef Project" is filled with introspective beats that are inconspicuously deep and methodically built. The sounds are both soothing and melodic mixed in with some of the sweetest Drum and Bass sets known. (i.e. dwarf lion, snapper, and cuttle). The sets all seem to have this extraordinary spiritual sound and feel that gets you hooked.

The "Reef Project: deep end" is a must have for every fan of electronic music. 

Reef Project - "Deep End"
Reviewed by Staticbeats.com

I received this pre-release in the form of a simple CDR promo and as it sits here devoid of packaging or artwork it just begs for a proper release.The album covers a broad spectrum of electronic music - from the ambient serenity of "Sponge", and "Blind Cave", to the essence of trance heard on "Snapper". "True Clown" for all it's funk and dark grit is equally complimented when faced with other tracks on the album - be they Techno, House or Drum & Bass. The first track off the album starts with the haunting words; "Please state your name and your mission". This brief intro is less than 2 minutes long but is immediately followed by the powerful and melodic sounds of "Crazy Sword".

Two tracks later and we arrive at a shockingly well produced Drum & Bass tune which could easily be compared to the music of Omni Trio or Future Loop Foundation. Meanwhile, throughout the entire album ambient pieces are interspersed - as if willing the listener brief moments of introspection.

This release, compared to the last Reef Project is strikingly more upbeat and infinitely more refined - sounding as though the artist has been hunkered away in an electronic music monastery ever since - the sole purpose being the study of musical expression as an art form.

The sound on "Cuttle" for instance is so exquisite it becomes an almost flawless representation of it's genre. In the same context, the title track "Deep End" should be regarded as an absolute standout track, duly representing the entire release. Essential house, essential listening, simply put; Let the Music... Be Your Guide....

This 2nd release from Jacob Ofilas is an impressive, honest and true reflection of talent. Placed in the right hands and with the proper distribution, Reef Project is sure to turn some heads.

To me, the Reef Project represents both the forgotten sounds of classic techno's yesterday and the aural bliss expressed in modern techno, house and ambient trance. I find a certain comfort in the music, it is not overtly experimental or challenging and yet neither is it mindless or undiscerning. When presented, a line can be drawn between a treasure and a gift - the gift being the art of music, the treasure being a listeners ability to discover and understand it for it's warmth and simplicity. I truly believe with the right exposure Reef Project is destined to make an impressionable impact as both an artist and producer - let it be said, you heard it here first. (5 out of 5 stars) (Shimone Samuel)
 

Reef Project - "Deep End"
Reviewed by Ampersand Etc.


A swirling tonal ambience with a spacey drift with voice-identification sample makes 'Angel (bitwise edit)' a supple entry point. 'Crazy sword' follows a beated techno pattern – lots of little rhythms (drums, doobles, tings) and a thudthud, with a slow wash melody, thunkys, throws in a break rebuilds and then winds down nicely. And is followed by 'Electric eel' with longer tones, eventually a slow pulse beat and overall a drifting spacey feel. Suggesting that the album is going to balance faster and more ambient pieces.

Which occurs through 'Dwarf lion' where buzzy keys, breath-sounds and a fast beat where different rhythms and speeds provide a melody; then 'Sponge' which is spacey with squiggles and a sample; and then 'Snapper' which has a Russian-feel somehow, very bright and driving and extends into a lovely dubby section.

There is a sublime moment in 'Cuttle' – the ground loops are a selection of viola/violin samples looped. Given my fondness for the rich tones this caught my ear. It is joined by fast beats, a scrabbling scrape over the top and harpsichord-like keyboard. Back to slow tonal drift in 'Aquatic pulse' with a restrained beat, scratching drifts, melodic and rumbling along. In the title track there is a slow voice singing which reminded me of Yello, the music is a nice slow beated techno, with a pleasant key solo.

Soft bellowing tones, echoed with delicate bells take us into 'Blind cave', sea washes and animal calls followed by some mellow keys. Bouncing rumble scrape with fast choppy rhythms, slow burbles, some voices (there is a judicious use of samples) and some shooting piano in 'True clown'. While 'Dying star' ends the album with a strong darker ambience, spiralling down, slow melody and voice loop textures around a sample of an evangelist talking about God's future. A pause and then a hidden-track coda blooping to a slow beat.
OK – nothing world shatteringly new here, but this is a well constructed and very enjoyable beat/ambient/techno album which goes in enough different directions to keep you surprised and interested. (Jeremy Keens)