Record Label: Anticon
Gravel is an attempt to capture the contradictory thoughts that trip up your head at 3 a.m. Gravel is the soundtrack to sleepless nights spent ruminating on both right and wrong decisions. Gravel is the new Anticon EP from Djavan Santos, better known as D33J.
Upon first listen, its aquatic textures, faded neon haze, and blend of 808 drums and lo-fi desk claps, might recall D33J’s fellow Weditit Collective family, Ryan Hemsworth and Shlohmo. But closer listening reveals that D33J’s experiments yield a unique alchemy.
This experiment from necessity led to the record’s particularly intimate vibe. It’s only light is the one emanating from lit spliffs and the LED glow of the computer screen. It boasts a weird digital rawness destined to feel vintage in some far-off future. But don’t pigeonhole D33J as just another bedroom producer with low Serotonin levels. Gravel’s gestation merely occurred during a period of great flux. Raised in Los Angeles, the 22-year old graduated from Hamilton High’s Music program (Baths, Syd the Kid, Groundislava) and San Francisco Art Institute before making Gravel. He studied experimental audio and visual design and applied the theories and emotion to his record—most of it recorded over just one month.
The finished result is not just only aesthetically cohesive record, but also one that bristles with the uneasy feeling of living in a compressed space. This is Gravel broken to bits—an attempt to find organic light in unnatural darkness. A familiar feeling that feels somehow foreign. This is the album that you want to hear as you attempt to drift off to sleep.