Photo: Bellamy Day Brewster
Los Angeles engineer-turned-artist Reaper has the same appeal as your classic anti-hero. Enigmatic, elusive, but undeniably captivating, Reaper's music plumbs the murkier corners of experimental soundscapes while maintaining a faint familiarity that will have you sticking around to see what cryptic wisdom he brings to the surface. Paired with the artist's expertly disheveled tresses, distaste for shirts, and penchant for lo-fi psychedelia, Reaper seems to materialize out of a haze of cigarette smoke as a fully-formed indie icon.
The artist's 2018 project HEADY is an introspective seven-song collection that is quite aptly named. Each of the tracks on the album utilizes a peculiar toolbox of guitars, software instruments, and obscure soundbites to meticulously craft an ocean of noise that sounds like double vision feels.
Tracks like "AS YOU SOW" have the listener stumbling along in the path of its turgid synthesizers that scale a range of frequencies from gut-churning lows to hair-splitting highs. On the other hand, the project contains tracks that curate a milder daze, like "TERRORS," with its shimmery web of guitars and placid vocal lead. All in all, the album feels like it captures the drug-imbued feeling of, well… headiness.
Though Reaper's sound is masterfully refined to trigger physical feelings that are detached from cognitive recognition in the listener, the artist has only been producing content under this moniker for a short while. Aside from his 2018 project HEADY, Reaper has only released a brief four-song eponymous EP. Additionally, the artist has been rather elusive in the touring scene, dipping his toes into a handful of live performances but more often hiding away in some dark studio in the depths of LA.
Reaper is an artist that exudes mystery - in his high-fashion grunge look, his aloof attitude, and of course, his cavernous music. Be on the lookout for more from this indie up-and-comer, but be sure to have a clear calendar when you check out his releases. They'll have you reeling for the rest of the night.