Today’s featured artist, David Reed, has a very long history of making electronic music. Over the years, he has built his own unique brand of amazing synthesized sound. It is a familiar haunting tone that one can easily identify. He has many titles released as David Reed and an abundance of releases under a variety of aliases, such as Envenomist, Luasa Raelon, Imvixor, and Brittle Foundaries. He has done many collaborations with other musicians such as Greh Holger, Ryan Jewell, Mark Van Fleet, David Russell, Phil Blankenship, Mark Solotroff and many many others. I was also lucky enough to have the opportunity to collaborate with him on a few occasions. He is a very prolific and interesting individual. His other-worldly sounds are generated from a multitude of synthesizers and seem to be manifested from the darkest reaches of the universe.
LT: How have you been getting through these strange times we are living in right now?
DR: The weird thing is how little my day-to-day life has changed! I work nights processing blood so my job has been motoring-on throughout the whole pandemic. Of course the biggest change is not going to or playing shows. I haven’t seen anyone outside of work since the beginning of March. Thankfully with all the social media options out there, I can keep in touch and write my friends and family. There has been so much cancelled and continuing to be cancelled over the summer. It actually finally hit me over Memorial Day weekend how many shows and festivals didn’t or aren’t happening. Going to be a very uneventful summer! haha. The upside to this is I have a LOT more time to record. The last year-and-a-half I have been recording non-stop and kicking out albums so this new normal has just really intensified the process.
LT: What kind of synth’s do you use and do you use different synthesizers for specific projects?
DR: I invested in a small modular system a few years ago and that has become my main recording system. Got a great deal on an Erica Classic Black system (based on the Polivoks) and then added a few more modules. I honestly resisted delving into modular for a long time over the concern I would just go crazy and fall down the hole of endless module acquisition but pretty happy with what I have. Thankfully! The expense is pretty steep but my little setup has a lot of possibilities.
I also use an MS-20 mini a ton live. And one of those Roland boutique synths, the JP08, which is my go-to polyphonic synth.
I was using a Teenage Engineering OP-1 for the Imvixor project extensively. And then the battery quit taking a charge and that was the end of using it. I loved that little machine but it dying, and the hassle and cost to replace something that will eventually die in a couple years again put the brakes on its use. Totally dumb design with the battery.
But! I have been working with an Alesis Microfreak and finding a lot of similar textures to what I was using the OP-1 for. Pretty happy over that. The OP-1 is quirky and has unique sounds that were distinct from my stable of synths. Was kind of bummed I didn’t have access to those textures but now, back on track.
Anyway. I have slowly acquired a nice collection of synths over the years and still use a variety of them even with the modular system. The Behringer clones are really nice. I have a few and they are working there way onto recordings.
LT: How long have you been making music and what originally inspired you to start playing music?
DR: I was in band in school but really, the first instrument I connected with and really wanted to play was guitar. As for my initial inspiration, it was totally heavy metal. Over time, I slowly became exposed to other genres because of the guitar, which expanded my horizons on what I wanted to do with music. The BIG change was transferring my focus from guitar to electronics, playing in the Avant Collective and then playing solo. I went from this constant struggle to finding a voice and vision
LT: Are there any specific releases that you’ve made, that you feel have completely captured the true spirit and essence of what you have been trying to achieve in your music?
DR: The recent split with Murderous Vision, “Liminal Presence” is a high-water mark in my discography. The Bleeding Out LP on Bloodlust! was another work where everything just gelled for me. Consumed Within The Years Of Lead was a benchmark record for me. I spent so much time and recorded so much for it. I think that it being my first big release really drove me to work at another level and inspired me to improve. Bound Dominions was also another release where everything I was trying to do with Envenomist at the time was finally realized.
LT: How much of your music is formulated ahead of time? Have you made any decisions before you go on stage or would you say it’s more improvisational/free-form and completely left to chance?
DR: In a live setting with Envenomist (and pretty much everything I have done solo), I have songs, sort-of. I have basic compositional frameworks that are the basis for the individual songs that get glommed together for a performance.
In other cases, especially working with other people in a live setting, it is all improv. I will have some ideas, textures and sounds I plan on using, maybe some sort of flow or a series of ideas I want to execute but it really is dictated by what the other people playing are doing. We feed off of each other and let the music happen.
Recording has many different avenues of approach for generating a piece. Stories. Art. Messing around with my gear and discovering a cool sound. Having an idea pop up in my head and I will see how close I can get to it. Listening to other artists and being inspired to try out an idea.
LT: Are there any upcoming releases, events or anything on the web that you would like encourage our readers to check out?
DR: I just released an Envenomist EP entitled “Vessel” on my Bandcamp page. Imvixor.Bandcamp.com is the site, there is a lot on there to check out and everything is set at pay what you want.
• Consumed Within The Years Of Lead (Troniks)
• Night Maintenance split with Hive Mind (snip-snip/Chondritic Sound)
• The House of Flesh (self-released)