Review: Shaun Reeves – The Eye That Sees Us All [VQLP010]

Shaun Reeves LP - front cover

It must be quite exhilarating, achieving many a milestone all at once. When we recently caught up with Visionquest artist Shaun Reeves, we couldn’t help but notice there’s been a lot going on. Geographically, musically and demographically. Amongst all the COVID business, Reeves has relocated back to his home in LA, after 17 years residing in Berlin. And he’s taken a back catalogue of music with him.

As a collective, Shaun Reeves, Lee Curtiss and Ryan Crosson also hit ten years at play. A decade of Visionquest, which sadly couldn’t be celebrated properly due to the limitations of the pandemic. But the sound must continue and what has been lost in parties has been channeled into musical progress. Twenty years in the making, the long-awaited debut LP from the man himself has finally hit the shelves. An avid achievement, one that happened in line with his 40th birthday. At which point of course, they say life begins.

Shaun Reeves

Reeves’ own age aside, the story of The Eye That Sees Us All LP actually begins in the early 2000s. The overall flavour of the eight tracker combines a return to roots with an introspective exploration of sound, steered away from his Visionquest counterparts. Each track features a deep, Berlin based influence that has set the basis for the collection, which is self-described as a “musical statement of gratitude”. A fitting way to mark the departure from the European capital of techno.

A – The wax begins with the title track, an atmospheric opener that floats through a minimalistic techno beat. Mechanical percussion rotates around bars while an ever-present mist of synth drifts in texture behind. Vocal echoes in melody, softly sampling a Doors classic, injecting a sweetness over the groove. Next, an ode to Reeve’s own Spaniel, ‘Lucy Sky Diamond’. Dog becomes man’s best friend, a friendship celebrated here with a deeper number. Nonchalant chords plod into the early hours, opening into the stripped back essence of deep house.

B – Pace picks up in ‘Arethusa’, as we begin to slide toward the dance floor movers. A warming growl dominates the bassline beneath the pattering of percussion. As the drums take hold, the atmospheric undertone of the LP continues to creep along. ‘Temple Day’ instructs a more forceful approach. Low slung notes drive purposefully through the beat, treated in trickles of acid.

Shaun Reeves LP - back cover

C – ‘Clair de Lune’ infuses positive notes, blossoming into bliss kissed melodies and joyous snaps of acapella. Rhythm is plentiful, held strong by swinging hi-hats and rounded off with a dub-fuelled bassline. ‘Morose’ is deep, chugging, stripped right down to minimalism.

D – The final side features ‘5 Signs’, a twisted groover that moves through melodic sequence. Bassline is reinforced in the progression with dollops of grit. Mysterious ambience shrieks and shimmers into the break before the beat brings it back. ‘Tropik Sadness’ feat Falco Nero makes for more mind bending. A slightly dementing sound, winding down through an art of introspection that satisfies both the artist and the listener.

The Eye That Sees Us All LP is already on sale and is available to buy as a double-sided vinyl package at Juno or deejay.de. Look out also for a stellar remix package due later in the year, featuring reinterpretations from Ricardo Villalobos, Maher Daniel, Ryan Crosson and CHKLTE.

More info on Shaun Reeves
Trommel.104 | Facebook | Resident Advisor | SoundCloud | Instagram | Bandcamp | Discogs

More info on Visionquest
Facebook | Resident Advisor | SoundCloud | Instagram | Bandcamp | Discogs