STREAM: Death Valley Oasis
Today D33J is back to share his debut album, Death Valley Oasis, in full. Out now via Anticon Records, Death Valley Oasis is a project three years in the making from one of Wedidit’s key members. A meeting of narcotic house, deconstructed futuristic R&B, and lush ambient dreamscapes, Death Valley Oasis finds D33J stepping out on his own after years of producing behind the scenes for names like Lil Yachty, Tory Lanez and Killavesi.
This week also finds D33J kicking off a North American tour alongside Wedidit crewmates Shlohmo and Corbin – the three artists recently collaborated on Corbin’s debut album, Mourn, that was released earlier this week, with D33J and Shlohmo co-producing the entirety of the album.
Stream Death Valley Oasis above and see below for what the press is saying about D33J.
Praise for D33J
“D33J has a way of flooding his tracks;
it’s just a matter of letting them wash over you.”
“Reveling in echoed depth”
– LA TIMES
“a house music meditation”
– THE FADER
September 7 – The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA
September 8 – The Novo – Los Angeles, CA
September 9 – The Observatory North Park – San Diego, CA
September 12 – UC Theatre – Berkeley, CA
September 13 – Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA
September 15 – Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR
September 16 – Neptune – Seattle, WA
September 17 – Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, BC
September 20 – Majestic Theatre – Madison, WI
September 21 – Amsterdam Hall – St. Paul, MN
September 22 – The Pygmalion Festival – Urbana-Champaign, IL
September 23 – El Club – Detroit, MI
September 25 – The Mod Club – Toronto, ON
September 26 – Royale – Boston, MA
September 27 – The Foundry – Philadelphia, PA
September 30 – Warsaw – Brooklyn, NY
*all with Corbin and Shlohmo
More about D33J:
To hit play on D33J’s debut album is to tumble headlong into a rich sonic universe of captivating improbabilities. Where narcotic house music slow-pulses alongside deconstructed futuristic R&B and lush ambient dreamscapes. Where an astoundingly 3-D aural depth of field radiates with incredible intimacy. Where digital means of production are usurped by guitar play, analog synth, field recordings, or tape edits. Where experimentalism and accessibility aren’t the least bit mutually exclusive. Perhaps that’s why the taste-making Los Angeles producer and DJ named the project after a thing that doesn’t, shouldn’t, and couldn’t exist: Death Valley Oasis.
D33J’s talents range from producing blissed out rap tracks for Lil Yachty’s albums and mixtapes, to composing solo songs that instantly immerse us in an ever-shifting grid of odd rhythms and melodies. It’s all par for the course for someone who grew up in the hyper-cultural melting pot of Mid-City L.A., raised by a Rio-native father who promotes Brazilian cultural events and an East L.A.-born mother who, among other artistic ventures, designs elaborate Día de los Muertos coronas. The young Djavan Santos attended the city’s esteemed (yet public) Hamilton High magnet school, joining the music program by falsely claiming he knew how to play guitar. But after taking a rare-for-its-time electronic music class, his talent became obvious. While there, D33J not only met future tourmate and Death Valley Oasis collaborator Baths, but played in bands with the surf-punkers who’d found FIDLAR, plus loaned his sweater to Odd Future’s Syd in biology that one time. His path to now has never not been strange and fascinating, with stops at the San Francisco Art Institute for a degree in audio-visual design, and Hamburg for a two-month warehouse residency crafting tech-heavy interactive art installations, all while developing a peerless sound.
Death Valley Oasis came together over the last three years, each track slowly accreting the bits that would make it whole while D33J worked from Wedidit’s L.A. studio. Producing for others (Yachty, Tory Lanez, Killavesi, Purple) delayed things, but it also honed his mastery as an engineer and instinct for the line where left field meets listenable. The end result, this album, contains no filler but there are standout moments: like Anticon labelmate and Dirty Projectors alumna Angel Deradoorian channelling her inner Destiny’s Child on the jittery “Spark”, or D33J taking a rare turn on the mic to wax druggily romantic on “Plateau,” or the eerie Burial-like gloom-bomb that is “Dead Sea,” or “Rot,” a teamup with Shlohmo (who also provides the LP artwork) and soul man Corbin (fka Spooky Black) that opens on acoustic strum and reinvents the “quiet storm” genre before closing with something akin to death metal pounded out on an MPC. Again: a would-be oxymoron that actually plays as raw genius. Death Valley Oasis isn’t just another entry in D33J’s book of “Emotional Dance Music,” as he once coined, it’s the definitive tome and a paragon of what can be accomplished when a blatant disregard for musical boundaries is matched with ace technical ability and endless tangible heart. This is one to get lost in – the desert and the slake.