Ambient music has come to mean a lot these days. It can cover everything from house, downtemo or drum n’ bass. Thee-O (real name Jacob Ofilas) can remember his first real encounter with pure Ambient music when he was 17. He heard Brian Eno’s, “Music For Airports” for the first time. That album and other albums by Tangerine Dream and The Orb would be in heavy rotation in the dark hours of the night in his teen-age bedroom. At 18 he went to his first rave and discovered not only the all night dance culture but also the “chill-room”. Over the course of his career as a Rave/Club DJ he has always made Ambient mixtapes. Thee-O started selling these tapes at local record stores. He also passed them out at parties for the ride home. At that time, he also played at various events and challenged the floor with tracks by Black Dog, Autechre and B-12.
In the summer of 2000 Thee-O started buying studio gear with the intention to not only write dance tracks but to also create and produce ambient and downtempo. He has always had a fondness for aquariums and the idea struck him to create ambient music under the name Reef Project. His idea was to create music that would not only suit the calm reflections but also the harsh contradictions of reef life. When he started producing music at the end of 2000, after the Biohazard Studios was complete, his first tracks were ambient and downtempo. For some reason, at that time, he couldn’t write a dance track to save his life. In June of 2001 he released his first effort entitled “Star” on his own label, Biohazard Music. Reaction to that CD was beyond what he expected. One of the tracks was even used for a compilation called “Other Animals” from the Australian label Couchblip. While reaction and reviews were good he wanted to do more with the sound. He went back into the studio to work on his next album “Deep End”. The album dragged as Thee-O struggled to create the sound he wanted. Three different versions of the album were created. With the third version he felt he got the meaning of the Reef Project, portrayed in sound. In February of 2003 the finished product was finally released. The results of his effort were even better received and rewarded then with his first album. Two tracks from the album were picked up for compilations for Fuctory Records in Japan. His next CD “Music to Watch Fish By”, released in April of 2003, is a limited edition ambient mixed CD that combines the music of other artists that he has loved so much with his own music to create the perfect bedtime companion CD.
Thee-O then took a break from music production for a few years. He regrouped, created a new studio and began writing new Reef Project material in 2006. He produced a couple of EP’s for his own digital label, Biohazard Digital. In 2008, he began working on a album of Reef Project material for System Recordings. This work came out in December of that year and was titled “Hydro Dynamic” and featured the amazing vocal work of Erin Powers on 2 of the tracks. One of the tracks, “Wind, Water, Wishes…” was chosen to be featured in the TV show “Damages” staring Glen Close. 2010 was another productive year for Reef Project. 2 EP’s featuring older tracks from “Deep End” as well as newer and unreleased material came out on Looq Records from San Francisco. The “Deep Waters” and “Shallow Waters” EP’s are both in heavy rotation on chill radio stations like Soma FM. Also in 2010 was the release of the full length, “Adrift”. One track in particular, “Dark Angel” was played regularly on XM Chill. Again, Erin Powers loaned her incredible vocals to two tracks including the title track. The title track also came out as a remix EP in 2011 with remixes provided by Angel Alanis, Bitwise and Thee-O doing a house version of the track. A video was also released to accompany this remix release. In 2012, Thee-O is readying several different Reef Project releases. The first one called “Aquaculture”, is a full album of non beat, ambient and meditative music. It has been a desire of his to really focus on pure ambient music for a while and this album embraces that desire. Look for it to be released on System Recordings in Spring of 2012.
Keep a ear open for Reef Project….life at a slower BPM.
A portion of all profits from the Reef Project music sales benefit Reef Protection Charities.