The Reverse Engineer is Dave House; an electronic musician, sound artist and graphic designer based in Edinburgh. House has performed and exhibited at festivals and venues including Kelburn Garden Party, Hidden Door, the Edinburgh Fringe and Edinburgh International Science Festival. His music has been played on BBC 6Music and Radio 3’s Late Junction. His album Elusive Geometry was released in 2017 to critical acclaim, including reviews from Beat (DE), Electronic Sound (UK) and a place on Monolith Cocktail’s ‘Choice Albums of 2017’ list.
Rhythm is the beating heart of House’s work as The Reverse Engineer, from brink-of-chaos polyrhythms to hypnotic, African-inspired grooves via minimalist purity. Warm distortion and organic drones ebb and flow through his beats. His sound art explores themes of time and environment, often taking the form of site-specific installations that draw on the history and locality of the space itself. House’s music and sound art occupy the same aesthetic spectrum, sharing many thematic and structural themes, the main difference being the mode of delivery.
House’s early musical life involved guitar lessons and digging through his parent’s record collection for experimental rock, 80’s synths and psychedelic oddities. On discovering the musical potential of computers he embarked on a self-taught odyssey of sampling and production, inspired by Warp Records, drum & bass and Detroit techno. This led to his 2006 album Concentrated Living, composed entirely from field recordings made on a world trip, which was picked up by the Ninja Tunes community and Dummy Magazine, who pondered if he’d be “the next internet sensation”.
In 2011 House moved to Edinburgh for an MSc in Digital Composition and Performance where exposure to improvisation, experimentation and algorithms reconstructed his musical world. A subsequent year in Berlin resulted in Transmission Breakdown, a collaborative 12” release with Jona (Get Physical, Planet E), who described House as “a huge talent”. On returning to Edinburgh House founded The Noisefloor, a unique DIY music studio, along with its affiliated record label Floored Music. He continues to establish himself as a key player, innovator and collaborator in the city’s experimental music and art scene.
Photo: Darragh Quinn