Gifted & Blessed returns with Heard and Unheard, out now on Stones Throw Records. It’s an album that distills years of making music in a variety of styles and under different names into a singular statement.
The first single, “The Waiting Breath”, is a hypnotic ambient track made using a semi-modular synthesizer, a pair of analog drum machines, and several effects processors. Inspired by Gabriel’s interest in spirituality and the mystical aspects of life, it’s a track to get lost in.
For “Yellow Ji”, GB collaborated with AFTA-1 and shot a live performance video directed by Ross Harris in his home studio with a small modified live set-up consisting of the Roland SP-404MKII, his iPhone, and a delay pedal. “Yellow Ji” refers to the invitations in Gabriel’s life which have had positive outcomes – such as when he was invited by Dublab to perform a live set based on Latin American Modernism, and Peanut Butter Wolf was in the audience, leading to the signing of Gabriel’s Frankie Reyes project.
In addition to producing electronic music as Gifted & Blessed since the early 2000s, Gabriel Reyes-Whittaker has dabbled with many other aliases over the years: as Frankie Reyes, he explores his Puerto Rican heritage by playing Latin standards and originals on vintage keyboard instruments; as The Abstract Eye and The Reflektor, he creates dancefloor anthems with electronic hardware; and as GB and Julian Abelar, he’s released sample-based productions and techno adjacent dance music.
An instrumental founding member of the L.A. beat scene and an original performer at Low End Theory, he’s also produced for and collaborated with artists including Kelela, Ras G, Steve Arrington, Steve Spacek, J*Davey, Sa-ra Creative Partners, Dwight Trible and more. He also participates in various collaborative projects, most notably as half of the indie soul duo The Steoples.