Eli Crews is a Brooklyn-based musician, producer, recording engineer, and composer. He has worked within a wide variety of musical styles and formats over his career, which started in San Francisco in the '90s.
Crews' interest in recording started in San Francisco in the early ’90s, where he started off making songs on 4-track tape machines, hugely inspired by the homemade albums of The Residents, Devo and Sun Ra. At the time he was also a very active musician, playing guitar and bass in a number of San Francisco bands. These pursuits led him to Mills College in Oakland to attain an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media. While there he studied with Maggie Payne, Chris Brown, John Bischoff, Leslie Stuck, Wadada Leo Smith, Butch Morris, Glenn Spearman, and Fred Frith. He also met and collaborated with musicians there such as Greg Saunier and John Dieterich from Deerhoof, Ches Smith, Aaron Novik, John Ingle, Stuart Bogie and Colin Stetson. In 2002 he became the bass player for the band Beulah, part of the Elephant 6 collective. He toured the U.S. and Europe extensively, which opened his eyes to the international community of people making amazing records.
Crews moved to Brooklyn in 2012 to help build and open a new recording studio in Prospect Heights called Figure 8 Recording, owned by musician/producer Shahzad Ismaily. This space has quickly become a fertile and vibrant hub for musicians from all over the world to meet and work.
Over his career as a recording and mix engineer, producer, and live sound engineer, he has worked with such artists as tUnE-yArDs, Questlove, Kathleen Hanna, Yoko Ono, Lorde, Woodkid, Nels Cline (Wilco), Cibo Matto, Sean Ono Lennon, Yo La Tengo, Xylouris White, Laurie Anderson, Marc Ribot, Deerhoof, WHY?, Son Lux, Colin Stetson, Mirah, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Mike Watt, Erase Errata, Scott Amendola, Jeff Parker (Tortoise), Fred Frith, Ben Goldberg, Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle), Greg Cohen (Masada/Tom Waits), Jerome Harris, Kenny Wolleson, Bobby Previte, Susie Ibarra, Meshell Ndegeocello, Andrew Borger (Norah Jones/Tom Waits), and Maria Muldaur. As an assistant, he has worked beside awe-inspiring engineers such as Roger Moutenout, Oz Fritz, and Ron St. Germain.
He has also done sound design and composed music for film, television, and podcasts, and regularly writes articles for Tape Op magazine. Crews was a visiting faculty member at Bennington for fall 2017 and returned for spring 2018.