Defiant Heart, the newest release by prolific local electronica composer Dep, is almost subliminal. You can listen to it cranked up and the pulsing beats and tonal melodies recall biorhythms and lush environmental soundscapes. Turn the volume down and the ambient tracks meld into the background, ebbing and flowing like waves and wind.
It is, by turns, modern and ancient. Part otherworldly, part earth-bound. It imparts, at times, a Bedouin feel — the plodding of camels, the fury of sandstorms. Composed in eight movements, each track flows into the next. It’s a continual story but it’s also chapters. Listening to it from beginning to end is a different experience — imparts a different song — then listing to the tracks out of order. There’s an artistry to the album as a whole. It impacts the listener in degrees and layers as complex (and sometimes as obscured) as Russian nesting dolls.
This what Dep has to say about the recording:
“This is my electronic tribute to a personal hero of artistic creation, Dmitri Shostakovich, whose compositions have always had the ability to move me. The eight pieces below are meant to be heard in succession from start to finish, as one piece builds in to the next. I like to think of the album as one complete sum of parts, divided in to movements — each exploring its own variation on a theme that is prominent throughout. The music takes the listener on a journey, as it builds and builds to a final epic and billowing climax. You will hear layer upon layer of orchestra recording, thoughtfully sliced apart, deconstructed, and re-imagined, alongside hundreds of homegrown samples, all personally sequenced and presented here. If you’re looking for songs built with pre-recorded loops, samples pulled from someone else’s drum machine, or thoughtless repetition, then this album is not for you.”
Listen to the track “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District” here: