dep’s new release, Start Loving the Robots, starts slowly. Almost too slowly. There are points where the hanging pauses between notes in the first track, “Waking Up With You,” seem almost erroneously long. By the time dep drops in a beat, I find that I’m not sure I want to keep listening. (It doesn’t help that one day while listening to this track my wandering mind picked out a melodic resemblance to a certain Counting Crows song, and now I have to sing that each time I listen.) But it’s my role as a reviewer to stay the course, often against first impressions and, luckily for me, Start Loving the Robots proves, eventually, to be a pleasant batch of, as the artist puts it, melodic electronica.
But it takes dep a couple of tracks before he offers up anything beyond shrug-worthy club-tune pulses and beats–and so, a couple tracks before warranting my attention. He gets it with the pounding piano line of “On a Friday Afternoon.” This is the first point where he shows a willingness to break form. It’s also the point where the sound gains any real depth, any sense of build. To that end, he hits his stride with the following track, “Red, Blue, Green,” with carefully piled layers that rise to a dramatic height, each additional piece deepening the interest. Here dep adds some softness, which better offsets the steely, mechanical touch of the previous tracks (and the disc overall, really). I also like how he echoes the pounding from the previous track, but lighter and less demanding. The closer, “Who Knows Where We Go From Here,” is probably the best of the batch. Starting as a soft wash, it takes on a glitchy beat and softly sung half-awake vocals.
dep is offering Start Loving the Robots on a limited-edition, custom-made USB thumb-drive–shaped like a robot, of course.
Available at dep.fm.