First of all, could you please give us some basic background info about Depths of Despair?
OK…The Depths of Despair project is basically me-Shahar Melamed, 21 years old from the lovely city of Haifa, north Israel. I've been making electronic music for over 7 years now. I began flirting with all sorts of styles, like industrial, experimental, and basically all forms of noise. Later on that sound evolved into the calmer sound you can hear on the CD.
Depths of Despair- this name sounds a bit morbid doesn't it? Why did you choose this name?
Hmm... No special reason really. I had a track called Dawn of Despair which is the album's closing track, and is very meaningful to me. I kinda got it from there.. I think it fits the moodiness of the album rather well.
Your first CD False Sense of Security has just been released two months ago. It has very unusual sounds- it's dark chill with a mishmash of different electronic genres. How would you describe it?
I can't really categorize it. I have heard it described as chill out, ambient, breakbeat, trancey IDM, glitch, abstract. It takes influence from jungle to dub and just about any kind of electronic music, so let's let every listener decide for himself. All I can say is my music is very psychedelic and personal. It was important to me that the album would speak for itself, demand to be heard. It is definitely not your everyday repetitive chill out.
Where did you get so much experience / knowledge to produce such high quality sounds?
I'm all self-taught really. I picked up the basics at age 14 and since then I'm constantly learning. I can tell you my production techniques are pretty unusual, which explains the albums characteristic sound. I use mainly computer software, and also some synths such as the Microwave XT which I'd have to say is my fave of the bunch.
You use some background singing. Who's charming voice is it?
To be honest, The (extremely) charming vocals are sampled, cut up and messed up beyond recognition!
It's quite unusual for young artists who like trance to go and produce their first album as a chill out one. Especially since economically speaking, it's less effective. What made you choose this path?
The economic aspect is something I couldn't care less about when making the album. I made music I liked and that was meaningful to me, and I didn't really care if it would top the charts or not. I like trance, and a lot of people have said the album has a trancey vibe running through it, but I think there's a lot more to it than just that.
Israel is a country that does not have a chill out culture. How do you handle this?
I'm making one of my own! Hehe... It is true that there is not much of a scene for styles like chill out, ambient and other electronic music besides trance here in Israel, but I do think there's a lot of hope, judging from my chill sets at the Luna club in Haifa I can tell you the crowds reactions are getting better every week. I do know that in the chill area we are way behind. No chill rooms, no chill DJs. My guess is that it's a matter of time, and we will have those things in our scene as well. And maybe even a few Israeli psy-chill releases too in the future.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but in trance you've got a feeling that most music sounds the same, repetitive. In the psychedelic chill out section however it is different. How can you explain this?
I think that's because trance is a pretty limited genre to begin with. It communicates with the feet and the body, but not always the mind. I never saw the point of releasing something that sounds exactly like something else on the market. I think that when making music the last thing you should do is limit yourself or fit into that cozy genre. I tried to break every boundary I could think of with this album.
Spiritual Beings is a very unique (and underground) label. What can you tell us about them? How did you connect with them?
Spiritual Beings contacted me when they saw an article about my music in the paper. From there we really saw eye to eye on many issues so the album was just a matter of time. The rough sketch of the album was pretty much complete, so it was a breeze from there. Spiritual Beings is indeed a unique label. The vision running the label is releasing the music while keeping the CDs affordable so that the music can become more of a commodity. You will not find a more trustworthy & truthful label in the world.
What music do you listen to during your spare time?
My musical taste is very diverse.. From rock to electronic to dub and classical. I listen to a lot of bands like Tool, Earthtone9 , Mahumodo, Explosions in the Sky, and A Perfect Circle. In electronica I really like Bluetech, Ott, Squarepusher, Tipper, Telefon Tel Aviv, Roni Size... I could go on all day long. The last album that really blew my mind was Laroz- All Stars, which is just flawless.
More music. I have some new tracks with a different sound that I really like. Also some collaborations with live players and circus midgets.
Any final words to summaries?
Look out for the video for Passsive Aggressive on channel 24 and MTV very soon.
Besides that this is the opportunity to thank the Bionics Records crew for being so damn funky and helpful all other thanks are in the CD notes.