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The Depth: the accidental band

By in Culture

Arts Editor

Local musicians Jesse Selkirk and Aaron Engel were brought together by necessity in 2008. Ever since, they’ve been working on putting out an album. Now, in 2011, they have succeeded with their debut Asymptotic.

“We’ve been playing together since we were like 15, off and on,” said Selkirk. “Eventually it got to a point where we hadn’t played together in a while. I was doing my own thing and he had been working on this electronic music. We kept saying, ”˜Hey, I should put vocals on one of my tracks some time.’ So eventually we did.”

After that, they kept on creating music separately, not really considering the potential of the one-off song they had recorded.

“Then, Aaron and I were both playing a Tele-miracle event in Prince Albert. He played and I played and then we sang our one song,” said Selkirk. “A friend of ours who saw us was on the Ness Creek board and later on, when we both auditioned separately for Ness Creek, they didn’t have enough room for both of us to play so our friend was like, ”˜I saw them play together once and they were really awesome.’ It was like, ”˜Poof! You’re a band. Come up with enough material.’ ”

So in a scramble to get enough material for a decent live-show, The Depth was born.

It was like, “Poof! You’re a band. Come up with enough material.”

-Jesse Selkirk

“We crammed. Basically I would drive up to Prince Albert at like 9 a.m. every weekend and drink coffee and we’d play music for 10 hours. By the end I would just be a mess in the corner. But we did it, we came up with enough material to play Ness Creek.”

That was in 2008. Since then, the band has been taking odd opportunities and satisfy their simmering local following with a show here and there. When they decided they wanted to write an album, the Sask Arts Board gave them a leg-up with funding. Now, Asymptotic is ready and the band is set to play their release party with Saskatoon’s favourite DJ, the Gaff, this weekend. The Depth also explore visual mediums during their live shows, listing their projectionist Michael Caron as their fourth band member.

“We think of it as more than a band, more like an artistic whole,” said Selkirk. “We’ve always wanted to incorporate visuals. Electronic music very much lends itself to being otherworldly, so the visuals are very abstract — mostly about colour and movement. [Michael] works hard to get organic effects. He’ll film soap bubbles in water and then layer colour over it, stuff like that.”

In regards to the local electronic music scene, Selkirk hopes that The Depth can help rally together the disjointed ranks of electronic fans throughout the province.

“There is a lot of amazing electronic stuff happening locally, and a lot of it is under the radar. It’s there but there’s not really a community surrounding it. I hope that we can take some small step toward bringing in some more like-minded people.”

The Depth release their debut album at Amigos on March 12 with the Gaff.

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