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apparat lp5
Artist: Apparat
Title: LP5
Genre: Electronic / Downtempo / Leftfield
Release Date: 22nd March 2019
Label: Mute Records

Album Review

After his successful excursion around the world with his colleagues from MODESELEKTOR under the moniker MODERAT, Sascha Ring finally returns with his project APPARAT to release a new album of his electronic soundscapes. Following the 2011 released classic album, ‘A Devils Walk’, and his works with MODERAT, the expectations are very high about what could come next.

After the first listing-session I was a bit disenchanted because it is not the enlightening album I expected. But let me say this beforehand: The album is a grower, it opens after a few hours spent with it and I believe it will become as classic as the aforementioned ‘A Devils Walk’. But let’s go to the detail:

The album starts with the slowly evolving track ‘Voi-Do’ where you can hear synths beside natural sounding instruments like trombone, guitars and bass. Sascha raises his beautiful voice as we know it from his previous records and from MODERAT. At 3:32 claps give a bit more of a rhythm to the sad tune and when a couple seconds later a well-known kick drum joins you have a small first MODERAT reminder. The track is very detailed, there is so much going on in details, listening to it under headphones is very well recommended!

Next song is ‘Dawan’ which gives me an overall comfortable MASSIVE ATTACK feeling with its broken beats and beautiful swelling string-layers joined by guitars after a non-pop-typical break in the music. Sascha sings “This moment, right / Out of focus / Left in space / Where no one cares / And I, signaling myself” and this unconcern for anything but the moment with himself can be heard. Truly beautiful! ‘Laminar Flow’ starts with synth-sounds and again with Sascha’s voice as chief character to build up a beat that could have been found on the last MODERAT album. To song follows the flow and ends up in almost silence to prepare the stage for a strongly effected snare as final sound.

The following ‘Heroist’ is again a mid-tempo-track that can’t hide the cognation to the latest MODERAT releases in its overall sound. The percussions are dominated by a monotone kick-drum and kind of Tribal-esqe snares and hi-hats. Again a lot of details can be found under headphones, there are a lot different organic sounding and multi-layered synths to be explored. Beautifully melting organic and synthetic sounds are the backbone of this short instrumental ‘Means of Entry’ to. The sound at 0:11 is what my ear pleases very much. Wow! In my mind this track enfolds some Bladerunner-like pictures (remember the tree in the desert at the beginning of Bladerunner 2049?). Nice one!

The next song is apparently dedicated to Sascha’s origin Brandenburg and has some resemblances to the track ‘If I had a heard’ by FEVER RAY - well known as title-track from the series Vikings - thanks to the pitched and layered voice. The soundtrack-strings make me believe that Sascha likes the latest RADIOHEAD stuff as these could have fit on their last records too and don’t need to hide from the comparison to this big act. As I read the strings were performed by Czech Studio Orchestra. Beautiful! ‘Caronte’ starts with a cello-play where - I am sure - you can hear the knowledge of Sascha’s long-time musical partner in APPARAT, Philipp Thimm, who is a decorated violin-cellist. The song offers a great mix between classic instruments, synths and the supporting but discreet percussions. Musical teachers would have fun listening to this tune, I am sure.

With ‘EQ_Break’ we have another more experimental instrumental that starts with ambient soundscapes and changes into a tune with piano surrounded by beautiful spherical sounds in the room. This tune would fit a post-apocalyptic film again. The piano remains and is the main instrument at the start of the quiet ‘Outlier’. When Sascha’s voice is raised the piano is displaced by an organ and almost nothing else is heard. The song changes its outfit completely again when all is sung what has to be said with “I could drown last night / In the ground” and to the end a classic drum-set accompanies the last sad but flowing notes.

Last song is ‘In Gravitas’ which finally shows a different side of APPARAT. Starting with the slow sound of the whole album and the mourning vocals rings the song turns to a dance-orientated track that could easily work on a beach-party. It ends with a monologue apparently not spoken by Ring builds a great contrast to the music heard before.


01. Voi_Do
02. Dawan
03. Laminar flow
04. Heroist
05. Means of entry
06. Brandenburg
07. Caronte
08. EQ_Break
09. Outlier
10. In gravitas


Sascha Ring
plus several guest-musicians


Cover Picture

apparat lp5


Music: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9 / 10

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