Sunday, 25 September 2011

Apparat - The Devil's Walk

There’s not a lot that can be said for Sascha Ring. His music has always done the talking. Whether it be in his first few Apparat albums or collaborations with the likes of Modeselektor (Moderat) or Ellen Allien. His DJ-KiCKS album brings together a whole load of brilliant artists from Thom Yorke to Telefon Tel Aviv in one beautiful record and his music has been used in flight compilations by Air France. All in all, he’s doing pretty well for himself.

With all of that success in his own field though, huge mainstream recognition has never come to Apparat. Of course this is mostly due to the fact that his music isn’t the most radio friendly, however with artists such as Four Tet and Flying Lotus gaining so much recognition, you’d think that by now, the same would follow for Sascha. Maybe the Devil’s walk will bring this? Well, not really. The Devil’s Walk will bring in new fans for sure, but there’s no real departure from the man being real to himself. The record is full of slow, quite moving tracks that really utilise his fantastic voice. It would be easy to make comparisons to the most recent Radiohead album and to his co-collaborators in the past, however this album is just different enough to stand out.

It’s relaxing and emotive at its heart with ‘Black Water’ which has a pulse that will maintain your head involuntarily nodding for quite some time, or the intricate beat in ‘Candil De La Calle’, which will have you near hypnotised. ‘Ash/Black Veil’ surfaced online a while back now, and it really is a gorgeous climax of tension that retains for the rest of the album right until the last thirty seconds of ‘Your House is my World’.

The Devil’s Walk then is, by all accounts beautiful. Gone are the days when the likes of Arcadia defined Apparat as Walls is all but forgotten comparatively to this offering. I can’t quite get my head around whether I consider this a good thing though. As much as I enjoy the serenity of this album, I long for a stronger beat or brilliant hook at some point, but it never comes. In a way, it’s like Bon Iver without a happy ending, gorgeous, yet seemingly unfinished.


By Braden Fletcher

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