Apparat Band @ SAT 05/30/12
I certainly made a mistake once I omitted to cite Apparat’s The Devil’s Walk as album of the year for 2011. My excuse is that yet, I had been unable to assess all the ingenuity beyond this subtly crafted and well-executed piece of work.
These days, opinions seem to be divided towards the German godson of contemporary electronic music. The Devil’s Walk, which comes as Apparat’s 4th solo effort, is taking an entire new direction from previous projects : Sascha Ring is now willing to take voice, surprisingly effulgent and wittingly used, and adopts a more «mainstream» tangent. While doing so, Apparat came out with one deep, heart-pulling record of which a countless number of purists accuse as a betrayal. I believe this general statement to be a narrow-minded one; I would rather pretend that Apparat elevates above barriers, as he bares himself in a niche with this record, successfully blending electronica, shoegaze influences, melancholic pop and emotionally charged lyrics and melodies.
I will say it like it is, not being a fan of the numeric genre, only a strong deciding factor would have made me step into Mutek. To my greatest delight, the German prodigy was accompanied by a full band (drummer, multi-instrumentalist bassist and guitarist), which brought the experience closer to the usual indie gig than the average electronic experiment. No one was deceived; Ring, who already had demonstrated skillful composer capacities, also revealed himself to be a very decent musician, using a simple guitar and pedal effects to add-up to the multiple layers of sound. Apparat was able to make The Devil’s Walk a live experience of its own, enhancing slowed-tempo melodies through nuanced instrumentation and noticeably accentuating the usually softened beats.
All songs from The Devil’s Walk were heard that night with the only exception being the heart-breaking «Goodbye», on which Apparat himself does not sing. However, he brought us such a thrill with the interpretation «Your Voice Is My World», and sounding magnificent on the galvanized «Song of Los»;for the rest «Candil de La Calle» did bring us the smoothest post-dubstep trance, not to mention hypnotizing xylophone part which introduced «A Bang In The World». We were also granted two more hits renditions with «Rusty Nail», a Moderat original and «Arcadia», featured on Apparat’s album Walls (2007). Finally, momentum was built with a deepened version of the already poignant «Black Water» reaching a moment of rare intensity for the finale. Accurately, I wept quite a bit during the unique moment that was the concert, and of which I would say that fans will be remembering for a long, long time.