All sorts piled in to the labyrinthine Scala to hear Apparat with his all new band.
The aptly named Ghosting Season opened, an impressive electronic duo featuring ‘guitars, voice, and found sound’ two guitars facing each other and a wild thumping bass, a keyboard and drum pad creating atmospheric, broody songs, leaving the crowd well warmed.
Sascha Ring, the dashing Berliner has two shows as Apparat; Solo he plays more dancey rave scene, not to be confused with the more mellow Apparat Band – Sascha on vocals, guitar and ‘noises’ joined by Patrick ‘Nackt’ Christensen on keyboard, guitar and bass, Ben Lauber on Rhodes, keyboards and all sorts of other things and Jörg Wähner dominating drums & percussion.
Moving away from rave/dancefloor show, the four piece paints electronic soundscape of intricacies that pull you in and spits you out in a beautiful frenzy of sound.
Wading amongst the crowd as an electro newbie to see Apparat for the first time, I was really unsure of what to expect. London is drenched in this electro era, a saturated scene which can some times be so alienating, Apparat are the opposite. Their songs are an outstretched hand teeming with charisma, the show an audio/visual feast. The lighting, including a stage scattered with pulsating light globes was understated and effective, sending the audience further in to the depths of a synthesised dreamscape. Seeing the sounds being created and manipulated was engaging, not estranging.
They have successfully blended electronic techniques and textures with pop notions; creating melodic, dark and ethereal songs with exquisite subtleties.
Wähner’s interestingly mic’ed percussion moves from complex rhythmic patterns to coercing the cymbals in to sustained resonance, beating the snare through tea towels and harmonising with the three keyboards using a glockenspiel. The band seems to use an eclectic mix of retro and new technology, it’s exciting to see such playful experimentations develop in to tight, head-in-the-clouds songs; A lot of which are vocally driven. Sascha’s dramatic vocals oscillate between melancholy and euphoria, swinging between a Jónsi Birgisson (Sigur Ros) falsetto and a deeper, rock sound.
The band played mostly new songs, set to be released on ‘The Devil’s Walk’ LP, late September on Mute Records, it’s bound to be a masterpiece of elegist electronic pop. The standout track was definitely the hypnotic and beautiful Ash/Black Veil. Wonderfully orchestrated and tense, with a hypnotic ebb and flow. Check it out.