Apparat - LP5 (LP)
For almost two decades, Sascha Ring has been one of the defining protagonists of electronic music. As Apparat he has explored the entanglement of programmed sounds and analogue instruments like no other; as part of Moderat (the trio he founded with Modeselektor’s Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary), he has transformed this knowledge and art into an aesthetic of indulgence and sublimity. Apparat’s new album, his first release since 2013’s Krieg und Frieden (Music for Theatre), is sublime and delicate, finding greatness in small things and in unexpected twists, it joins musical fragments together and glows from the cracks in between: this is Sascha Ring’s best work to date. Like previous Apparat albums, the new release is essentially the result of collaboration between Sascha Ring and cellist Philipp Thimm and on the album you can also hear trombone, trumpet and saxophone, a harp, a double bass and other strings. John Stanier, the dancing dervish from math-rock outfit Battles, plays percussion and the songs were developed over endless group improvisations and lavish orchestral sessions. The music of Apparat is now music of enrichment, of omission and override; every melody, every sound is at the same time a palimpsest. “Sometimes,” says Sascha Ring, “we recorded hundreds of tracks and then reduced everything to a few dozen again.” But these “few dozen” are so delicately interwoven, as if they were samples that you rip out of context and throw back into a new frame. You are listening to someone who is able to step back and look at his own art as if he were looking at something that is rather alien, something he himself has to adopt and familiarize himself with anew, again and again: I is another in the music of Apparat.