Apparats blend of electronic dance styles with more traditional song composition has always stuck with me over the years.
As time has moved on, this style became more prevalent in popular music. But Apparat has always stood out due to his sound design. His synths sound rich and organic, blurring the line between the physical and synthetic.
This ability is displayed perfectly on my track of the week “DAWAN” the opening instrumentation sounds on its initial transient to be close to a xylophone but as the notes continue to resonate, they turn into more digital synthesized pad sounds, blending the percussive with the melodic.
The track develops, adding as a shuffling drum rhythm which creates a pace and focus for the synth pads and vocals. Slowly instrumentation increases and crescendos to the tracks conclusion. Apparat has always managed to create a strong mood in his music, with every instrument sounding complimentary, DAWAN demonstrates these qualities perfectly.
A New Error by Moderat continues this month’s trend by featuring a wonky sequence that first leads and then underpins the majority of the track. As more instrumentation is added, it drives into the background, becoming a bed for the other instruments to play off. It’s removal halfway through the track creates a sparse void, which allows the aggressiveness of the base line to shine through.
A New Error demonstrates the versatility of a looping sequence when used creatively. Once it’s in the listeners head, it can stay the driving force of a track even if its removed completely:
I have just noticed that I haven’t put any music by Apparat as my track of the week and after listening to his most recent album I thought it was about time I should give him some credit for his solo work outside of Moderat.
For me Apparat is one of the most interesting electronica producers working today, managing to create his own sound with a heavy use of strings its beautiful stuff indeed.
I’m a huge fan of all of his work and although this track wouldn’t have been the first one I would usually play people as its less accessible than some of his other work. It is my favourite track from his most recent album and therefore the one I’m listening to the most which makes it take pride of place as my track of the week.
His current album is actually edited versions of his music for a play of war and peace and strips away a lot of his usual electronic sounds for classical instrumentation. PV develops slowly with an ominous opening of what sounds like a mix between a broken squeezebox and audio static. Slowly elements of strings, woodwind, vocal samples and finally piano are added before it breaks into a driving drumbeat at 3:50. It’s this driving line that really makes the track stand out and become something to anticipate on repeat listens. I highly recommend it:
Moderat haven’t released an album since there debut in 2009 and from what they have said in the past it didn’t look hopeful that they would.
Made from two successful acts (Apparat, Modeselektor) it was reported that their opinions on music creation and how to do it, resulted in a seven year gap between their first EP and their album.
So it was a surprise to hear that they are working together again on a new album last month. Something I greatly anticipate.
I think its partly due to the two styles of electronica and methods of creating it that make Moderat so good, You get the Beats of Modeselektor with the evolving organic sounds of Apparat, resulting in music that is original and yet catchy. It has made their album, although ancient by electronica standards, still as forward thinking and fresh as ever.
Here’s an instrumental track from the album entitled Les Grandes Marches:
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