Review: Apparat Crafts Otherworldly, Haunting New Album 'LP5'

Apparat releases his first album in six years.
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Exactly one month after Modeselektor released their new album Who Else, Apparat, real name Sascha Ring has released his new album LP5. It is Apparat’s first record since 2013’s Krieg und Frieden (Music for Theatre), though Moderat II and III were released during that time.

The new record explores some of the same avenues of Moderat, but in different directions. He collaborates cellist Philipp Thimm throughout the record and draws on genres outside of electronic music for LP5. He used avant-garde jazz flourishes on tracks like “LAMINAR FLOW” and even teases a rock ballad on the album closer “IN GRAVITAS.” Collaborating with Thimm brings in plenty of strings that naturally sit alongside his own electronic production. On “CARONTE” the strings chug along until the dark and twisted production serves to counterbalance the acoustic guitar and strings.

If you are looking for the large pop hooks on this album that were a big part of the past two Moderat records, they aren’t totally gone, but Apparat has taken the chance to explore other avenues of songwriting.

“I was only able to make the record this way because Moderat exists," Ring says in a statement. "Having a huge stage with Moderat gave me a setting for grand gestures and meant I could unburden Apparat from these aspirations. I don't have to write big pop hymns here; I can just immerse myself in the details and the structures."

Apparat does what he does best with LP5. He hones in on creating these otherworldly atmospheres for you to get lost in that can be both terrifying and incredibly soothing at the same time. On “HEROIST” skittering low-lying effects that could be found in a sci-fi horror movie like Annihilation, keep you pinned back in your seat, eyes flickering from side to side, but the floating synths also envelop you in a warm embrace.

His voice remains one of the most unique in electronic music and he continues to find ways to use it as not just a way to convey messages, but musically. It is morphed into new melodic elements throughout the album.

The album ends with a slow-burning trio of records, starting with “EQ_BREAK,” a three and a half minute ambient number that sets up the final two. “OUTLIER,” builds with organ and piano before Ring starts to softly coo and his voice become louder to match the wailing organs. He makes his statement on world affairs with the eerie rock ballad finale “IN GRAVITAS.” At his core, the songwriting remains about the human condition and emotion, “passion is misused / all the feelings abused.” The song builds through the guitar into steady drums and a playful synth, all the while keeping the eerie background that comes to foreground as we get to the album's eventual conclusion.

He makes his final statement with a robotic voice repeating a statement attacking ego, demagogy and the defeat of truth. “Statues erected to no one elected. Children point fingers and objects fall down. Reason dissected is what is expected. Question marks linger and objects fall down. The process reveals all the false meaning.”

Apparat shines on his own with LP5. He is able to channel what made Moderat II and III so great, but create haunting and gripping sonic works that capture the imagination. His voice remains one of the most unique in electronic music, while the songwriting continues to impress and evolve, involving more genres and styles into his music.

Pick up the album in physical or digital format here and stream below.

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