Review: Apparat – Krieg und Frieden (Music for Theatre)
Published on March 14th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Sascha Ring’s tenth album as Apparat was originally intended for a stage production of Tolstoy’s Krieg und Frieden (that’s right, War and Peace: you heard of it?), but it doesn’t require this setting to immerse you in its succession of electronic/orchestral raptures.
The respective titles of the opening two tracks – “44” and “44 (Noise Version)” – hint at the dichotomy of sensurround distortion and cinematic orchestration that awaits us. “44 (Noise Version)”, for instance, sounds like a moment of Sigur Ros ambience magnified under a microscope and stirred into a mix with some animalistic shrieks, paving the way for “LightOn” – one of two tracks with a lead vocal – to gradually introduce enough elements into its sporadic workshop percussion for it to eventually make some kind of ’round circle’ sense.
“PV” is truly remarkable: it welcomes in a monotonous electronic buzz and strange chirruping percussion whittled out of melodic elements, then gains in intensity until it achieves a quite captivating majesty, one with a brass section like unhappy elephants, alarmed by the magical hot air balloon of sound ascending through their midst.
“K&F Thema” plinks us hypnotically into a music box that snaps shut on us, not that we seem to mind, while the pounding, tribal drums and rhythmically monotone piano chords of “Austerlitz” underpin something that you may or may not see fit to describe as a violin race to the moon.
Then it’s all up to the mesmerisingly tinkly arpgeggios and irresistible brush drumming of “A Violent Sky” to see us out the other side of the theatre doors, thoroughly satisfied punters even though we only got to listen to the soundtrack.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!
Krieg und Frieden (Music for Theatre) is out now on Mute. For more information, please visit www.apparat.net