In the six years since Sascha Ring dropped his last Apparat album Krieg Und Frieden (Music For Theatre) he has spent a lot of time working alongside fellow techno innovators Modeselektor as part of Moderat. While some artists find that their own output falls by the wayside when they join a group, LP5 proves that the success of Moderat has been a liberating experience for Ring. With his desire to create grand, anthemic electronic music satisfied in a band context, Apparat has now become a space in which he can grow, explore and test boundaries.
Apparat’s music has always been richly harmonic, but even by his standards LP5 may be the most gorgeous thing he has ever made. This record is chock-full of sweet production tricks, warm synths and chest-swelling melodies. Ring always appears to be questing for new sounds that he can utilise to make this album sound more lush, and this leads him to incorporate a huge array of tones and timbres into these tracks. Bon Iver-style vocoder-choirs, chamber strings, frayed vinyl crackles ala The Caretaker and classical piano are just some of the sounds that are invited to the party.
While the album may sound stunning, Ring manages to maintain tension across the record through his use of electronics and the way he structures his songs. One of the comparisons that comes to mind at moments on LP5 is with Thom Yorke’s The Eraser. This is due to how Ring occasionally juxtaposes his lovely instrumentation with pensive vocals and insistent, occasionally abrasive drum programming. Even the album’s lighter moments - for instance ‘Dawan’, a track that sounds like Toro Y Moi after one too many cups of coffee - have a moody shadow to them.
This is the sort of music Ring has always been capable of making. LP5 is the most Apparat album yet.