By Logan Hernandez
Walls isn’t what you would expect from an artist like Apparat. Known around Europe as a kind-of electronic wizard, he decides to make the music of dreams for his newest. If you’ve ever heard early Apparat records, there is a sense of subtle melody behind a barrage of distorted drums and lightning-pace samples. As a fan of that sound, I was kind of taken aback by this progression. Thinking back, I should have seen it coming, considering he first recorded in this style with Ellen Allien on Orchestra of Bubbles, but Walls evolves into its own monster.
The album begins with several r&b influenced dance numbers, a few of which include the always consistent vocals of Raz Ohara, who Apparat collaborates with pretty frequently. As the middle of the record approaches, though, you begin to see where the music really shines. “Arcadia” is by far the best song on the album, but it’s surrounded by excellent-as-well songs such as the two-part epic “Fractales” and “You Don’t Know Me”.
If there was one electronic artist I would like to see break into the mainstream, it would be Apparat, just because he’s well suited to turn the radio into something once again relevant in an artistic sense, rather than a financial sense.
For fans of: Raz Ohara, Telefon Tel Aviv
Best to listen to when: You want to see the best mix of techno, r&b, and IDM.
Avoid at all costs if: You think techno means trance, and vice versa.
Now it is known: Runs the Shitkatapult record label, and has collaborated with Modeselektor on their album Moderat.
APPARAT is a German electronic musician (Sascha Ring) living in Berlin, Germany who since 1999 has been running the Berlin based record label “Shitkatapult”. Starting out with dance floor-oriented techno, he later started to create ambient music and recently became “more interested in designing sounds than beats”. Recent music is closer to glitch, clicks and cuts or idm, accompanied with classical string instruments and other sounds.
Son Lux – At War with Walls and Mazes
Where to begin…First off, the first time I heard Son Lux was when I was perusing the Anticon Records website and their media player automatically started, playing “Break” by Son Lux. I actually forgot what I was looking for because I became completely entranced by his music. Always worried that an album might not be consistent with its best song, I was floored by the attention to detail and the level of passion put into At War with Walls and Mazes. This was entirely unlike anything I had ever heard, and I mean that in a good way.
On “Break”, Son Lux sings, “Where have all the wicked gone?/Is there no one left to break you down?/Where have all the holy gone?/Is there no one to condemn you?” These words are repeated over a pillow of thoughtful piano and subtle distortion, but never seem monotonous, and that’s due to how complete a song it all comes together as. Every song achieves this balance, and makes it difficult for one to pick a favorite.
Not only does he touch on spirituality, but also betrayal, something we’ve all encountered at some point, on “Betray”. “You will betray me baby/and I will be true./I only ask, may I spend/dinner with you?” Honestly, it’s hard for me to believe that he could ever top this as-perfect-as-perfect-can-be album, but he’s got another one coming later this month. Stay tuned!
SON LUX music video – “Break”
For fans of: Classical music…and glitch…and ambient…and maybe a little hip-hop.
Highlights: “Break”, “Tell”, “Wither”, “Betray”
Best to listen to when: You’re in too truthful a mood, hehe(There’s my Almost Famous reference for the day).
Avoid at all costs if: You have the attention span of a twelve year old (Why is it that twelve year olds can never catch a break?).
Now it is known: His new album, We Are Rising, was written and recorded in ONE MONTH (It was a challenge of some sort). That is unheard of for such a detail-oriented sound.
Son Lux is Ryan Lott, an American composer / musician / remixer. After studying composition at Jacobs School of Music (Indiana University), Ryan moved to Cleveland, OH, for six years, earning a reputation as a versatile & zealous collaborator. Equally at ease in the creative company of choreographers, classical musicians & break dancers – he cut his teeth spear-heading multi-disciplinary ‘performance parties’, composing music for modern dance companies & collaborating with musicians, across many genre. His works have been performed throughout the US & Europe.