Apparat, The Devil’s Walk
Finally finding his voice
“Song of Los,” the second track off of The Devil’s Walk, hinges around the cooed line, “losing voices for the day,” wafting up from beneath throbbing electronics. The words come from producer Sascha Ring’s own throat, belying the fact that he has, in fact, found his voice on his fourth album as Apparat. Originally known for crafting dancefloor-friendly minimal techno befitting of his hometown of Berlin, as Ring has matured, his productions have increasingly explored the spaces between the beats. By the time of 2007′s Walls, he took to the road with a live band.
In 2011, if there’s any artist he’s taken a page from, it’s breakout dubstep producer James Blake. Confident in his ability to program the drums, the challenge now lies in trusting that “other” instrument, the human voice. Aside from the Reich-ian instrumental “A Bang in the Void,” Ring sings on almost every one of Walk’s ten tracks (dueting with Austrian vocalist Anja Plaschg on “Goodbye”). His newfound vocal presence steadies the furious surge of strings and cresting rhythms of “Ash/ Black Veil,” gives a nu-romantic tinge to the stuttering breaks of “Candil De La Calle,” and his throat floats upwards with the flood of electronics on “Black Water.” Ring trusts his voice so that as the ruminative piano, brushed snare and throbbing noise fades away during “Your House is My World,” we find that quavering sound is in fact the song’s center.