7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2011
I ordered this Album pre-release, along with Gui Boratto's new album 'III'. And this offering from Sascha Ring, A.K.A Apparat, trully blew Gui's tidy offering out of the water. The production quality is out of this world, and Apparat has done here what Gui badly failed to do; he showed a distinct move in direction and development to his sound. In truth, Apparat has done this with every album he has produced, whether alone or in conjunction with others (such as his albums with Modeselektor under the guise 'Moderat' or alongside Ellen Allien). This album is an album of songs, rather than electronic tunes. It may seem hard to believe the same man produced the incredible experimental techno masterpiece 'Multifunctionsebene' 7 years earlier, because this album feels more in following of the likes of Sigur Ros, M83, Radiohead and Depeche Mode than experimental techno. But, although this album has resemblances to more recent Apparat albums, most noteably 'Walls', it's clearly a shift from this too. Walls was highly orchestral, with many violin and string based melodies on show; this is more Folk/Rock/Indie orientated, yet still clearly electronica too.
'The Devil's Walk' is a very intelligent album. Apparat is a smart chap, and it shows. The lyrics across the album are inspired, the vocal performances (largely from Sascha himself) are deep and absorbing, and the balance between recognisable instruments and electronic exploration is finely tuned to perfection. 'Song of Los' is the highlight for me. I must admitt where I part from Wolf's excellent review; I prefer 'Walls' to this album. I feel more track-to-track variation is on show on 'Walls' (feel free to comment if you agree/disagree), and some of the tunes are just that little bit too sombre-pop in style for me. But Apparat fans, do not fear disappointment; your main man has not let you down. It's top, top quality music and very worthy of the purchase. I might add, having bought the Vinyl edition (which includes a cardboard-cased CD too), that the album sounds perfect at those lower warm frequencies and the medium complements the album perfectly.
Apparat now performs in two ways; as 'Apparat Band' and as, of course, 'Apparat', one being a traditional rock band layout, the other being Sascha surrounded by his technology. I imagine 'The Devil's Walk' will be a delicious offering live from 'Apparat Band', so keep 'em peeled for when the show hits the road..
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Sascha Ring pitches up in Apparat guise with a wonderful new album.
'The Devil's Walk' finds him exploring new sonic territory without
compromising his electronic dance credentials. He would seem to have
taken time out to reflect on the nature of his muse and returns
with music possessed of a gentler and more soulful calibre than he
has delivered before. The ten tracks in this collection are high on
reflection and emotion. It is the finest work he has so-far produced.
If the haunting composition 'Goodbye' were the only one at our disposal
I would be satisfied. The eerie presence of Austrian singer Anja Plaschg,
aka Soap & Skin, (please, please do listen to her 2009 album 'Lovetune
For Vacuum'!) made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. The dark
arrangement moves forward at the pace of a heartbeat; Ms Plaschg's
world-weary vocal barely stirring the air around it. A desolate joy!
It's not all about shadows and scratchings in a closed tomb however.
Once 'Song Of Los' gets its skates on we are transported to a land
of light and uplifting beauty where even dance is possible. Mr Ring,
both here and elsewhere has a truly lovely voice. Sweet, sweet melancholy.
The faltering rhythm of 'Candil De La Calle' is another highlight. The
dream-like ambience is shot through with luminous synth chords and a simple
but affecting octave-spaced two-part harmony. A song to warm the blood.
'Escape', too, glimmers like a lone candle in a window guiding us safely home.
The touching melody, evocative lyrics and sublime string setting conveys
one of the loveliest inventions I have heard this year. A song to cherish!
Not far behind it 'The Soft Voices Die' (those glorious strings again!)
touches a nerve deep in the human spirit and generates a palpable sense of hope.
'Ash/Black Veil' explores a somewhat different sonic landscape; all skittering
percussion, moody piano and a plaintive high-flung vocal from Mr Ring on top form.
Final track 'Your House Is My World' is a touching hymn for a godless world.
(The download edition contains an extra track, 'Ladies', which sets another
ethereal vocal afloat on a sea of turbulent percussion, grumbling bass and
affectionate nods and winks to prog-rock. A worthy addition if MP3's are your thing!)
'The Devil's Walk', with its many wonders, is an album to pass by at your peril!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 October 2011
The Devil's Walk is a very evocative and beautiful piece of work, right from the start.
As others have eluded to, it has a much more organic and 'natural' sound compared to Apparat's other work, yet it somehow feels like an electronica album.
It is, at first, difficult to describe. Gentle piano meets strings and deep, electronic undertones that combine to create some deeply moving pieces of music throughout.
The production value, as you would expect from Apparat, is top notch - And it is this that forms part of why each element gels together seamlessly.
Pieces like 'Goodbye' are a fantastic example of the warm, organic beauty of the album and the track 'Candil De La Calle' almost boarders on sounding like a Telefon Tel Aviv track, yet it still manages to encompass the trademark warmth and acoustic that this album has.
In summary, this album is smart, beautiful, exquisitely produced and absolutely essential listening in my book.
Do not let this slip your ears.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2011
I bought this as a random purchase and on first listen actually felt like I'd need to return it, which is something I never do. The vocals simply annoyed me - I can't quite put my finger on it but it felt like an album where it was trying too much to be a bit electronic and a bit indie. I pressed on however and listened several more times and have still come to the conclusion that this would be a much better album with either none or considerably less vocals, in fact it could have been a real gem had it been purely instrumental. Not that I'm against vocals, I just don't think they work here which is a shame as they have a real impact on what could have been a 5 star album.
0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2013
Bland and uninspired. There is not one memorable track; each track feels like it should be the last 'fade out' song at the end of the album. Even if you do give it a listen, don't expect to remember it - it's totally forgettable.