I do confess. I’m a mad Apparat fan. The way he can express emotion through a whimper or a simple phrase speaks volumes of an artist who is very much in touch with himself. I can remember hearing his brilliant ‘Orchestra of Bubbles’ album when it first got released (on Ellen Allien’s B-pitch Control label) and having it on repeat for weeks. It’s ace. The last time he visited Melbourne he played to a packed Railway Hotel, and everyone there will tell you it was their favourite gig of that year. He absolutely nailed his set which veered from typical Apparat melodic rollers to breaks-inspired groove. The man can mix.
So yeah, I’m pretty excited about Apparat’s return. He will be in Melbourne for Let Them Eat Cake NYD festival, and even more exciting is that he will be doing a DJ set, which is a rare thing nowadays. Expect him to drop a lot of unreleased productions – which is a good thing- alongside some high-end productions from his mates in very high places. You might know him better for his vocal work as one third of Moderat, but his solo discography go way deeper. Here are 5 tracks which you should hear ahead of his arrival… and be warned that some of them might invoke some quality candle-burning and reminiscing sessions…
Apparat, Swayzak – Smile And Receive (Apparat Remix)
Here our hero teams up with UK duo Swayzak, the original a smoky deep house number,which is definitely worth listening to. But it is Apparat’s remix which transforms this, and from the highly aloof opening right until its satisfying end, this track is a masterclass in proper good vibes. It has it all: 4/4 beat, a breaks breakdown, euphoric melodies and of course, Apparat’s vocals chopped up in the studio blender.
Once those magical chords filter into the track you will be hooked and take a moment to take stock about your life – you will probably experience a feeling of content that screams ‘Hey mate, everything is just fine. It will all work out. It will all be ok from here on in’. Please Apparat, never stop making music.
Moby – Pale Horses (Apparat Remix)
Moby knows a thing or two about music- after all, he did produce one of the highest-selling electronic music albums of all time (‘Play’ sold over 12 millions copies). I mean, having Apparat on board to do a remix makes total sense and even Moby knows that. In the original, Moby tried his best to out-sad Apparat with a pretty depressing track about dead family members and wanting to go back home. Apparat took up the challenge with aplomb, taking the original and upping the ante to sad-factor 2000. Almost Burial-like in it’s execution, Moby’s vocal sounds even more sad, and the strings employed by Apparat should go far in making you realise that ‘no mate, everything is actually not ok’. Still, without sadness there is no happiness.
Apparat – Arcadia
Taken from the album ‘Walls’, this tear-jerker has definitely soundtracked many candle burning sessions. The crunchy breaks perfectly accompanies his searing vocals, and the choir strings sound more gothic than anything he has done before. After questioning what exactly is the point of life, he takes the track in a totally different direction by breaking it down into a wistful and melancholic acoustic guitar jam – almost like he is answering his own question of mortality through a hopeful tune. ‘Arcadia’ is probably prescribed by every doctor to assist with a broken heart- sometimes you have to tease the pain.
Ellen Allien, Apparat – Jet
As mentioned before, his ‘Orchestra of Bubbles’ album (co-produced with Ellen Allien) is seminal. Every track on there is amazing, but as we have to choose one I will go with ‘Jet’. Bearing the hallmarks of the minimal, mid-00’s production style, it features quite a simple beat which isn’t vintage Apparat-sounding, that is until the melody bubbles into existence and with absolute certainty you know that this is the work of our man – and the strings are simply divine too. Remember those moments when you ask yourself what exactly was the best time of your life and then you reminisce for hours about how you wish you could still be there, wondering how you got to where you are now and what exactly happened to you along the way? Or is that just me? Either way, this track evokes that feeling.
Moderat – Bad Kingdom
You can’t have a Best-of-Apparat list without at least one Moderat track. Consisting of Apparat and Modeselektor (Moderat… get it?!), the new defunct supergroup ruled the live electronic arena during their short reign. With 3 albums to their name, you could really pick any of their LPs as one you would take to a desert island with you. The openin grumble of this track is enough to smash concrete, yet it is soft in it’s execution. Apparat’s almost fun delivery at the beginning does a good job of hiding the painful subject matter, that is until the chorus where he laments lost love (well, that’s my interpretation of it anyway). ‘Bad Kingdom’ was bit of a minor hit commercially, but a major hit in the clubs where remixes from DJ Koze and Marcel Dettmann elevated this into ‘get over it and just dance mate’.
Apparat will perform at Let Them Eat Cake NYD at Werribee Mansion alongside Stephan
Bodzin, Jackmaster, Mall Grab, Âme and more. Tickets available from here.