Apparat – LP5

While LP5 can feel sluggish at times, Sascha Ring’s knack for constructing textured sonic architecture is still a draw

Album Review by Eugenie Johnson | 22 Mar 2019
  • Apparat – LP5
Album title: LP5
Artist: Apparat
Label: Mute
Release date: 22 Mar

In the time since Berlin-based artist Sascha Ring released his last album as Apparat, 2013’s Krieg und Frieden (Music for Theatre), he's teamed up with Modeselektor’s Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary under the name Moderat. The trio’s work seemed set on attempting to blur the lines between music made for headphones and the dancefloor but, reemerging with his first solo material in six years, Apparat’s latest solo record falls pretty distinctly into the former camp.

For the most part, LP5 finds Ring deploying sublime yet intimate tones, the album nestling into a space where the electronic and organic entwine. Cellist Philipp Thimm provides often moody sweeps, while harps and brass move between intricate beats and synth melodies. Ring's tracks often unfurl over time, such as on CARONTE, where cinematic strings become replaced by stuttering electronic segments. HEROIST exemplifies some of the more naturalistic tendencies as footsteps morph into the track’s beat.

Closer IN GRAVITAS moves boldly towards dance as its unique opening squall gives way to a pulsating, full-on house rhythm topped off with a spoken word crescendo. It’s a thunderous climax, but also one that unfortunately simultaneously reveals the frustrating deficiency of LP5; that it’s all a bit mid-tempo. But while the album can feel sluggish at times, Ring’s knack for constructing textured sonic architecture is still a draw.