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Apparat: Does 'The Devil's Walk' on Mute & simfy

img  Tobias Fischer

Writing the basic structures for The Devil's Walk, which is now available both digitally through online music community simfy or in a limited edition sporting a 24-page bound book, had still been easy. To be more precise, they had been laid-back, as Ring traveled to Mexico, met up with long-time production sparring partner Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv and spent „60% of the time relaxing, 30% writing the actual music and 10% smoking cigarettes“. Recordings took place in a huge rented house with individual rooms for each musician to work on initial ideas and sketches in privacy and a huge shared living room to flesh out concepts in more detail as a group. Mexico turned out to be a place of refuge and completely changed the parameters of typical Apparat-records around: „It was the potential of going to Mexico in the months of January and February to work on The Devil's Walk instead of being in Berlin or being in Chicago, both of which are completely freezing cold and totally miserable at that time“, according to Eustis, „I could have come to Berlin and we could have worked on the album here, but it would have ended up being a very depressing record.“

And yet, there is still a tangible sense of melancholy, darkness, even sinisterness, a strange sensuality and eroticism noir to these pieces. Perhaps these are the result of a short phase of stasis in the writing process, when Ring had come back to Berlin from Mexico and suddenly found himself unable to satisfyingly continue and conclude the album. For months, the new Apparat album seemed an unattainable goal. It was only when Ring was introduced to guitarist Nackt (German for „naked“) that The Devil's Walk was back on course again. Together, the duo culled the essence from the huge pile of material that Ring had amassed and turned it into concise pieces with immediately captivating hooks and a unique mood. It was an effortless process, which culminated in a successful live presentation at the Prince Charles club - and the uplifting mood displayed on a track like „Black Water“ or anthemic first single „Ash/Black Veil“.

Of course, The Devil's Walk represents new territory for Apparat in more than one respect. After all, it is also the first album recorded for the prestigious Mute label after four releases on Shitkatapult – an imprint Ring used to run with friend and T-Raumschmiere-head Marco Haas. It is, as the Apparat mastermind pointed out, a mutually benefitial constellation since Mute founder Daniel Miller had always been interested in Shitkatapult's unique blend of dancefloor energy and punk spirit, while Ring has sought for ways to publish outside of its boundaries. Of course, punk is not exactly where the album is headed. Rather, it penetrates a nerve shared by dream-pop-bands like Sigur Ros and then infuses it with its own personal vibe and colours. The Devil's Walk may not sum up 2011 the way the Apparat DJ-Kicks did last year. But it certainly makes for a promising start to a new chapter.

Homepage: Apparat
Homepage: Mute Records
Homepage: Simfy


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