APPARAT | London, Barbican

Apparat once again delivered a powerful performance at the Barbican. His newest album, LP5, draws from the range of his musical interests, weaving chamber-like vocals with melancholic techno and orchestral strings.

From a laptop at the centre of the stage, Sascha Ring mixed the diversity of sound emitted by the musicians around him. Continuously shifting from instrument to instrument, each song displayed an emotion different from the last. One sees powerful rhythmic duets between cellist and violinist, supported by pizzicato mandolin, a ringing trombone and subtle drums. The next, cello, violin and trombone are traded for guitar, bass and keyboard, held together by Sascha’s powerful, melodic vocals. Sascha’s voice displays both harmonic and dynamic range, always in perfect tension with the surrounding— floating lightly above heavy bass one song and commanding full attention over a piano backing the next.

He played a couple songs from his album, Krieg und Frieden, written for a theatre adaptation of Tolstoy’s famous war and peace. His more electronic works featured too, but in traditional Apparat fashion, were recreated on stage with “real” instruments mixed through his laptop in live time. His latest album, LP5, was the focus of the night with songs like Caronte and Voi_Do receiving gleeful cheers from the crowd whilst the public service-like poetry at the end of In Gravitas left them encapsulated.

The lighting display was powerful, yet subtle, providing the perfect atmospheric support without taking anything away from the music. A roaring applause at the end brought him out once more, finishing with the emotional Black Water that brought the audience to their feet.

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