Apparat @ The Haunt, Brighton 16.10.11

Expanded to a 4-piece for this well-paced set at Brighton's newest venue, Berliner Sascha Ring – aka Apparat – raised the temperature nicely on a blustery South Coast evening, charming a decent-sized crowd with relaxed style despite a dash to play in Slovenia in between this and his previous UK outing.

Oct 16th, 2011 at The Haunt, Brighton / By Norman Miller
Apparat @ The Haunt, Brighton 16.10.11 Predominantly low-key blue lighting adds an edge of melancholy to proceedings that is reflected in many of the numbers, though Ring mixes choices from his latest downbeat gem The Devil's Walk with more up tempo offerings from a dance catalogue that provoke the loudest cheers of the night.

‘Your House’ is an achingly restrained choice as opener, shimmering with crisp tinkles and delicate guitar, before the mood kicks up a couple of gears with the floor-juddering bass of ‘Arcadia’ and the electro-dance of ‘Song Of Los’ as well as a storming version of ‘Candil’ that's a mix of crunching beats and almost pomp guitar!

‘Rusty Nails’ is one of the crowd-pleasers of the night, a slice of chilled electro that builds to a post-rock crescendo that nods to Mogwai. A fabulous ‘Sayulita’ follows a similar path, starting with ethereal guitar and drifting percussion before surging to an Explosions In The Sky crescendo.

‘Ash/Black Veil’, Ring informs us, is “one of my favourites” - though after a great see-sawing electronic opening it actually comes across as one of the weaker efforts, marred by a lack of progression that makes it sound like a perpetual intro. ‘A Bang in The Void’ is a much better follow-on, a glorious progression through percussive layers that would have done Steve Reich proud.

The techno-tinged ‘Ladies’ kicks up the tempo again before Ring gives us a glimpse of how Sigur Ros might sound if they did a dance album with a magnificent closing ‘Black Water’, weaving a high-frail vocal through ambient space rock.