When press emails went out heralding Apparat as another of Mute’s post-corporate blood money signings, it was intriguing to think of Sascha Ring’s artful, if car-advert-friendly, electronic project meeting a label of hard-arse circuitry enthusiasts. Sadly, the result is probably Apparat’s most commercial release yet. Fans can expect more instrument-rich/2step-tinged electronica, and the album opens promisingly. In fact, the paradoxically titled ‘Sweet Unrest’ describes the rest perfectly; while ‘Devil’s Walk’ continually hints at perhaps being the anguished creative product of a break-up, it nevertheless sounds daisies-out saccharine all the time. The floating vocal appendages are a case in point and, in ‘Black Water’, a line which better not be ‘we will be ephemeral’ gets repeated with quiet, latent heaviness like it’s a real heartbreaker. The X Factor-level emotional intensity is so constant that the LP ends up like watching a couple get grossly intimate in Carphone Warehouse.

By Edgar Smith

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