Electronic beats and echoing guitars at Ether

Ether Festival 2012 review

published: Wed 10th Oct 2012

Apparat

Friday 5th to Saturday 20th October 2012
Southbank Centre, London, SE1 8XX, England MAP
Ticket price varies depending on event and seating
last updated: Thu 6th Sep 2012

As is customary for Ether, the festival on London's South Bank sees a number of niche artists play across Ether season, where it is common to find an electronic ambient act taking a seat next to a classical string arrangement on the lineup. Following in the footsteps of other electronic acts that had taken to the stage at Ether, Apparat returned to the festival for 2012 with support provided by DJ Vessel, this time supported this year by his full band setup in contrast to the DJ/VJ performance of 2011.

DJ Vessel
Opening the night saw DJ Vessel first take to the stage, a lonely figure on the stage accompanied only by a huge bank of knob controls and a laptop. Vessel's style is a musical collage of different samples and is not afraid of messing around with filters, delay and distortion to play around with loops and phrases in order to create catchy drum beats as well as ear splitting resonant noises. If you know Future Sound of London or Apex Twin, you would have a fair idea of what to expect, if a bit disjointed and weird to the casual listener. Either way, his was a short and sweet opening set for the night that set the scene nicely for the headliner.

As for Apparat, he has gone from strength to strength, as the addition of a live instruments and new material ably demonstrates. Backed up by tight band members, their new direction breaks away from wholly electronic beats and instead moves towards wistful guitars paired with floating synthesiser melodies, with forlorn singing that wouldn't be out of place in a Coldplay track. It's a nice combination of shoegaze electronica with indie rock roots and works really well on a live stage, especially with the use of smoke machines and moody lighting. What also impresses is their expressiveness as they play, as they really do get into their performance. A really delightful set with lots of great moments from Apparat Band, who are definitely deserving of their reputation on the festival circuit.

Apparat
review by: Chris Smout

photos by: Chris Smout

Friday 5th to Saturday 20th October 2012
Southbank Centre, London, SE1 8XX, England MAP
Ticket price varies depending on event and seating
last updated: Thu 6th Sep 2012


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