German Grammy-nominated producer Apparat, also known as Sascha Ring, has been making scores for film and television since 2008, on top of his other music and live performances. On May 1, Soundtracks: Capri-Revolution kicks off Ring’s line of releases centered around those particular soundtracks. With the help of collaborator Philipp Thimm, the pair reworked and remixed the tracks they composed for Mario Martone’s 2018 movie of that title.
The Italian-French period film is set in 1914 and gravitates towards the life of local girl Lucia and the band of artists that she comes to be surrounded with. Martone first chose Ring after inviting him to perform at a theatre the director used to own, and then overlaying his tracks onto a collection of filmed scenes; the eclectic, yet serene nature of his work matched the essence Martone aimed to capture. He explains that the soundtrack seemed to pour out and shape itself out of Ring’s interpretation of the scenes from the film, and the other actors playing instruments on set.
While the composition has overall cohesion, it is an ultimately fractured blend. The songs are of varying lengths, ranging from one to eight minutes, each with different and occasionally jarring elements. It starts off gently, with “Licidana” even adding in what appears to be an ethereal patter of rain, shepherding its fluid texture, and culminating in this overwhelming stutter. The last half of the album incorporates more classical instrumentals weaving amidst the electronic waves, and over time, imperfections rise to the surface. The fumbling pauses, the scuffle of a chair, the brush of clothing are almost unnoticeable at first, but become shockingly evident in “Goldkind”. The sudden and crisp sound of cleanly snapping wood stops the song short – an instrument, seemingly reaching a breaking point – and an extended, bloodcurdling yell interrupts the lulling dance of piano and strings. No matter how many times this album plays, the moment never ceases to be a heart-stopping jolt of raw anguish and tension.
Apparat, a virtual conductor of electronic music, crafts beauty out a manipulation of sounds. With calculated intervention, he leaves this album utterly and breathtakingly human; an elevated representation of the natural, the reduced, and the pure.