Old Apparatus – Realise on Sullen Tone

Laica takes to the caverns in search of Old Apparatus.

I was first introduced to the strange sound-world of Old Apparatus via their self titled EP on Deep Medi Music in 2011; their blend of drones, deep deep bass, ethereal tones and low slung rhythms seemed to be quite loosely stitched together. The feel of the beats sounded familiar and yet in all it was unlike anything I had heard before; almost like a mixtape and very much like something that I wanted to last much longer than the 20 minutes that it did.

Not long after this my wish was granted with the release of Zebulon expanding the sound pallet by taking in the vocals of Festival and sounding not unlike a traditional English folk song being carried eastwards on the shoulders of Bristol’s finest bass heads.

Hammerhand on the flip is a vocal version of a track from the Old Apparatus EP upon which Mowgli takes to the mic, laying down some fine lines to bring this 2 tracker to a close.

2012 has seen Old Apparatus return, bringing with them their very own label in the shape of Sullen Tone and 2two EPs; the first of which was Derren.

Opening with Zimmer a 4 minute beat free drone track that sets the scene for title track Derren perfectly. Acoustic guitar, wood blocks and an almost hidden vocal refrain. Not much else is needed, less is more; what we get is just enough. Dealow brings dub pressure, sub bass and a haunting choral vocal, rim shots ricochet around the mix and gas clouds lead us to the closer Bodah.

Again dub is the calling card and everything is about space, nothing clutters nothing gets in the way until about a third of the way through, then the storm arrives and we are caught up in the calm at its centre listening to the wind until it fades and brings to an end another great EP, bringing us to the present day.

Realise is the new EP by Old Apparatus and is the 1st of 3 solo EPs by the bands various members.

First up is Chicago, pitching looping piano against what could be the sound of a gun being loaded a steady 4/4 some light and loose hi hats and a haunted cello, maybe? Who knows, it’s amazing, it’s simple and it works. Found fuses electric bass with wafer thin vocals, possibly the sound of doors being locked shut and the ball in a spray can, again, I could have made this all up, I really don’t know. Holding is a much more restrained and laid back affair, sounding not unlike Plaid; watch out for the trumpet solo, it fits so well.

The EP comes to an end with its title track Realise, reverb drenched chords, what could be a Tuba; processed wood blocks and acoustic guitar all lead slowly yet surely towards the sunset. In the morning its all eyes to the horizon to see what comes next.


Old Apparatus – Chicago
Old Apparatus – Found
Old Apparatus – Holding
Old Apparatus – Realise


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