Friday 30 November 2012

Apash 2012 - Blacker

Album review by KevW

Ah it's nice to hear music being made with an acoustic guitar that you can't describe as "folk something" or "something hyphen folk". Apash 2012 is a one-man band from Italy and 'Blacker' is his second release, and despite being equipped with an acoustic there's no earnest balladeering, nope instead we get actual songs, and very good ones at that. There are haunting stripped back tracks like 'It's Your Turn' and 'Alcatraz' which fit in more closely with the dreampop scene than any old fashioned cliched rubbish. When the songs are stripped back to simple guitar, voice and mild production they gel to make some really wonderful sounds.

On 'Routine' the same approach is used but this time the six strings are of the electric variety. You could use songs like this as the basis for far more ordained indie-rock tracks, but this is a rare case where they're best left just as they are; simple, effective and performed with genuine care. It's not easy to try your hand at music in this manner without becoming middle of the road, but Apash 2012 has no such problems; the same could be said for 'Jealousy' which in an unusual way recalls Syd Barrett. This is a man who understands music, so a curious and unorthodox approach is adhered to throughout, and it's entirely natural with it.

When he brings in a full band the results are equally beautiful. 'Happiness' is a superb and uplifting piece of lo-fi indie and will be an instant standout for anyone hearing the album for the first time. He even delves successfully into electro-pop (of the retro variety) on 'All In' which will draw Postal Service comparisons. He even throws in a couple of plays on words with song titles (the dark 'Rosemary Fields Whatever' or the lethargic, Nick Drake by-way-of Nirvana unplugged 'Eye Of The Tired') The fabled apocalypse is even given a look in on the excellent 'Shiva'. 'Blacker' was our introduction to Apash 2012 and it was a very pleasant surprise.

Apash 2012's website

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