Techno with a twist of melancholy

While the world calls their music ‘electro-pop’, Apparat’s lead man, Sascha Ring, refuses to categorise his music. “That’s really something other people should do,” he says.

Ring, whose first love has always been techno, enjoys using the computer for the “electronic sounds” it gives him. “I like to experiment and explore sounds. If I really need to play an instrument, I call someone else,” he adds, jokingly.

The name Apparat, a stage name Ring had adopted for himself a long time ago, means “machine” in Latin. “When I started making music it made a lot of sense. It’s quite ironic, my music sounds pretty human these days,” he exclaims.

The five-member band’s most recent and fourth album, The Devil’s Walk, was released last year. Instead of playing it safe with his favourite genre, Ring decided to experiment with dream-pop. Suddenly everyone is comparing him to Radiohead. “Radiohead owns the category of melancholic music with a male voice and a guitar. But everyone who looks at the details will make an ocean of interesting observations,” says Ring.

While the musician used to be a self-confessed ‘studio-nerd’ (“sitting there for 12 hours a day”), these days, he enjoys being on the road. “I love travelling and playing music to different people around the world.” Collaborations, for Ring, are limited to “playing with friends.”

Being part of a band was quite a step for him. “I was a DJ for a very long time and it’s not easy to become a good band. It took us a long time and a lot of work,” says the 34 year-old, who loves the moments when the band improvises on stage, communicating just by looking at each other.

Ring attributes his musical talent to his father, who was also a musician. “I started hanging out in rehearsal rooms and concert halls quite early. I was playing drums as a kid,” shares Ring, who almost gave up on his musical dream as a grown up. “Fortunately, I moved to Berlin when I was 19. It is a city where a lot of things happened, even when you thought they weren’t possible. At some point, I decided that I was a musician.”

Visiting India for the first time, Ring is slated to perform in three other cities — Kolkata, New Delhi and Chennai. Ask him which place he’s looking forward to most and he finds it hard to answer. “Wherever there’s most culture and history to see — Kolkata, Mumbai? I’m not going to hang out in malls and eat sandwiches. I want some real India! I’m curious to check out some Indian tunes. You guys have some real interesting instruments down there.”

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