It took more than a decade in the production game, but last year Roland Appel finally made his entry as a solo artist with 'Dark Soldier.' It was, to say the least, an auspicious debut, and deservedly found its way on RA's Top 30 tracks of 2007 list at #12. Arriving just two months later, the Unforgiven 12-inch follows in its wake with an arrangement just as uncommon, a vocal just as effecting and an edit of 'Dark Soldier' that should make a DJ's work much easier.
'Unforgiven' starts just as strangely as its droning predecessor. Appel is as stiff as ever, trotting out a blues-y bassline over swelling strings and a touch of hand drum. Araba Walton lightly taunts us, repeating "You asking me?" before letting us know that "it's all over" a few moments before Appel unleashes his synths. The lyrics, of course, are irrelevant, but when delivered by Walton they take on a portentous tone that matches the mood of the production. Similar to 'Dark Soldier'? It's not as excellent, but sure. Like 'DS' it has no right to work and the arrangement is an awkward one, but somehow neither of these things matter. Appel's singular vision simply negates much criticism you could level at it.
Dixon does his best to help DJs out on his edit of 'Dark Soldier'. He smoothes Appel's singular vision (read: hard as hell to mix) into a deep house burner, getting rid of the jagged edges of Appel's original arrangement. It's to Dixon and Appel's credit that you can hear both of their signatures hiding within its nine-minute length. You'll no doubt be hearing this version on the floor soon…if you haven't already.
Buy Roland Appel - Unforgiven at
Tracklist: Roland Appel - UnforgivenA Unforgiven
AA Dark Soldier (Dixon Edit)