It's always shocking how much attention you can get when you make people do a little bit of work for themselves. Old Apparatus is a complete unknown, foisted on the world by dubstep's most reliable classicists, Deep Medi Musik, in the form of a twenty-minute mix and a vinyl-only release. Turns out the music is just as foreign to Medi's style as the approach. While it shares in the midnight black of Deep Medi newcomer V.I.V.E.K, Old Apparatus is not your typical halfstep skip with a few wobbles thrown in.
With two ten minute slabs of abstract sound—sometimes beatless, sometimes with percussion fighting its way through the din—slapped on two sides of an LP, the closest analogue that comes to mind is Demdike Stare. Side A opens with prickly breezes that coalesce into a heaving fuzz bassline, nudged along by flitting Autonomic percussion and ugly, corroded kicks. Things eventually settle into a wave of frigid ambience, stalactites dripping as a see-sawing Reese bassline seems to form itself from thin air. Side B rumbles to a start in what sounds like a boiler room, a strangled synth scattering from the path of vicious snares. That brief respite of melody ends with the flick of a light switch, eaten up into the recurring nightmarish atmospheres of the first side and finally coming to a halt as wrecked chords toll a death knell.
In a recent review, I intimated that most of Deep Medi's releases dating back to at least 2007 had an unceasing consistency of sound and aim. But listening over to this first transmission from Old Apparatus I realize I'm eating my words, as it doesn't get much riskier (buy-on-sight functional dubstep label in industrial ambient shocker) or weirder than this. It's a record that moves the label beyond dubstep and places their ear for quality and sound design into a new realm of pure sound and unfamiliar influence.
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Tracklist: Old Apparatus - Old Apparatus A Untitled