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The music of Old Apparatus carves its own niche, leading you by the hand into unknown territory, exotic and mysterious, but shot through with a sense of magic and wonder that always pulls it out of the horror it hints at. A low key audio-visual group, they’ve deliberately worked out of the limelight, and consequently released some of the most ambitious and beautiful electronic music of the last few years. Old Apparatus started life on Mala’s Deep Medi record label 2 or so years ago, releasing two highly praised singles that were some of the best sellers on the label, however they were an unconventional choice, sitting uncomfortably with the dancefloor aimed dubstep that the label was known for, as their beautifully crafted mix of drones, sculptured soundscapes and dub moved far beyond the rulebook, and their audio-visual live shows became renowned for their quality. In 2012, Old Apparatus launched a bid for independence with their own ‘Sullen Tone’ imprint to release their own projects and others. The first of these releases on the label were EPs that spanned the second half of the year, opening with the Derren EP before releasing a series of EPs from three separate members of the group. Compendium draws together the highlights of those EPs into a sequenced mix that draws the sheer drama out of the music, like contrasting scenes in a film, enabling the listener to pick out details in music and get lost in its generous sound world. Starting with Zimmer’s rising strings and watery hiss, rolling seamlessly into the far away shoegaze of Mernom and then the warm, woodblock and acoustic guitar 2-step of Derren. The mood switches up to the jungle atmosphere of Dourado, with hypnotising drums and a feeling of panic, before the chopped and screwed march of Lingle drops the mood down, the club-footed hip hop and ritualistic astral atmosphere of cauliroot, creates a mysterious ambience, before the album hones down into the bell-like melodies and sliding drums of boxcat. Chicago opens next with a bare piano and heartbeat thud, working out of the rainy atmospheres, the shimmering drones Octofish lead into the vast waves of Realise, ending the album on a powerful note.

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