Roland Appel, Unforgiven


[Sonar Kollektiv]

Buy Vinyl

Confounding audiences is something Roland Appel is quite good at. His highly rated solo debut, “Dark Soldier,” made more than a few dancers cock their heads in disbelief as its eerie vocal lines crept from the sound system, then again at the fractured and misplaced bridge which cheerily chimed in and retreated. As in his past projects (Trüby Trio, Fauna Flash and Voom:Voom, all of which twisted the genres they somewhat resembled), Appel’s solo work shows little regard for the “proper” grammar of house music. His latest, “Unforgiven,” is a double A side on Sonar Kollektiv and challenges listeners to keep up with his rampant imagination. “Unforgiven”‘s trudging, synthesized stand-up bass ushers in a swinging arrangement that feels perfectly at home with the Sonar Kollektiv roster. Soon it grows long-legged string movements to sway gently above hand drums and detached piano chords. Araba Walton (of “Dark Soldier” fame) soulfully pipes in, “You askin’ me?” as if even she’s unsure of the tune’s next turn.

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Of course, that’s when Appel delivers a hard left turn as tenacious synth charges yank away the cool, collected curtain and embrace full-on 4/4 rhythms. With all the elements pumping, it’s just enough to look past how outwardly cheesy “Unforgiven” might sound, especially the careening snare rolls. Exhausted, the house cadence eventually fades behind the swinging calm. Appel again stuck to his guns — unapologetic histrionics and strong vibes — and crafted a fine follow up that’s bound for buzz. If that wasn’t enough, Dixon’s edit of “Dark Soldier” will surely put this single over the top. He wisely preserves much the tune’s hallmark arrangements, adding only a lithe, Henrik Schwarz-esque progression and understated house touches to gear the track for wider DJ use. And by pairing slightly unexpected key signatures (his and Roland’s), Dixon keeps unexpected cleverness as the tune’s enduring motif.

todd  on January 10, 2008 at 11:16 PM


JBH  on January 11, 2008 at 5:26 AM


Krul  on January 12, 2008 at 12:02 PM

Very nice set opener (unforgiven) , people wont know what hit them


Little White Earbuds » Little White Earbuds January Charts  on January 31, 2008 at 11:32 PM

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