20 Questions: Apparat

Techno DJ Apparat chills out a bit with PopMatters 20 Questions.



US Release: 2010-10-26
Label: !K7

"Sasha Ring's work under his Apparat moniker has always been evolving; over three albums on the Shitkatapult label and the collaborative full lengths with Ellen Allien and Modeselektor as Moderat on Bpitch Control, he's surprised a lot of listeners with his output. Confined to little or no definitive style his music has always been in a constant state of metamorphosis, simultaneously breaching new waters and staying true to his unique spirit of musical openness and his obvious passion for sound design." -- !K7 Records

1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?

I just saw Inception which didn't make me cry, but it definitly impressed me and made me start writing down my dreams again. I´m pretty certain this can be a huge source of inspiration and by forgetting them every morning -- just cause I´m too lazy to grab my little notebook -- I´m wasting a lot of ideas...

2. The fictional character most like you?

Maybe its this one smurf that hates everything? Seriously. I used to be pretty grumpy but I think it's under control now. I figured out that I´m the one who suffers most under my own bad mood.

3. The greatest album, ever?

Never really been into the Beatles. So no Sgt. Peppers here. I have many favorite albums and they keep changing. If you want to hear one: Autechre's Amber definitly changed my life. I heard it when I was 17 and it made me realize there is so much more than just techno. I can't tell how many times we were sitting in the little basement-flat of my best friend tripping to Amber completely stoned. We also had this old blue VW Golf 1. Think the number plates were stolen and noone really had a driving license. I installed the soundsystem. Sometimes we just drove through the night listining to something like this. Good old times...

4. Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Trek when I was younger, but I recently got into Star Wars. I was in Chicago three years ago, mixing my Walls album with Josh from Telefon Tel Aviv and this guy knows every dialog of every Star Wars movie. I just had to watch them. He was here a few weeks ago and episode three was on TV, a German version. He was like "No problem bro" and started lip syncronizing every character. Guess he´s seen it 50 times...

5.Your ideal brain food?

Its really hard to "feed my brain" when I´m in my usual environment. Berlin somehow just keeps me busy with little things and whenever I want to take some time off and read I get distracted right away. The last time I succeded reading something interesting was during winter in Mexico. I got up at eight in the morning and started reading a nerdy book about KYMA. A sound computing language.

6. You're proud of this accomplishment, but why?

I´d say its all about the contrast. Working with people can be easier as you can just pass the song over when you get stuck. But it also includes endless discussions you dont have to deal with when you're doing your own thing. When something is finally done it dosnt really matter if I did it on my own or as a part of a team -- it feels like its my baby in any way.

7. You want to be remembered for...?

I don´t know if I really have a desire to be remembered for something special at all. I usually don´t really make music for the audience. It's something I have to do and of course its super nice that people care, but I would do the same if they didn't. I don´t really have big ambitions to become legendary or something like that. I´d already be really happy if I manage to be alright during my lifetime.

8. Of those who've come before, the most inspirational are?

Kevin Shields, Eric Satie, Arvo Pärt, Thom Yorke, Richard D. James, Brian Ferry, Jeff Buckley, Steve Reich -- just some random names coming to my mind.

9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?

If I would have done it I´d surely be not convinced it's a masterpiece. No matter what it is.

Music is pretty much all I do. Boring, eh? I guess I need to learn how to cook. You should ask me the same question again in a few years to check my progress!

11.The best piece of advice you actually followed?

"Chill Out"! I´ve heard this quite a few times, and a few months ago and I just started to chill out. I guess I stressed myself out to much worrying about my album and stuff. Some of my hippie friends told me to start with yoga and meditation... Quite a big challenge -- I´m a really nervous character.

12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?

I tryed to steal a MPC 2000 when I was 17. Unfortunately I got busted but I am sure this would have been the best thing I´ve ever stolen.

13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or...?

I care for fashion a little bit, but I really don´t care for Armani. Luckily I´m starting to feel comfortable looking a bit like a homeless guy these days so I can save some $$.

14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?

I´m not too interested in humans and their opinions. Honestly, I guess it would be a hot lady.

15. Time travel: where, when and why?

I think I´d go back to the '80s. I just recently got really into '80s music again, and I watched a lot of Miami Vice episodes. I´m pretty sure it wouldn't be funny anymore if I´d have to stay there, but I´d definitly travel back for just a week and walk around wearing a turquoise suit! Oh, wait, I do own a turquoise suit, but last time I checked it was 2010!

16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?

Just started with yoga. Never imagined how exhausting this would be. But I mainly do it to relax my brain. I´m really big at stressing myself out and yoga seems to be the answer to this problem. Besides this I´m just trying to get out of the city whenever possible. I love motorbikes. Riding a motorbike can be pretty relaxing, as well.

17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or...?

Its weird. I usually don´t really have many bad behaviours like the above. But once I start with alcohol, I drink coffee, smoke tons of cigarettes and need Prozac afterwards. Usually happens at gigs. Since I play a lot of them I might have to start worrying about this.

18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?

I´m a country boy. I grew up in the East German mountains and somehow, something always pulls me back. Not to my hometown but out of the city in general. I still havent found the perfect place to live. Maybe cause it doesn't exist but I´m trying to leave Berlin at least for the winter and hang out at the Mexican Pacific or at some nice little thai-island.

19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?

That would be a lot. But since I´m trying to not get upset anymore, I´d rather not think about this question.

20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?

I´ve been playing lots of Moderat (Modeselektor & Apparat) shows in the last two years. Between those I was trying to work on a new Apparat record. Thought it was done a while ago and started changing it all over again. I have a pretty good time in the studio at the moment so hopefully there will be a new Apparat album next year...

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