Dare Devil

When an electronic dance musician makes references to literature,a lot of heads turn and many connotations surface.

Written by Suanshu Khurana | Published: August 29, 2012 1:54 am

When an electronic dance musician makes references to literature,a lot of heads turn and many connotations surface. In that sense,German deejay Sascha Ring aka Apparat’s reference to PB Shelley’s famous ballad,The Devil’s Own,a few months ago,was no different. Ring’s track by the same name,which opens with his husky vocals,followed by swelling synths and offbeat drum sets,already has the electronic dance music world in a tizzy and will resonate at Blue Frog tomorrow,along with Ring’s many others. The performance is part of the celebrations for 60 years of Indo-German diplomatic ties.

The idea struck Ring in Mexico and he made this record after consulting his friend and musician Patrick Christensen. “During the early 18th century,England was suffering from harsh economic conditions,food shortages and inflated prices. Shelley satirically criticised the British government with a description of Satan meeting up with key members of the government,church and monarchy. My belief is that the rule of tyrants will be short-lived and they will eventually be overthrown,” says Ring,whose music is mostly known for its inbuilt melancholy,which can be played in clubs and living rooms alike.

For a young Ring growing up in East Germany in the ’80s,it wasn’t easy being in a band,or for that matter,being a musician. The Berlin Wall had not been torn down and the civil unrest was at its pinnacle. But since Ring’s father owned a turntable,he got some exposure to Pink Floyd and Roxy music records. “Officially,you had to have politically correct songs in your playlist. Whenever you played something else,you had to just hope that there was no one in the audience who would tell the wrong person,” says Ring,adding that his father’s generation was not even allowed to play certain western songs. “If it was too much,you were in trouble,” says Ring,who became Apparat after the electronic dance music wave swept the world.

When Ring started making music,electronic instruments were the easiest way of archiving. “During the years,I just discovered other ways of expressing myself. I grew up with techno — real instruments were not an option — and I just slowly discovered my love for acoustic sounds during the last 10 years,” he says.

Ring,who is on his first trip to India,has already played in Mumbai and Kolkata and is amazed by the people’s interest and knowledge about his music and electronic dance music in general. “I am actually surprised. India is not known that much for its electronic music scene,but so far,I have been blown away by the momentum that my trip has gathered and the response that I have witnessed here. I am sure Delhi will give me an equally mind-blowing response,” says Ring,who also plans a motorbike ride through the country.

“I don’t know much about the music culture in India and feel that this is a good opportunity to talk to people in the clubs and learn a bit,” says Ring,who also composed a piece for the theatrical adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. “It will be a record soon,” he concludes.

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