Photo Anne Valeur
Photo Anne Valeur

Today, I’m delighted to welcome guest blogger and friend, Eddie Sweetman, to the site.  Eddie is one of my closest musical partners in crime, who I think you’ll agree, has a rather a flair for pretty hip music reviews!  Here he has penned his insightful and well informed thoughts on Apothek‘s ‘Waiting for the Thunder’, along with its accompanying visual.

Eddie is an English/German/Irish hybrid lover of music since 1975.  He adores all things electronic/bleak/dystopian and glacial from Joy Division to John Grant via Depeche Mode.  He also has a crackingly good sense of humour!

Apothek: ‘Waiting for the Thunder’

I came to this track via a very knowledgeable friend who asked me to listen and give my thoughts.  To be honest, I came with preconceived assumptions, which to Apothek’s credit, have been ripped apart at the seams.  Having no knowledge of the band at all, I did the usual YouTube, Wiki, Google searches, all of which opened my eyes and ears to this wonderfully evocative track.

I had no idea that the video was “live”, as is the track, and I much prefer this version to the original mix.  To these ears, the original mix, whilst interesting and well produced, didn’t really stand out.  I could hear Mirrors and even White Lies in the crescendo at about 3/4 the way through.  To me, it’s too uplifting, and doesn’t fit the lyrical nature of the track.  However, the live version elevates the song to above any of its peers.

Bleak and stark, it demands repeated listening to pick out the subtleties within the arrangement.  At 1.20 the sequencer just merges within the melody, at 2.02 the double piano chord (I think!) descends with an impending sense of doom.  There’s a sense of fragility underpinning the stark electronics, which is mesmerising.  It reminds me of ‘No Harm’ by Editors, another track stripped back and initially reliant on minimal electronic arrangement.  It is also held together by a beautiful vocal delivery, as is this.  In Apothek’s case, the vocal captivates and isolates the listener and any song that has the line “Play your lousy game and kill me” needs to be heard and understood.

The video, produced by Nils Martin Larsen, was shot in an abandoned warehouse in Norway, which apparently, was the scene of many 90s raves.  The juxtaposition between that and the empty room “imprisoning” the band heightens the desolation of the subject matter and drags your attention back to the simplicity of the song.

I came to Apothek a bit meh … I left a fan.

 ‘Waiting For The Thunder’ is out now – taken from Apothek’s forthcoming debut LP, released 2016 via Propeller Recordings. 

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