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when we first met apse, it was with debut album spirit', an album nine years in the making comprising dark instrumentals and meditating on spirituality. they return with a different line-up, with their horizons broadened and a new album, 'climb up'. this is the sound of a 'post post rock' (the term was often used to label apse and spirit) band reaching out to a new audience, and finding a new identity. in the fall of 2007, michael gundlach and founding member bobby relocated to the quiet shores of outer cape cod, massachusetts and began living in virtual isolation. together bobby and michael found multi-instrumentalist jed armour who joined the band and introduced them to drummer brandon collins, and along with bass player john mordecai, a prior contributing band member - the new apse line up was complete. 'climb up' was recorded entirely by the band in their homes. the bulk of the arrangements and mixing were authored by bobby jed and michael. drawing from a mixture of existing demos that were turned into working songs as well as full-band improvised live recordings that bobby cut up and formed into song structures, overdubbing effects and vocals on top of them - the band ultimately chose and honed in on a final cut of 12 tracks, culled from a larger body of work. the ever-changing obtuse creative strategies of bobby and michael, paired with the adept musical knowledge and performance abilities of jed and brandon - and the diverse inspirations of all members combined to create an album that bares a fantastic dialogue between imagination and songcraft. 'climb up' is wildly unique, versatile, and inarguably the bravest yet most accessible work by the band. the record is a major departure from the band's most notable predecessor, 'spirit' - which was completed 4 years prior. where spirit explored a dark world of reverberant guitars, ambient passages, and minimal, haunting vocals, 'climb up' proves a bold step out of that darkness. the intricacies of this new world are depicted as if staggering from the world of 'spirit' into a very different, more illuminated place. not to mention its packed with more grooves, a greater use of electronics, a range of instruments both modern and classical and - notably - a much
stronger emphasis on voices and melodies. 'climb up' is dense, innovative, cinematic. apse draw from a colourful palette of different genres, techniques, instruments and approaches - and with that have made what is likely to be one of the most curious, and probably largely unexpected albums of the year. listen, and be immersed.
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