The first, and in my opinion, strongest track of the EP, ‘Modern Criminal,’ starts off with peaceful and desolate pads, offset with a light voice whispering into your ear, a shuddering pause and a wall of sound hitting you with indubitable force. Synths manifest out of the nefarious rumble of sub bass and encircle you, assailing the listener with sharp hisses and lugubrious growls. All the while the snare resounds with the quality of a tenuous rimshot, blending astoundingly well with the short bursts of harmonious piano, forming a juxtaposition of harmony and disharmony. The drone guitar may as well be my favourite aspect of the track, injecting a shoegaze aspect to the arrangement, reminiscent to drone legends like ‘OM,’ which is what makes Apatic stand out from the generic stock of producers. The track takes an atmospheric pause, again filled with the echoes of distant voices, reverberating amidst the bleak surroundings. The guitar strums once more and the listener is led into the fray, the bass combining with the trance inducing notes, plunging you into a rhythmic head nod, eyes wide shut, swaying to the mantra of ‘Modern Criminal.’
2) ‘Secret Doctrine’
Drawing influence from its title, the track begins with a clandestine vibe, far eastern synths puncturing a mystical cloud of pads, while dissonant frequencies emanate from the background, harkening an insurgence of tempestuous bass, harassing the listener in consecutive blasts. What is astounding about this track is the sheer amount of small musical parts occurring at the same time, punctuated by Apatic’s crisp production, from the panning hi hat pattern, to the caustic pads which sound after every bar, almost absorbing the air around you, to the ritualistic death knell, and a myriad of other intricacies which slowly reveal themselves. This automatically enriches the track with vast replay value and imparts more meaning to it, instead of being loud for the sake of being loud and solely appeasing live audiences.
3) Apatic and Imaginary Friend – ‘Cold Facts’
When you have two musical colossi such as Apatic and Imaginary Friend collaborating together, you automatically know that the end result will be sublime, visceral, and nebulous, as is the case with ‘Cold Facts.’ The track starts off with a lonesome synth track, tinged with a hint of Vangeli-esque scifi, progressing into a subtle concatenation of cavernous growls and chest rattling sub. The fact that the snare pattern is sparse enables the arrangement to breathe, highlighting the mechanical pads screeching in the background. When the snare snaps, it is well placed, adding to the overall obscure groove of the track. There is a short pause and the moody vibe encroaches once again, which highlights the sombre attitude of the track. With greater force, the bass crashes again, shambling into the mind of the listener in the manner of a behemothian synthetic automaton, while the pads seem to whisper cries of admonishment in this destitute milieu.
4) Imaginary Friend and UNCO – Bad Dreams Factory (Apatic Remix)
Imaginary Friend & UNCO joined forces to push out a monster in the form of ‘Bad Dreams Factory,’ which is given an even grittier and darker edge thanks to Apatic’s magic touch. A peaceful aura surrounds you in the intro, brought by the harmonies of gliding pads, settling on top of the track like a warm blanket. Soon, however, this blanket is torn away, and you are faced with the ‘cold facts,’ and the dread of this ‘Bad Dreams Factory.’ Steady blasts of squelching bass impact the listener with caustic force, while a mysteriously tranquil piano reverberates behind the chaos, creating a highly enjoyable sonic juxtaposition. One of my favourite aspects of this track is the choir voice which seems to be increasing in volume as the track progresses, a very artistic touch, which gives ‘Bad Dreams Factory’ an added depth or dimension, as well as shedding light to the effort and thought employed behind creating the track.