Album review: Apostille, Powerless


Chloe Mayne checks out the new LP from Glasgow’s DIY electro magician, which hits the shelves later this month. Here’s the lowdown on it:

Apostille is the solo stepping-out of musician and DIY protagonist Michael Kasparis, with Powerless forming his first official album. Stepping behind the monochrome curtains of the cover, my initial point of reference is that it’s a little Soft Moon-esque, but with a distinctly more eighties attack. It’s robust and electrifying, simultaneously fierce and fragile. It isn’t exactly accessible, but it rides this odd parallel with so much that is. It skirts around the edges, defiantly, banging on the windows of the familiar.

The deep-water bass of second track ‘The Collector’ is immediately grabbing, a span of long fingers worming into the chest and bringing the forehead to a lunge and release. It drives in, circling and slightly manic, demanding multiple listens as it develops and unfolds. Its deceiving complexity is a real treasure, and once I hit repeat I find it difficult to tear myself away and continue onwards. My effort is, however, richly rewarded. ‘Control’ is a frenetic descent into glorious confusion, a video console turned up to high volume and tossed into the bathtub, strobe lights beating on its chest as it begins to spark off and die.

‘Worry’ forms the perfect interlude, splitting the album down the centre with an eerie wash of undefined ebb. It feels like we’ve been ushered by the shoulders into a church with all of the gothic garnishes, dark capes billowing and concealing downcast faces. There’s a ritual unfolding at the altar and it’s mesmerising to watch, but foreign and difficult to understand.

‘Deserter’ kicks right back in after that slow breath, with ‘Good Man’ really drilling between the temples. The synth and bass stride so heavily that they sweat, rising and falling with a giant’s laboured breath. ‘Slurry’ is the amped-up closer, ornamented by slightly curious bongos and frustrated howls. It expands and grows, filling with static energy that eventually bursts, falling to the comparatively quiet but exalted sermon of an anonymous preacher.

Powerless is a genuinely exciting and refreshing creation. Crystallised and ever-changing, it morphs and glints in the light like a precious stone. Broody synth-punk at its finest.

Powerless will be available on April 27 via Night School Records. Apostille will also be touring to celebrate the record’s release:

April 9th – Power Lunches, LONDON with Happy Meals and Design A Wave
April 10th – Islington Mill, MANCHESTER. Comfortable On A Tightrope party with Happy Meals
April 11th – The Flying Duck, GLASGOW. End of tour party with Happy Meals. 11pm Doors.
April 15th – Nice n Sleazy, GLASGOW with Richard Youngs, Death Shanties, SealionWoman
May 21st – The Flying Duck, GLASGOW with LCDD
June 13th – Supersonic Festival, BIRMINGHAM

Chloe Mayne


Words by Chloe Mayne.