Exposé Online banner

Apogee — The Border of Awareness
(Musea FGBG 4142.AR, 1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-11-01

The Border of Awareness Cover art

Arne Schäfer, aka Apogee, is a German multi-instrumentalist/composer and also-member of the group Versus X, who recorded the material on this, his debut album, over a six year period beginning in 1989. No other credits are given, so it may be assumed that Schäfer is responsible for all the sounds on the album, through overdubs, MIDI, and other studio magic. Featured instruments include keyboards, organ, sampled horns and reeds, bass, acoustic and electric guitars, and programmed (well programmed, I might add) drums. Oh yes, and vocals. All of the six tracks, which are mostly in the ten-plus minute range, feature good English lyrics, Schäfer’s voice sounding a bit like a Greg Lake with a slight German accent. The compositions move between gentle acoustic based passages and energetic power crescendos, changing frequently, stopping at all points in between. The sound is varied, from symphonic with gothic touches to a more stripped-down keyboard based sound, into areas of folk. The acoustic guitar is frequently left mixed into the louder passages, making for a nice effect. What makes Apogee successful while so many other projects of this type are failures (Golgotha's Unmaker of Worlds and Coenobite's My Habit come to mind) is that Schäfer seems to have a good grip on his compositions and an ability to hold his own excesses in check. While it's clear that a full band with real drums would have given the sound a bit more life (it does have that 'demo' feel in parts) and made this a much better album for it, he's done an admirable job nonetheless. While this is by no means a classic, it's a strong start from an artist we'll hopefully be hearing a lot more from in the future.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 8, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Arne Schäfer (Apogee)

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Travis Larson Band - Rate of Change - Live – This concert video commemorates The Travis Larson Band’s tenth anniversary. With four studio albums and a ton of touring under their belts they’ve made a name for themselves as purveyors of...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues