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

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Myriad - Natural Elements – Myriad is a power trio who hail from Whitestone, New York. Fronted by vocalist and guitarist Fred Moehring, the trio captures a general feel much like Rush’s A Farewell to Kings era due in a large...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues