Sunday, 28 October 2012

Music from the past, music for the future: Silver Apples live at The Lexington

Silver Apples
The Lexington
18 September

The music of Silver Apples is not so much timeless as it is out of time; an ex nihilo miracle that appeared almost a decade before it could be comprehended. Metronomic drums place the songs somewhere in the machine age, but after that it's anyone's guess. Violent synthesised disturbances recall the minimal electronic underground of the early 80s, and a discordant no wave vocal hovers uncomfortably on the wrong notes, but it's the bubbling oil lamp projections on the back wall that provide the clue to this apple's provenance.

Simeon, the sole remaining member of the group, is 76 years old – and he's here not only to play songs from the band's 1968 debut, but also newer compositions that suggest his idea of a good night out is 14 hours in the darkest corner of Berghain. He cracks wise when his equipment fucks up before realising he's forgotten to turn up the volume, but otherwise he too is a wonder from outside of time playing macabre nursery rhymes from the not-quite-future.

'Oscillations' still sounds off its actual box and evocative of those vintage drugs us young'uns shall never imbibe – ludes, bennies, purple hearts – and for us, he's even gone and put a donk on it.

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