When accomplished electronic music producers speak of making proper songs instead of tracks -- most ominously, there's the one-two punch of "Dance music bores me now" and "I'm getting a band together" -- it's usually a good time to tune out. While Sascha Ring is guilty of all three and has backed it up with The Devil's Walk, an album completely divorced from the dancefloor and glitch/IDM, the shift has been gradual, not abrupt, and he happens to be composing some of the most evocative, finely detailed music of his decade-long career. No need to think back to the most organic song on 2007's Walls, the sapless and malformed "Over and Over," and prepare for more of the same; these songs, sometimes built on little more than strings, soft keyboard tones, and supple textures, are sturdy and fully developed. All the vocalists fall into place with solemn yet expressive performances, enhancing productions that straddle heartache and ecstasy. It's the type of album that can be enjoyed on the surface, as pleasant background listening, or as a deeply immersive experience. Anyone who enjoys it should seek the output of Ring collaborator Joshua Eustis' Telefon Tel Aviv, especially 2009's Immolate Yourself. ~ Andy Kellman
Spin (p.73) - "THE DEVIL'S WALK creates a compelling mix of programming virtuosity, songcraft, and plaintive vocals, with spastic blips fluttering amid languid string washes..."