Apollo Brown - Clouds

01 February, 2012

By Nixxie


It's easy to see why someone like Apollo Brown would appeal to me. His productions are faultless both in terms of recording quality and musical creativity. If you absolutely had to label this music, it would have to fall under the umbrella of instrumental hip hop. Yet what this producer conjures on Clouds in many ways goes well beyond, venturing into pastures new.


This is the kind of record that makes those who can, rap and those who can't, wish they could. The music is multi-dimensional and inspiring. You can go from feeling introspective and pensive on tracks like "Shadows of Grief" and "Time Passed Autumn" to feeling majestically transported on tracks like "Choices" and "Tao Te Ching", which move you in a different direction, the brass on the latter track giving it what I'd describe as "I've got stuff to do, but I'll do it in my own time" vibe.


My personal favourites include "Bridge Through Time", which has a hook so large there's just no getting away, "Never In A Million Years" which makes me feel expansive, forward looking and optimistic and "Heirloom", the intro for which beautifully sets the tone for the ensuing DJ Shadowesque beat.


"Balance" is also another great tune, much more soothing this time and following in the same vein is"Shoot The Heart", where Apollo uses a great Pharcyde sample to great effect.


Overall Apollo Brown displays amazing versatility in his selections and some extremely dexterous mastery of the beat production process. Based in Detroit, the 30 year old Apollo Brown has been producing music since 1996. I for one sincerely hope he continues on this path and puts his considerable talents to further creative use, especially seen as we live, in his own words, "in an industry where radio was setting a formulaic pattern for mainstream music".




Primary Genre: Hip Hop

Subgenre: Instrumental

Release Date: 1 March 2011

Label: Mello Group

Influences: Gang Starr, Mobb Deep, Journey, The Carpenters

Like This And You'll Probably Also Like: DJ Shadow, Clams Casino

Album Highlights:  Never In A Million Years, Heirloom, Bridge Through Time










"I've been listening to this for a whole year now and I still can't get enough, awesome 8/10"


Apollo Brown 

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Raised in England, educated by France, originally from Greece. 
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