Music Review | posted 05.05.2014
Apollo Brown
»Thirty Eight«
Mello Music Group, 2014
Text Fionn Birr , Translation Julia Frohn
Your Rating:
7.0
User (3)
8.3
Editorial
Cover Apollo Brown - »Thirty Eight«

You really can’t accuse Apollo Brown of lacking a certain kind of working morale. Being the musical mastermind behind the latest records of O.C. , Guilty Simpson or Ghostface Killah, the rapper/producer/business-student with the highest possible street-cred has managed to place at least three highlights of indie-rap under your Ortofon Concorde in the last two years. »Thirty Eight«, Apollo Brown’s first instrumental record since »Clouds« of 2011 proves that the classical universal formula of hip hop (»sample + bass + drumbreak = beat«), which Nelson George once classified as »rhythm kidnapping«, still works just fine. However, the former winner of Red Bull Big Tune Championships, the producer-battle of a certain beverage company, does not content himself with giving us exquisite impressions of his latest works. Instead, he wants to tell a story on »Thirty Eight«. And while blaxploitation-soundtracks might be rather exhausted sources of inspiration amongst crate-diggers, the motive of the worn-out villain remains to be Apollo Brown’s modus operandi. Oppressive blues-bap-licks like »Black Suits« or epic film-score-samples (No Swongoons!) like »Weight In Gold« manage to make the thoughts and feelings of all dime-novel-gangsters compatible to today’s home-hoodlums and rhythm-kidnappers. There, where other producers have to try real hard to come up with a leitmotif by combining snippets of films and rap-quotes, this one-hour boom-bap-prey distinguishes itself solely through its arrangements: Atmospheric, stringent, high-quality. »Thirty Eight« proves once more that the wheel doesn’t need to be re-invented over and over – it only takes a bit of oil and polish to make it run smoothly again.

You can find »Thirty Eight« by Apollo Brown at hhv.de on LP+7inch, CD+5inch and Tape
Your Comment
Related Articles
Music Review | posted 25.03.2011
Apollo Brown
Clouds
Apollo Browns most recent oeuvre holds the tradition of old Hip-Hop beat tapes.
Music Review | posted 18.10.2011
Hassaan Mackey & Apollo Brown
Daily Bread
Apollo Brown is teaming up with the rapper Hassaan Mackey. Those in favor of a souly kind of Hip Hop will be well entertained.
Music Review | posted 03.04.2012
Apollo Brown & O.C.
Trophies
On their first collaboration, Apollo Brown and O.C. deliver a quality team-play.
Music Review | posted 12.11.2012
Apollo Brown & Guilty Simpson
Dice Game
The Brown/Simpson-axis harmonizes with traditional sample-aesthetics and the classic MPC-arrangements in the style of 1993’s RZA-school.
Music Review | posted 22.05.2013
Ugly Heroes
Ugly Heroes
No other than Apollo Brown is hiding behind the alias Ugly Heroes, providing Red Pill and Verbal Kent with some of his best beats.
Music Review | posted 09.10.2014
Apollo Brown & Ras Kass
Blasphemy
On »Blasphemy«, Apollo Brown proves together with Ras Kass that a failing rap star’s ultimate hideaway lies within the surroundings of soul-samples.
Music News | posted 15.07.2021
Raheem Devaughn & Apollo Brown
Exclusive Edition: »Lovesick«
On »Lovesick« soul singer Raheem Devaughn and beatmaker Apollo Brown collaborate for the first time. Exclusively there will be a limited coloured vinyl edition on HHV Records.
Music Review
MKS
Musical Keyboard System
MKS, »Musical Keyboard System«, was the name of the short-lived project of Frenchman Nicolas Aubard. Four tracks from 1989 have now been reissued.
Music Review
Various Artists
And Felt Like…
The compilation »And Felt Like…« is another highlight in the label history of Knekelhuis.
Music Review
The Same
Sync Or Swim
The apparently so precisely measured 1980s must nevertheless be supplemented with the component »Sync Or Swim« by The Same from 1981.
Music Review
Mário Rui Silva
Stories From Another Time 1982-1988
»Stories From Another Time 1982-1988« bundles songs with brittle nonchalance by Angolan-born guitarist Mário Rui Silva.
Music Review
Sylvia
Sweet Stuff
Sylvia Robinson not only kicked hip-hop into high gear, she also made music of her own. Her album »Sweet Stuff« from 1975 has now been reissued.
Music Review
µ-Ziq
Scurlage
Some things are new on »Scurlage«, the first album by Mike Paradinas aka µ-Ziq in eight years.
Music Review
soFa, Houschyar & Okay Temiz
Şelale
A Belgian, a German and a Turk meet… what starts like a bad joke is actually just good music.
Music Review
Jim Jones & Harry Fraud
The Fraud Department
Splendidly unaffectedly produced and unexpectedly socio-political: »The Fraud Department« by Jim Jones & Harry Fraud is a real surprise.
Music Review
Sandro Brugnolini
Utopia
Great cinema, even without film: Sonor Music Editions presents a new edition of »Utopia« by Italian composer Sandro Brugnolini from 1972.
Music Review
Patrice Rushen
Straight from the Heart
More than »Men In Black,«: Patrice Rushen defined R&B as we know it today on 1982’s »Straight From The Heart«.
Music Review
Darkside
Spiral
“Spiral,” the second album from Nicholas Jaar’s and Dave Harrington’s Darkside project, massages the soul where other music can’t even reach anymore.
Music Review
Various Artists
UK Electronics 1988-1994
Pretty cool tracks here: The compilation »UK Electronics 1988-1994« almost the best of the rarest of the electronic underground scene together.
Music Review
Damon Locks & Black Monument Ensemble
Now (Forever Momentary Space)
Damon Locks has once again gathered the loose Black Monument ensemble around him and made another, yes political, statement with »Now (Forever Momentary Space)«.
Music Review
Somachrome
Electro Romantica
Crank down the side windows: »Electro Romantica« by Somachrome serves up the Neapolitan breeze of sea air it needs this summer.
Music Review
Various Artists
Naya Beat Vol.1
Turbotito and Ragz have compiled tracks from Southeast Asia for »Naya Beat Vol.1«. There are plenty of highlights on it.
Music Review
LNS & DJ Sotofett
Sputters
On »Sputters« LNS and DJ Sotofett bow down to their idols and transfer their sounds likewise into the present.
Music Review
Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek
Dost 1
Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek publish the first issue of a two-part series: »Dost 1« jumps delightfully right into the present.
Music Review
Faye Webster
I Know I'm Funny Haha
There’s no star in the making here, it’ s already ready to go: Faye Webster has released her fourth album »I Know I’m Funny Haha« on Secretly Canadian.
Music Review
Eli Keszler
Icons
On »Icons« even Jungle-like rhythms can be heard, but Eli Keszler remains the electroacoustician among the drummers: a disassembler, a reassembler at his best.
Music Review
Amaro Freitas
Sankofa
With his third album »Sankofa«, the young Brazilian pianist Amaro Freitas has probably finally succeeded in creating a classic.
Music Review
Miša Blam
Miša Blam I Oni Koji Vole Funky
With »Miša Blam I Oni Koji Vole Funky«, the Discom label continues on its path of releasing “unknown music from the former Yugoslavia”.
Music Review
Flamingo Pier
Flamingo Pier LP
Time for good vibes: the New Zealand three-piece Flamingo Pier releases their debut album on Soundway.
Music Review
Loveshadow
Loveshadow
Released on Music From Memory, the debut from California duo Loveshadow is an album for making love on the beach.
Music Review
Loscil
Clara
Like looking up at the starry night sky: Canadian musician Loscil has released a new album, »Clara,« on Kranky.
Music Review
Mind Maintenance
Mind Maintenance
Joshua Abrams and Chad Taylor take gimbri and mbira in hand and practice serenity under the name Mind Maintenance.
Music Review
Resilient Vessels
Live At The Cell
Four musicians got together last year in New York to record a brilliant jazz album under the name Resilient Vessels, »Live At The Cell«.
Music Review
Hailu Mergia & The Walias Band
Tezeta
»Tezeta,« Hailu Mergia’s first album originally released on cassette only in 1975, has now been reissued via Awesome Tapes From Africa.
Music Review
Ron Everett
The Glitter Of The City
»The Glitter Of The City« by Ron Everett is a gem of late avant-garde jazz and was completely overlooked in its time. Jazzman has now brought it back.
Music Review
Guilherme Lamounier
Guilherme Lamounier (1973)
Guilherme Lamounier’s second album, a masterpiece of Brazilian psychedelic folk, has been reissued on Mad About.
Music Review
Skee Mask
Pool
In the diffuse genre mash between IDM, techno and dub, nobody sounds like Skee Mask. His new album “Pool” underlines his exceptional position.
Music Review
Renata Lú
Renata Lú
Renata Lú is one of Brazil’s unknown voices. Her self-titled debut from 1971 has now been reissued on Mad About.
Music Review
Pan Daijing
Jade
Short meditations on agony: Pan Daijing from Shanghai presents her second album with »Jade«.
Music Review
José Mauro
A Viagem Das Horas
José Mauro is alive! Nobody knew that when his debut album was reissued. Now follows the reissue of »A Viagem Das Horas« on Far Out.
Music Review
Various Artists
Extra Muros: Italy
For the collaboration compilation »Extra Muros: Italy« Flee Project brought together five musicians – Benoit B Dena, Dona, Eva Geist and Jolly Mare – in Puglia, Italy.
Music Review
Bruxas
Muscle Memory
Jacco Gardner and Nic Mauskovic are Bruxas, »Muscle Memory« is the debut of the psych-disco project and anyway the record of the summer.
Music Review
Sandra
Vale Tudo
Brazilian boogie funk remains disarming and Sandra Sa’s 1983 album »Vale Tudo« one of its masterpieces. Mr Bongo have reissued it.
Music Review
Drab Majesty
Unknown To The I
»Unknown to the I« offers the ideal introduction to the universe of the duo Drab Majesty: dreamy New Wave in three tracks.
Music Review
Fly Pan Am
Frontera
»Frontera« by Fly Pan Am has a predictable structure from a dramaturgical point of view, and yet it is the best album ever by the Constellation band.
Music Review
Various Artists
GOST: A Spiritual Exploration Into Greek Soundtracks (1975-1989)
The compilation »GOST« released on Into The Light gathers wondrous film music from Greece.
Music Review
Sun Ra
Lanquidity
Available as a comprehensive reissue, »Lanquidity« could be Sun Ra’s best LP had he not laid down so many other masterpieces.
Music Review
Roland P. Young
Hearsay I-Land
In the mid-1980s, jazz musician Roland P. Young adopted a new identity as a new wave crooner. »Hearsay I-Land« collects his releases from this period.