Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a sucker instrumental albums. It’s been a little over two years since Apollo Brown released Make Do, and for those following closely, he had one prior to that called Skilled Trade. He has worked up quite the resume since his career began, making music with everyone from Danny Brown to Chief. To his credit, he won the 2009 Detroit Red Bull Big Tune Championship and ended up competing in the national finals. Apollo even won the praise of DJ Premier when The Left’s Gas Mask was selected as one of his (Primo) top 25 albums of 2010.
Apollo’s newest release drops on March 1. Clouds is a collection of beats (28 to be be exact) that clocks in at just under 53 minutes, and it’s the perfect soundtrack to bring spring in. Take one listen to “Shoot The Heart” and you will be amazed at how much is truly going on behind the drum scene. Most notably, behind the claps and synth, Brown makes good use of a line from The Pharcyde’s “Passin’ Me By.” The sample gloves into his own instrumental flawlessly.
Listen to “The 11th Hour” and you’ll immediately think of Dilla. On “Tao Te Ching,” the first record crackles, making way for what sounds like a tambourine, eventually leading into a horn section, all under a dark drum pattern — it’s beautiful. “Heart of Glass” immediately makes me think of “old-school” Apollo Brown, with its introduction, horn, and drum use.
To his own respect, Brown has his own signature style with these beats, and there is a sound for everyone on this album.