The Apes on Tapes are a producer-duo from the City of Bologna in the North of Italy. Lagàr and Antani, as they call themselves, met in 2005 and immediately found their talents for atmosphere and melody (Antani) and straightforward beats (Lagàr) mixing up to something special. Did I mention we’re talking about dope instrumental Hip Hop? Drop your knees for the Apes.
- MP3 – Click to listen
- "Grand 5"
Fresh, Fresh, Superfresh! Their full length debut after an EP in early 2006 is brilliant from top to bottom. With Prefuse 73 and Dabrye as the main contemporary influences in the back, the Apes on Tapes add a good amount of Popappeal to their idea of Hip Hop. Nearly every song has a catchy melody, crisp beat or uncommon element to attend to. “Even If” for example has a warm 70’s sound due to the recycled Soul-sample.
In concert with cut-up vocals, J. Dilla has to be mentioned as an additional reference. The hit single and opening track is “Catkilla”. Carefully entangled guitars, a smooth-but-tight beats, everything’s just in place. “Grand 5” has a similar feel and makes your head nod with a melodious piano-loop instead of guitar licks. So good!
On the more abstract, minimal side, “Da Try Brute” and especially the way-out “Limone Nel West” left me stunning. At “Light Dry But Creamy” and “Sleep Soon, Wake Up Soon”, Lagàr and Antani fuse tricky IDM-style beats with smooth ambient textures and beautiful piano loops. Awesome! A first potent candidate for 2008’s best of-lists.