The best apple is always a crisp and juicy one which is exactly how you can describe the new album from a band with the same name. Israeli post-funk nine-piece instrumental band The Apples simply light up the senses with latest album Fly On It, which is unleashed on August 6th. It is a collection of instrumental based tracks which twist and turn with relish whilst carrying a wicked glint in their eye to y thrill consistently.
The band and album brings sounds which are a hybrid fusion of jazz and funk with an enormous squeeze of multi flavoured essences veined with Middle Eastern influences. To be honest we do not have a great knowledge of this area of music but at times The Apples takes our thoughts and ears back to bands like Pigbag and Rip Rig and Panic whilst also bringing tints of the likes of De Staat, Les Negresses Vertes, and Mano Negra into view. The release is perpetually intriguing and exhilarating throughout to leave a permanent grin in the heart.
Released through Audio Montage, Fly On It was originally commissioned by Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios for Bowers & Wilkins’ Society of Sound and was recorded over two days in Wiltshire at legendary studios Big Room. The setting and resulting tracks saw The Apples able to bring their explosive live sound and feel into the recordings bringing an irresistible energy to the album. Since forming in 2002 the band has gathered increasing acclaim with their albums Attention! (2006), Buzzin’ About (2008), and Kings (2010), not to mention their singles, EP, and a critically acclaimed version of the Rage Against the Machine track Killing In The Name. The new release is set to draw an even greater response one feels, its invention and vibrant creativity it is hard to imagine many not falling for.
The album opens with the stomping funk sounds of Preserve. Tribal with feisty rhythms and mischievous horns, the track teases and excites the ear with flickering melodies and beckoning near wantonness. Excitable and intent on exploding in every corner of the senses the song ignites a heated infection to set the release off to a great start.
The following title track ruffles the air with a sinister flicking of its tongue seemingly inspired by the trade mark Rage Against The Machine sound before opening up into an enveloping melodic atmosphere. All the time though the track winds up the senses taking them through darkened features and offshoots within the overall breath of the track which glows like a full sunset. It is another stunning irrepressible piece of music which leads into the vast soundscape of Sixth Stream.
This track is a musical world of its own bringing a slow prowl lit by Eastern promise and glowing fires of melodic imagination. Its journey is a fully contained episode to inspire evolving imagery and thoughts, a cinematic experience with an eccentricity which warms every pore. Nothing is expected or predicted on the album but this song especially is a wonderful mystery which reveals its heart note by note yet still able to offer more with each visit to its mesmeric terrain.
The brooding and pulsating funk soaked Thang and the fractious Rhinocerize keep things fully absorbing whilst the provocatively attitude dripping Looking For Trouble with its carefree belligerence, sets the heart racing with even more enthusiasm. It is the closing duo of Powder and Do The Car Horn which add extra heightened highlights to the release. The first is a swaggering weave of soulful beauty, the bass and keys prompting full engagement whilst the horns once more help build an atmosphere to fire up the passions. The second of the two is the clear favourite from the album here, the busy, frantic, and at times niggling drive of the song overwhelmingly contagious. As the title suggests it is an industrious brew of heated mayhem and unrelenting energy brought with a wonderful cartoon/psychotic ambience to leave the most lingering pleasure on the album.
Fly On It is just wonderful and without doubt The Apples has created one of the great soundtracks for the summer if not the year.
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