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Kanpai Records follows up the amazing DJ Peas - Filter with this CD by a Californian producer. Does it continue that trend?

Apogee – Unconscious Ruckus (Kanpai Records)

When another Kanpai Records CD came across my desk, I jumped at the chance to listen to it immediately because of the genius of the first release of theirs that I heard, which was called DJ Peas – Filter. Apogee is a man named Jay Skinner, who hails from Northern California and he has been producing and writing music for over a decade and he is known well within the North Californian scene. He brings his decade plus experience to Apogee – Unconscious Ruckus, so we now jump into the review.

Unconscious Ruckus (Kanpai Records)

3.This Moment
4.Y Illumative
7.I’m Yours
8.Kddr Mov.2
9.Kddr Mov.3
10.Meaning of Life


This starts really mellow, with what sounds like an organ driving it. The mellow feeling is intensified by some electronic drum taps in the background and some additional instrumentation. There is a vocal that is used here and it is sung in a whispery type vocal and you feel that it is trying to get at your subconscious and jump right in. The song is well done but the vocal just does not grab me, nor does it remain neutral, it almost grates my nerves. The song certainly starts the album off in a unique direction but this vocal is just annoying.


This song definitely reminds me of something that I’ve heard before but I cannot place my finger on what exactly, it may come to me but who knows. This is more deep downtempo, coupled with some interesting drum sequences. The drums double and they are really much quicker than the first song, which is blatantly obvious. This track is very short but it maximizes its impact on the listener.

3.This moment

“This moment” immediately catches my interest, it starts really deep at the beginning with some funky drumline and then a guitar solo comes in. The track mold is set to chilled and this is perfect for stuff to listen to, when the sun comes up. Apogee’s tracks are not what you expect and that’s what Kanpai is trying to put forth to the masses here and that’s always a good thing. The guitar coupled with the drumline works wonders and then a male vocal sung in a low key comes in. It talks about how you don’t want this moment to end and I think he is talking about hanging with a girl on the beach, just before the sun comes up. The track fits the lyrics perfectly, which is getting rarer in today’s music industry because artists seem to use horrific vocals or horrific backing tunes. Music needs to go back to the early house days, to remember how vocals were done properly. A flute comes in about two and half minutes in and the song just continues instrumentally till the end, which is less than fifty seconds later.

4.Y Illumative

Here we start really deep with a sample and some filtered guitar and some earthly sound effects that really give it a deep sensation. The sample is weird and uses big words and it talks about how you need to illuminate the moment and then a well done percussion bassline joins in. The vocal doesn’t whet my appetite here but everything else is just far out. I always wonder why people use weird as heck vocal samples that make no sense but then I’ve come to realize, that’s the point, they want something that does not and that’s Apogee’s goal for this tune. During the breakdown, you get almost complete silence and then at some points, the sample is just used to great effect in this song, then the breakdown and the bassline come back in and you believe it has more of a melody attached. I’m not quite sure what’s going on but the song seems even better now


We are now halfway through the album and this song starts with a grinding beat and then goes completely deep and I believe it is more of a world music-electronica hybrid. There is some heavy duty drums and then a guitar riff and it sounds like a rock-edm hybrid, which is really new to me. The beats add effect to the heavy as heck guitar here and it gives you a unique feel in this song. It is certainly different.


The deep sensation continues, with a sample used in the background and then a slow beat joins in, with some flowery instrumentation. The vocal is similar to #4, it makes no sense and you get the impression that Apogee did it purposely. The song is really different like the others and it tries to be ambient at times, which does not rate highly in my book. The ideas are certainly different but it lacks that extra something that differentiates a normal track from a gem.

7.I’m Yours

We are nearing the home stretch here and this song uses some drums and some vocal that just does not do much for me. I think the vocal is done rather poorly and it reminds me of Aalacho – Electro, which electro was in a totally different league of bad vocals but I digress. The track is made to encompass the vocal but there is something about the vocal, that doesn’t work, I’m not sure why. I seem to think that this song was meant to be a ballad but it fails miserably. You can’t knock Apogee for at least trying but it is like A for effort but D for following through.

8.Kddr Mov.2

This is the longest song on the album here and the first half minute is guitar picks and then some percussion joins in and this is genius. The song is meant to take your mind on a journey and it does that very well and it works hard to get the bad taste of the previous song out of your mouth. The drum programming is complex as usual and the beat doubles in places. The track is excellently crafted and makes use of a wide variety of things, scratching, excellent drumline, nice riffs. I would describe it as forward thinking music for the home listener.

9.Kddr Mov.3

I believe this is part 3 of the previous work. We go into dark drum n bass here, the bassline is very quick and it reminds me of dieselboy at times. The album gives you what you don’t expect and this is proof. The track gets out of the dark rut, which disappoints me because I’m a big fan of dark dnb. The track doesn’t do much besides what I’ve already stated.

10.Meaning of Life

The final track on this album finishes with an almost ambient feel. I know Apogee is throwing in everything but the kitchen sink but I can’t even predict what’s coming next. It uses a weird sample behind what sounds like water rushing. Weird but to the point.

The album is well varied and forward thinking but it just fails to grab me completely and some of the vocals are not amazing. The album does give you a lot of variety and it is forward thinking. If you are a big of fan of unique CDs, then pick this one up.


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Kanpai Records

Trance (Uplifting)

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