I’ll say up front I’m a mystery writer, not a music reviewer. But I have ears and a keyboard. So, I’m going for it, even if it’s the equivalent of a Will It Blend review. That said, here you have it…
Most people use the turn of the new year to start fresh. I have a lot of chances for do-overs, personally. My birthday is at the beginning of the year, so whatever transgressions happen on New Year’s Eve get an automatic clean slate two days later. I have the Chinese lunar new year about a month later. Why not May Day for rebirth and fertility? And heck, Rosh Hashanah in the fall.
The point is, these are pretty much arbitrary dates. I claim them as my own, but you really don’t need to wait for anything official to claim yours. Clean slate. Tabula rasa. Square one.
And when you listen to tracks from hybrid rapper and Austinite, Apek (a.k.a. Kenneth Fillmore), that’s where you’ll find yourself: at a beginning, at a new start, which is a great thing for a writer.
Signum — This track takes you on a mythical journey. Monk-like chanting. Pharaohs and pyramids. Pandora’s Box. The scratch and pop of old vinyl. Active, forward-moving driving beats. “Shifts happen inside of me.” This track is the palate-cleanser. It’ll help you gather seeds for stories as images appear and disappear with the flurry of ideas. (Rated E, explicit.)
Clave Diggerz — A clave is a rhythmic pattern used in Afro-Cuban music, but I think the play here is on grave diggers. Who is the “true Kenneth” who isn’t afraid to use his name “rather than the slave name other rappers have given me”? What’s this all about? It’s about self-creation. Defining yourself as you want and not pushing yourself into a shape that others try to make for you. (Rated E, explicit.)
Cinematic — Starting with a splash of movie sound effects, this track forges ahead with a heavy, driving beat. The lyrics, as with the other tracks, are rich and fertile. “I’m famine. I’m coming for this mental feast. Speech infected with the words defined venomously…” Powerful, powerful poetry here. (Rated E, explicit.)
Apek also offers some instrumentals, if you’re looking for non-verbal tracks, which are sometimes easier to write with as background inspiration. Check out Resurrection, Ancient Meditation, or Memories In Digital, all on the mellow side, but still profound.