Depending on who you are and how old you are, finding out that a music group is named Ape On The Roof can strike up a funny chord or two. Such a name can also immediately diminish one’s ability to take the group’s offerings seriously. Personally, I’ve become so desensitized to silly names (Cat Rapes Dog, Lesbian Dopeheads On Mopeds, The Mr. T Experience, Bruce Springsteen, the list is endless) that Ape On The Roof sounds perfectly normal for me, and the first thought that enters my head is a scene right out of some low-budget interpretation of Poe’s Murders In The Rue Morgue, with a hefty guy waltzing about the rooftops of Paris, clad in a tattered old moth-eaten gorilla suit (à la George Barrows).
Actually, that might make for a good scene in a music video for Ape On The Roof’s debut album, Ape-O-Lution (Abandon All Logic), a nicely done independent venture into the world of dance/trance music from Indonesian-based producer Aghi Narottama and Seattle-based vocalist Utari Syaukat.
Ape-O-Lution (Abandon All Logic) contains a variety of musical stylings ranging from electronica and dance to trance and (dare I mention it) disco. I myself am partial to the more “mellow” tracks such as “Isn‘t My Day” and “Raw.” The synthetic orchestra-driven “Drown With A Frown” (an inspired highlight that the album's label, Minty Fresh, has given us permission to distribute) come highly recommended.
Guest artists abound on this album, with numerous contributions coming from other indie musicians (most of whom I have never heard of) such as DJ Oreo, Indra 7, Tika, Henry Foundation, Fe, and the Lens Ter Wee, whose lounge singer vocal qualities are perhaps the album’s weakest link, but never truly take away any of its charm.
In a nutshell, Ape On The Roof’s Ape-O-Lution (Abandon All Logic) has some truly dynamic moments going for it — and there are a few tracks on this album that successfully and completely managed to whisk me away from my troubles in the every day world, and is an ideal album for driving through some misty mountain roads.