There are few albums this year I’ve been more excited for than Apashe’s sophomore album, Renaissance. The Belgian producer has been combining classical and electronic elements for years now, first truly showcased on his Requiem EP in 2018. But now, he’s expanded it to a fully fleshed out album that bleeds originality and creativity.
Following an incredible series of singles including “Distance” and “Uebok,” the latter being one of the most fun tracks I’ve heard ever, the album presents a cohesive and complete vision that is unparalleled. Utilizing a stellar cast of featured artists from Slumberjack to Tech N9ne, Wifisfuneral, Wasiu, & Russian hip hop artist Instasamka, as well as a Prague-based 69-piece orchestra that played Renaissance in its entirety to bring the composition to the next level, Apashe proves he’s one of the most forward-thinking producers of our time.
Beyond just the production itself or the songwriting, the introduction of classical elements is truly what sets this album apart from anything else being released right now. Others have used those elements in their releases, sure, but never to this scale or with this degree of precision and intensity. Take one of the heavier tracks on the album, “Good News,” for instance. Alongside thunderous kicks and an ominous melody, a delightful piano arpeggio breaks the mold and introduces a degree of levity and elegance that you’d think would undermine the over-the-top production, but in fact lifts it up. The drop then masterfully fuses these two styles into an anthem of incredible proportions.
“Classical music is so pure and electronic music is so raw, I have always loved to fuse them together. For this album I tried to do what has barely been done before in the electronic music scene: Compose with a symphonic orchestra, extract its epicness and delicacy, then blend it with something big and rough” – Apashe
Renaissance shines brightest when it fuses seemingly opposite styles, as in the cases of “Insane” with Tech N9ne and “Work” with Vo Williams or “Uebok Gotta Run” with Instasamka — songs that have no right sounding as well-polished or incredible as they do, and yet pull off the fusion flawlessly.
The biggest negative of the album is, unfortunately, the fact that we won’t be able to see it performed live anytime soon. Still, that shouldn’t keep anyone from playing this as loud as they can and vibing out in private.
Check out Renaissance, the new album out from Apashe on Kannibalen Records, below.
Photo Credit: Adrian Villagomez