Far from being in freefall, Skydive is a tight, masterfully produced electronic record that runs the gamut from chillwave to disco funk. But it nearly didn’t turn out that way.
Last month, Joel Jasper—the producer behind Apollo—had his laptop stolen out of his apartment when he was just metres away in his bedroom. All the project files and stems for the tracks were lost, but, by chance, Jasper had uploaded the nearly finished songs onto his private SoundCloud account a few days prior. After a Kickstarter campaign to replace the laptop raised $1,500 in a week, his debut album was finally released.
Beginning his career as Kalibo—an identity that has seen Jasper open for the likes of Hot Chip, Bondax, and Kungs—the musician has left fingerprints of his first project all over the record. That’s by no means a bad thing. While a Kalibo track might include a chilled house beat and a female R&B vocal feature, Apollo sees Jasper embracing a funkier, Kaytranada-esque vibe but chopping up similar vocal samples.
Case in point: the album’s second number, standout “Arrival”. Fuelled by a strong four-on-the-floor kick drum and a pumping ’80s synth riff, the disco-stomper boasts a growling bass line and a breakdown that a late-career Michael Jackson would be proud of. “Disco Paradise”, too, reveals warm synth pads and a groovy bass riff, complemented by a mix of vocal parts—a clear development in Jasper’s production technique.
Dipping into the territory of electropop-focused Flume, neo-soul outfit the Internet, and local producer Pomo, Apollo has opened up a new avenue for Jasper—one that, given the relevance of his new sound, will carry him far.
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