The Elevation Clause is a strong release that holds appeal for a number of reasons. The artist Apex offers up a fairly classic and confident rap-flow, everything else, however, veers off in its own unique direction. The music for one offers the simple hypnotic rhythm of hip hop, but is crafted with elements more closely connected to rock and electronica. The ideas too, these in particular – there’s a lot to think about that isn’t often presented in modern lyricism. 71. kicks things off and introduces all of the above in a spacious and entrancing way. The vibe is fairly mellow, but immediately interesting for the musicality and the content. Apexisback furthers this distinctly and raises the intensity a little for a more manic and characterful stream of thoughts.
In terms of progression, the EP moves along in a manner that continues to intensify at every step. Culture Pt.1 sees the mellow vibes fall away – the ideas get serious, the tone gets passionate and heavy, the music feels similar yet more haunting here. This meeting of the artist’s easy to listen to voice, impressive flow, and the dreamlike, rather mesmerising musicianship, makes for something that genuinely provokes thought. On top of this of course are these snippets of Terence McKenna – someone who’s ideas are also considered to be a few steps ahead of the social norm. All of this works perfectly, you settle into the vibe of the exploration quickly. It’s refreshing, but not at the cost of clear skill. The music has a minimalist feel that really lets you appreciate how flawless the vocal performance is throughout.
Pharaoh is a personal highlight, it draws elements form all that came before, but there’s something about the instrumentation here, the movement, the space, and indeed the pace of the vocal line. You’re connected to the artist and the considerate writing by now, so the music surrounds you and feels mighty and reliable in the way that any go-to playlist for thoughtfulness or mind-opening escapism should be.
Culture Pt.2 follows and intensifies the mood yet again. There are sound-bites here that really add detail and colour to the music. In addition, the vocal is split up into various sections, so from a structural perspective your attention is maintained at all times. It’s a brilliant set-up and another definite highlight – a touch of optimism seeks to inspire, but it’s not without that essential realism and honesty.
94. brings things to a close with a notably impressive and slightly nostalgic rap flow. The hypnotic qualities collide here, double vocals add to the rhythm and colour of the performance, the music has the delicate weight of dark trip-hop or even a late night jazz-cafe vibe. The track stands out quite a lot from the rest of the playlist but this makes it a great way to finish the project – furthering that sense of skill, ability, passion, and eclecticism. Apex is absolutely working in the right direction and this is a solid EP, easily worthy of a download.