I've started a campaign on various social networks (but especially instagram & twitter) to get people to post pics of themselves giving the horn sign aka "making horns" and tagging those pics #makehorns and/or #apoc to help promote my new EP...please join in!
After recent successes, including a headlining showcase at POP Montreal and the prominent use of a number of his songs in MTV’s hit series Jersey Shore, Post-Hip Hop pioneer Apoc is back with a brand new EP, “Make Horns!” produced by frequent collaborator Earmint.
The cover art for “Make Horns!” (designed by Apoc) is adorned with a series of visual puns featuring the titular instruments and appendages as well as the age old hand sign more recently associated with Heavy Metal fans - but the EP’s title is a reference not only to the synthesizer horn sounds featured so prominently in the production of these 5 songs, but also to the songs’ themes of vilification and blame, on an individual and societal level. Apoc collaborated more on the production of these songs than ever before, and the result is a lush, full sound that is indebted equally to golden age Hip Hop and Chicago House as to the modern sounds of American Trap and UK Grime. The dark yet danceable beats are a perfect launching pad for Apoc’s ruminations on accountability and the dynamics of right vs. wrong.
On “Put Your Horns On Me,” the first single from the EP, Apoc relates a personal tale of a youthful love affair gone awry and the inevitable blame game that ensues. Ultimately, he comes to accept his role as villain to assuage his former lover’s broken heart, crooning, “If it helps to hush your cries to despise, then hate.”
“Can’t Say No” sees Apoc discussing a variety of environmental issues and wondering aloud why we continue to ignore these concerns while accepting that “we’re all complicit in this destruction.” The aggressive horns and handclaps of the beat sound like a mid-2000’s Wiley production by way of Cajmere’s “Percolator.”
Both sonically and thematically, “Here I Am” and “Make Horns!” act as two sides of the same coin. While the former track’s droney bassline and rigid horn stabs sound almost like a military march, the title track’s syncopated horns and staccato synths recall the chaotic spirit of modern Balkan music. On “Here I Am,” Apoc questions his accomplishments and searches for something to blame for his perceived lack of success. Is it where he’s from, where he’s been, or where he currently is? “Make Horns!” is very much a reaction to these sentiments. The rapper casts the titular hand sign as an amalgamation of its modern role as a symbol of celebration and it’s more traditional use as a means to chase away bad spirits; reinventing it as a symbol of defiance against any forces, internal or external, that stand in the way of one accomplishing one’s dreams. The track features live instrumentation from Benjamin Steenblik on cello and Borg the Liar on guitar, a first for an Apoc song.
The EP closes with “What Aco Told Me,” a meditation on the causes and implications of the Slovenian Erasure, a politically-motivated administrative fiat that stripped 25,000 people of their citizenship and basic human rights in the former Yugoslavian republic. The song’s title refers to Aleksandar “Aco” Todorović, a leading activist for the Erased, whom Apoc has spoken with at great length about the subject. The tribal rhythms and chanting of the first half of the song give way to a raucous New Orleans brass band style breakdown, bringing the EP to a defiantly celebratory close.
Describing his music as Post-Hip Hop, Apoc has been moving beyond narrow genre definitions and carving out a niche all his own the past few years. In recent months, he has seen his music featured on MTV's Jersey Shore & 10 On Top, Fuse On Demand, URB.com
and more; accrued tens of thousands of Youtube views; and brought his manic live show to POP Montreal and stages across the U.S. He has performed alongside Busdriver, P.O.S., Dark Time Sunshine, Sole, Macklemore, Lyrics Born, Open Mike Eagle, Evidence, Eyedea & Abilities, Astronautalis, Ceschi and many other indy hip hop luminaries. Though raised in the suburbs of Chicago, he calls Telluride, CO home, but currently resides in Ljubljana, Slovenia.