Professor Elemental ApeQuest album review

Portrait_of_an_Orangutan_2012_finalised_sfwIntroduction
The newest album from the good Professor centres around the mysterious disappearance of his apish butler Geoffrey. A lot of energy has been poured into this album and it includes an accompanying comic book, script and Assam tea blend.

Prices start at £8.00 for the digital download of the album or £10.00 for the physical copy. Alternatively you can get the Deluxe pack for £20.00 which includes digital downloads of the album, comic, full script, four collector’s edition postcards and an ApeQuest badge.

For more information, you can visit the main website by following this link: Professor Elemental website

Overview

Did you notice that over the last two albums Geoffrey had disappeared? I certainly hadn’t and I have to admit I feel a bit of an idiot for not noticing. Well now we’re on an adventure to find our favourite Orang-utan butler. Apequest is wrapped around a story of the Professor travelling through time while wearing his time travel trousers that were briefly mentioned during the intro of Indifference Engine diss song Fighting Trousers.

Apequest is a 22 track album with the addition of the (not particularly) Secret Track at the end, making it 23 in total. Because of the story background there’s a lot more talking throughout Apequest in order to establish the next song that is coming in and link it to the last. It makes for a very interesting album that would otherwise be a typically random list of music.

There’s a large medley of contributors to this album such as previously seen Mr Jon Clarke, Teej and steampunk folk giants Steam Powered Giraffe. The latter being present on the western themed Weird Weird West. Each contributor does well to add to the track that they perform on but Elemental has always been good at choosing people to collaborate with, such as the aforementioned Jon Clarke, Helen Arney or Rizzle Kicks.

One thing I like about Professor Elemental albums is the presence of Tom Caruana – Prof’s highly talented producer. He has an uncanny knack of being able to recreate, sample, splice and mix vintage music that fits perfectly with the character of Professor Elemental. Apequest has less of that and in fact is only heavily used onwards from Home Sweet Home – the 20th track of the album. This is probably down to the story arc which is more centred around science fiction so the music hits on that genre more. When lasers and sonic soundscapes aren’t being used, the tracks employ a more traditionally hip hop style.

The whole Ape Quest was a movement to fund the project by loyal Professor Elemental fans. It went on Indiegogo and hit 157% of it’s target. That spawned an instrumental version of the album for each person who donated an alternative comic cover illustrated by the great Charlie Adlard (Walking Dead comic series), #ApeQuest T-Shirts and video games as well as the previously noted Lyrics book.

Conclusion

Without a doubt ApeQuest is another successful album from Professor Elemental. Not because he’s a favourite of mine and “he’s bound to say that” but it boils down to the fact that this is very different from the previous albums.

From the fundraiser to the story line, exclusive artwork and even the pre-planning of having Geoffrey disappear two albums beforehand, the amount of work that has gone into this album must be bigger than any other previously released from Elemental.

The lyrics are laden with science fiction and nerdy references that fit seamlessly with the theme of the track while the background music conjures up images of time travel, the old west and the sweet infinite oblivion of space while the cunning humour slaps it with custard and attaches nipple clamps.

9_splendid_highly_recommended_250pxThis is arguably the strongest album that the Professor has made yet which shows that he’s going from strength to strength. At £8.00 for the album, I’m not entirely sure how he makes enough money to eat, especially for the amount of music you get for that money and the amount of people involved with the project.

If you love hip hop and you’re tired of typical rappers being horrible to ladies and wearing their trousers round their knees, then Professor Elemental may be the chap for you.

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