Apollo Heights – White Music For Black People (Manimal Vinyl)


This New York group’s debut is the first time I’ve heard with soulful vocals and the occasional hip-hop/R&B beat crossed the usual MBV/Ride-esque shoegaze sounds. While Apollo Heights’ cross-pollination is innovative, I can’t get past the razor-thin recording, which is surprising since David Sitek of TV On The Radio and Robin Guthrie from The Cocteau Twins both produced several songs. Was everyone so excited to have big name producers that nobody paid attention to the lack of low end, the uneven vocal mix, or the overall low volume level? It’s a shame really, because many of Apollo Heights’ songs, like “Everlasting Gobstopper” and “Winter In The Summertime” (the latter featuring Dee-lite’s Lady Miss Kier), have an expansive quality that shouldn’t have to struggle against a weak production. Luckily the songs are, for the most part, strong enough to still enjoy on some level. Hell, with a better sound “Manifesto” and the absolutely stunning “Discolights” could be massive hits. For now, White Music For Black People is a sign of potential, and probably the only album you’ll ever hear with a guest appearance by Mos Def (who sounds out of place on “Concern”) and a House Of Love cover.

Tracklisting:

1. Winter in the Summertime
2. Shallow by Shallow
3. Disco Lights
4. Fit to Be Tied
5. Dakini
6. The Color of Love Is Blue
7. Everlasting Gobbstopper
8. Black and Blue
9. Camus
10. Babytalkk
11. Manifesto
12. Concern
13. Christine