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The best kept secret in music


"Unconscious Ruckus Review"

Whereas most abstract electronic musicians (Autechre, Funkstörung, etc.) proclaim hip-hop as the inspiration behind their heavily gradated and severely fractured beats, Southern Califonia's Appogee brings a more indie-oriented notion to similar proceedings, as is made evident in the sweeping Western guitar simulations on "Ntheme," the relaxed vocals on "I'm Yours," or even his personal remix of Bright Eyes found on his MySpace page. Even at its most abrasive, like the screech and rapid hits found on "Kddr Mov. 3," there's no denying Appogee's soft spot, as if he just can't resist a U2-esque delay effect or the warm vibrancy of a gently picked guitar line. It's as if his primary inspiration might actually be the resonance of an acoustic guitar strummed against your chest, with all of the surrounding beats and blaze as mere vesicles used to transport the hum. Even in the navel-gazing world of electronics, one recognizes that hitting the low E string on a vintage Martin hollow body for hours is only compelling to the player himself, and would certainly not translate onto CD. -

"Appogee review"

I am excited as I start reviewing a bunch of CDs from this new label out in Los Angeles called Kanpai. They've been releasing some really dope shit lately, I must say, and the first one I picked out of the batch is <font color=red><b>Appogee</b></font>'s debut CD &quot;Unconscious Ruckus&quot;. These dudes are based in LA and have been growing alongside Dntel (The Postal Service), Planktonman (Nortec Collective) and The Mutaytor, altough I must say they don't seem to lack anything in their approach. You can't really tell it's newcomers, they sound like they've been around for a decade. Their sound is pointy, full, well-produced, well-arranged, sophisticated sonic artifacts. No messing around, they know what they are doing, that's for sure. They shoot for the drumn'n'bass formula mainly, but let themselves be carried away with implants of electronica, industrial, rhythm-noise, rock and some ambient/idm. Particularly interesting is the use of acoustic guitars and vocals on some tracks, which definitely makes them stand out of the crowd for originality. Where else can you hear a fast-paced d'n'b beat pumping while buried underneath a Radiohead-ish ballad with an acoustic guitar, or a Beatles-like pop tune with an Autechre/Aphex Twin-like beat, or Lycia-like lush electric guitars with vaguely flamenco-sounding nylon guitars that try to keep up with a cut-up and frenzy beat. Most definitely an awesome sounding record! Well done indeed! -

"5 out of 5 Buscuits"

Unconscious Ruckus is a beautiful mixture of dark synth mixed with intelligent breaks and some extremely well mixed vocals. He provides a mood that goes from angry to morose to thoughtful, but is always dark and somewhat foreboding. The entire disk is packed with emotion.

There were two things that grabbed my attention more than anything else when listening to this CD: Appogee’s attention to the flow of the entire CD, and how much effort he must have put into the bass lines.

The CD starts of mellow and picks up pace progressively through each track until it climaxes at “Creeper,” then drops off to the mellow side again. I don’t hear a lot of artists these days putting this much effort into track progression in this sense and it’s a pleasant surprise.

Secondly, the bass lines are amazing. Appogee does not, ever, just write a bass line and let it ride for any duration. The bass changes constantly through every track, meshing perfectly with every other element in the track. It’s nothing short of phenomenal.

5 out of 5 biscuits


"Editors Pick"

Domo Music Group have put together a new imprint called Kanpai Records and as their first release chose to put out Appogee’s “Unconscious Ruckus”. What a total record label coup! Already an accomplished composer and producer, Appogee takes his Houston Texas rearing and turns the cowboy notch by filtering out the bravado in favor of eclectic electronica collages. You may have already heard his work scoring the films “The Mothman Prophecies” and “Rules of Attraction”—I know the latter is perhaps one of my favorite all-time film scores. The programming is yet again genius and the sounds that he’s able to produce are otherworldly. Wow—it’s the only word you can muster.
- J-Sin -

"Splendid review"

In keeping with Appogee mastermind Jay Skinner's body of work, Unconscious Ruckus could certainly be called cinematic. He doesn't offer much in the way of conflict, but he does pull you in with a mystery, crescendo to an identifiable peak and taper back down, letting you go with a satisfying resolution (entitled -- what else? -- "Meaning of Life"). "Ep(iphany" is an understated opening to the album, with sweeping pads, understated rhythms and whispered vocals that seem to describe the taking of a (more inner than overland) journey. Up next, "Ntheme" blisses out with flexible overlapping synth lines and intricately picked guitar, which brings me to one of Ruckus's highlights. Skinner's music is firmly based in indie rock rather than hip hop, and there's an attendant emphasis on melody. The guitar and bass lines are both compelling on their own and well-integrated with the laptop beats. "This Moment" is an example: the glitchy rhythms, gently murmured singing and sun-warmed layers of guitar, complement each other perfectly.

The vocals are tasteful throughout Unconscious Ruckus; Appogee's rather New-Agey missives on love and self-discovery ring uncommonly true in the context of his moody yet dizzily euphoric soundscapes. Vocal samples along the same lines form the main lyrics for several tracks, offering an interesting variety of protagonists: "Y Illuminative" muses on the nature of happiness, and "Meaning of Life", the record's grand finale, features man-on-the-street recordings of several people's takes on that very subject. Not surprisingly, they tend toward the "loving one's fellow man" and "making the most of every day" end of the spectrum. Skinner is aggressively shopping a message of positive self-actualization here; the liner notes even transcribe the words in the samples, lest you think they're nothing more than sonic decoration. As propaganda goes, though, this is some of the best I've heard.

Still, there's no substitute for an all-out rock-out. You get it with "Creeper", fittingly placed at the record's midpoint. Head-bangably pounding beats, the growl and soar of multiple distorted-guitar tracks, quiet tension-building interludes that explode into towering frenzy... it's all here. Somehow the song avoids sounding '90s-industrial, and thereby meshes just fine with the rest of the album.

After "Creeper", Unconscious Ruckus mellows out considerably. That's not to say that the beats drop out; instrumental companions "KDDR Mov. 2" and "KDDR Mov. 3" both feature some pretty intense programming, but it's paired with idyllically hallucinogenic guitars. "Tonight I'm Yours" is the album's sunniest track, though its alternately passive-aggressive and sappy lyrics ("I can't run anymore / Tonight I'll be what you want from me... And when I'm not with you all I can do / Is miss you") seem to support the theory that men and women have switched their stereotypical emotional roles.

Unconscious Ruckus is one of those records that draws the dubious praise "pretty soulful for electronic music". The fact that this phrase (or a variation of it) is becoming almost a cliché is encouraging, though; it means that music and people's attitudes toward it are evolving to keep pace with technology. You could think of an album like this as the expression of a trend... or, like the best movies, you could just sit back and enjoy it.
-- Sarah Zachrich -

"Appogee Unconscious Ruckus"

Jay Skinner is a relatively unknown electronica producer as far as the main international stage is concerned. With his first international debut album from his Appogee moniker entitled Unconscious Ruckus, Skinner comes out swinging and making damn sure he is heard on as many levels as possible. Keep your guard up because the young producer is no amateur lightweight. He has been successful in the production side of media for quite some time, producing music for advertisement firms and media, and has two major motion picture credits under his belt.

Unconscious Ruckus is a tour de force of experimental guitar artistry paired with whispered vocalizations and poetry, a city of towering melodic sound-scrapers completely surrounded by outrageously colossal basslines and supported with hyper-jungle breakbeats. Each track is a masterpiece in its own right and Skinner's production skills only accent the talent behind the music. The album progresses as if it were moving along a carefully constructed path, a conduit that showcases the meticulous work that went into the construction of each composition.

Two specific creative elements from the producer sparkle with passion and strength: the herculean guitar work, and his painstakingly detailed basslines. These two fundamental pieces of the puzzle, along with Skinner's excellent understanding of industry standard production and mix techniques, make this album a solid debut for Appogee, and will no doubt lead the artist to greener pastures.

4 of 5 stars
~ Dustin Michael -

"Fresh Brew"

I never really knew there was such a thing as downtempo drum and bass, but then again, music has crossed so many boundaries over the last 10 years it's hard to keep up with all the new revolutions. Our saving grace is when artists like Appogee cross our desks, avoiding the kitchen sink approach we've heard, and instead, are embarking on new lands while introducing us to the kaleidoscope of sonic images that take place in their minds.

Unconscious Ruckus, both in title and in result is both introspective and adventurous, flying fast and furious then bursting into total floatation. Fresh and illuminating vocals highlight abstract measures and flecks of golden textures, bouncing, slithering, and chunking around at any given time. This makes the experience something much more than background music to your yoga therapy, as in the case of "Creeper," which shoots both bullets and butterflies as you go from one bridge to another, or the pop infused brightness of "I'm Yours."

Using thoughts and insights into life, the kind of conversation you might overhear at a café, seems to subconsciously link to what our own Drop The Fear have done hundreds of miles from Appogee's Southern Cal home. It spots a welcome trend in music that spotlights our society's need for something more than reality shows, low-carb Pepsi, or text messaging.

From "Y illuminative," which beckons us to live in the now, "Happiness is being in the moment …Acceptance that this is not a rehearsal/This is your life…This is it!" to the matter-of-fact nature of "Coral" that speaks, "And I think, as you get older/You get to a point where you realize that you have to figure it out for yourself/You can't just always listen to what people have to say or how they think it should be/You have to live it to really understand it/And that is why we are here," Appogge has hit the mark both with his musician ingenuity and simple yet poignant messages, getting us to think and groove in unison.

-Kim Owens, November 5, 2004


   Appogee's underground flavor takes you beyond the limits of space and time. Mixing intricate modern beats with electronic artistry, each song seeps into your skin with deft harmony. Enchanting low-key lyrics not only set the mood but create the entire hypnotic atmosphere itself. The tracks take hold of you as you ride along each melodic twist and turn. Appogee dares to experiment with ethereal yet incredibly down to earth rhythms in ten amazing electronic syntheses.

R. Ngan (Los Angeles, CA)


Down on the Dots - 2002
Unconscious Ruckus - 2004


Feeling a bit camera shy


Description: "At the Drive-In" meets "Postal Service"
Emerging from the gutters of LA’s underground experimental electronic music scene and playing alongside the likes of Dntel (The Postal Service), Planktonman (Nortec Collective), Daedelus, Eight Frozen Moduels, The Mutaytor, Idiot Pilot, comes “Unconscious Ruckus”, the highly anticipated debut album by Appogee.

Appogee cut his teeth composing music for countless TV commercials as well as being a contributing composer to the feature films "The Mothman Prophesies" and "Rules of Attraction."

A combination of song, synthesis and sound, Appogee pushes the boundaries of sonic exploration and deftly combines the art of songwriting with forward thinking musical collages. Avant-garde electronic artistry at its finest, “Unconscious Ruckus” captivates audiences with its beautiful display of chaotic rhythms and blissful melodies. Organic, human subtleties intertwine with sophisticated programming and composition, resulting in a unique, hypnotic sound that keeps Appogee’s fanbase growing...

Has remixed the likes of:
Bright Eyes
Taking back Sunday
The Used

Appogee is a touring act.
For a list of future & past shows and tours please visit:

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