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On Oath’s latest, the imprint welcome into the fold Stockholm-based Jakob Apelian, who serves up the most impeccable grooves, rhythms, and emotive undertones on a captivating, enticing tour de force.

What began as an ear for rhythm soon blossomed into a deep-founded ability to craft and curate, and Apelian’s musical journey has covered all the bases when it comes to appreciation, testing, and conjuring into life. From a foundation of playing around with an Akai MPC 3000, Apelian has tinkered with his sonic approach to such an extent that it now represents a fully realized and deeply profound atmosphere – one which layers samples, chops, and tones into something new, something different. This approach has paid dividends and is one that has evolved over time, moving from a deep house space and now washing over into the realms of break and spacey speed garage. No matter what genre, his approach remains consistent and balanced, driving to the core of the feeling behind it all, and when this road is well trodden by a producer, there is little to limit creativity – or to limit the ability to bring forth the previously unexpected. Releases on Beats of No Nation, Apparel, and Fresh Take Records all provide much goodness to lose yourself within and provide a springboard for his new release, here on Oath.

‘Sensible Chaos’ represents Apelian’s latest incarnation of his sound, and the sounds found here build upon the success of his release on uu rhythm from earlier this year. Breaks, beats and driving rhythm are the flavours of the day, with the title track – which opens up the EP – signalling the experience to be expected going forwards. The groove is crafted superbly, providing a bedrock for filtered, floating melodic structures to shift through the sands up above, the vocal snippets, in particular, doing much to add flavor and feeling. ‘All My Dreams’ shifts the tones down a notch, with the opening salvo drawing the listener close before making their very being move to the groove. The beats evolve and evoke in equal measure, lifting up the melodies, letting them soar in the evening sun and drift into the outer reaches – truly captivating stuff.

‘My Belongings’ begins with the drifting melodic hook to kick things off before the scattered drums align themselves with the pulse, and things get really interesting here. The spaces within the track encourage dwelling, allowing the listener to dip their head within the beats and really soak up the emotive feels. Glorious, ever-present, and enriching, this one is a jewel. To wrap things up on a fantastic piece of music, we have a remix of ‘My Belongings’ by none other than John Beltran in his Placid Angles guise, and this one shifts the perspectives of the original in surprising and dynamic ways. Everything is lifted slightly in the mix, creating a different kind of drive to the original which is surprising and refreshing all at once, but in a way that compliments the original cut. A wondrous end to a sublime experience, one which moves the soul and body in equal measure – and we feel all the more better for it.

Playing around on hardware is one sure way to find new ways to appreciate music, and for
Jakob Apelian has provided the core structure of his music-making approach. This has allowed for multi-faceted exploration, a willingness to look around the corner and above the parapet, and on this latest experience, he serves up one hell of a journey through breaks, euphoric uplifts, and intoxicating atmospheres. It’s an environment years in the making, and as musical universes go, you won’t find a better encapsulation of one than on this record – so go on, lose yourself in the bliss.

Release date: November 14th, 2023.


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