Humans share about 98.6% of DNA with chimpanzees. Is it that far fetched to think that chimps could evolve one day to eventually be the dominant species on the planet, displaying what we would refer to today as “human-like” intelligence? Say especially if, you know, we (humans) were to get a bit too irresponsible with nukes? Such was the case in the movie “Planet of the Apes” and at this point that should not be a spoiler for you, it came out originally in 1968. That very plot development was the “spoiler” of the movie, Charleston Heston’s character, demoralized, discovers that his astronautical journey was not inter-planetary at all, alas, it was Earth he and his crew had been on the entire time. Science “Fiction” they say. This is no “Sharknado,” come on now. How fascinating is it to think that this “science fictional” folklore is actually quite … plausible? Dystopian more so than fascinating, I guess. You know who else felt this was a concept worth further exploring? The L.A. based, sci-fi artist Maybe Human. He has composed an experimental, post-rock musical odyssey based on and inspired by the original “Planet of the Ape” films entitled, “Ape Law.” It has been mixed (by Maybe Human) and mastered (by Justin Perkins/Mystery Room Mastering) specifically with vinyl in mind and is scheduled to be released early December. The digital album is set to release on streaming platforms on November 25.
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Maybe Human’s post-rock sound is niched in futurism and dystopian themes. With a Bandcamp bio that simply reads, “conceptual Instrumental Post Rock/Pop made for UFO flying,” he embraces the strange, bizarre, and unconventional, incorporating it into his music both audibly and visually. There is quite an eccentric collection of music videos that accompany his work on the Bandcamp page, and that really supplies the full experience of the project in my opinion, quite well. Suffice it to say, retro film buffs are highly likely to enjoy this record that features several audio samples from the movies in the original series throughout the entire album. To speak more to the overall sound in comparison to other post-rock artists, Maybe Human seems to favor grungier movements at times, and distorted guitar dissonance. That perhaps might be one distinction you could point to in contrast to other post-rock artists, who on average tend to be more hyper fixated on ambient elements with the guitars. However, there still is some ambience in Maybe Human’s work as well, he adds just a bit of about everything at some point in the record. To include trumpets, strings, that psychedelic whistle thing (I’m sorry that was the best description I could come up for it), various synths, and synth basses. I will also say that the record has a very heavy bass presence aside from the synthesized ones on certain tracks. There is a lot of walking bass lines throughout different songs that in tone remind me of Tool, but in activeness reminds me of Primus. Aside from the overt conceptual theme of “Ape Law,” Maybe Human further describes what he is conveying overall with the album:
Indeed as I listened to it, it was a perfect mind wandering experience. Where I usually spend a lot of time doing these reviews listening to a song, thumbing through bios, reading into lyrics to seek a deeper introspection, nothing brought it all together better for me on this one than to just crank it up, let it rip from beginning to end, roam around in my headspace, and kind of just trip out on my ceiling. As I sat there, I remembered when I watched the film for the first time and how I felt about the idea of self-inflicted, near human extinction. We say that kind of thing now so easily with a second thought these days, we are such a jaded bunch now (*laughs*) but think about the first time you really ponder that kind of thing, feel that existential dread, and get that mind-blowing sensation of “whoa.” That’s what I think this album expresses artistically. The vinyl arrives early in December as mentioned before, really looking forward to grabbing one of those.
Maybe Human cites White Zombie as the closest primary influence on his music, which would make all the sense in the world given both the heavier guitar-oriented nature of his arrangements as well as his affinity for film. He also cites Primus and Tool as influences, and I would say that you hear a lot of that come through in the record as well as I mentioned earlier. I would recommend this record for anyone who also likes those artists. Of interesting note, he is currently collaborating with Professor Electric which I think is a great fit and should make for some exciting new content in the future! Stay tuned for that.
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