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APE RECORDS – 2016 BIOGRAPHY

What is APE?

APE is a new kind of record label, with a new way of getting things done. Founded by Tamir Muskat and Eyal Gruenberg, APE Records is a hybrid between a production house, a music label, and a branding company.

“A song is words and a beat – it’s that simple,” says Muskat. “It’s been that way since people were living in caves. Call it hip-hop, call it what you want. Returning to the primal source and bringing back something new – that’s what APE is about.”

The primal creative force behind all APE projects is producer Muskat, founding member and drummer of Balkan Beat Box, as well one of Israel’s leading music producers. Muskat’s production credits outside of BBB include Asaf Avidan’s last two albums, Different Pulses and Gold Shadow, J.U.F. (Gogol Bordello), Firewater, and much more.

Gruenberg is as business-minded as Muskat is creative. “The difference between APE and traditional labels is that we don’t release albums – only singles,” Gruenberg says. “And most songs are in English, so they have international appeal, but don’t get pigeon-holed as ‘world music’.”

All of the label’s audio and visual content is written, created, and produced in collaboration with the artists, at APE Studios, Tel Aviv. In order to give fans an intimate look into each song and the way it was created, each APE single comes with a music video, a short ‘making of’ documentary, and a live version of the song.

APE’s unconventional business model is mirrored in Muskat’s unorthodox creative method. Songs are created spontaneously in the studio by artist and producer, with nothing prepared in advance. “Since the singles are stand-alone – not locked-in to an album concept – it gives us the freedom to go into uncharted territory,” Muskat explains. “We want to surprise ourselves, and the listener. That’s the goal. That’s the APE sound!”

When APE launched, the producer wanted to challenge himself and his collaborators to exceed what they’d created in the past. “Making beats and combining sounds from all over was already part of my DNA,” Muskat says. “But I was looking for a path to the next level.” The search took time.

Muskat began crafting beats for his favorite artists, envisioning the wildest place they could go together – both musically and lyrically. “I was heading toward some imaginary zone in my head,” the producer recalls. He could only hope that the artists would intuitively understand the destination. The process turned out easier than Muskat had anticipated. “Luckily, the artists loved the grooves. So that led to amazing lyrics. And then the music just flowed.”

 

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