Apollo Lee 52 Tracks in 52 Weeks

At Long Last

Title: Apollo Lee – At Long Last (Winter 2021 Edit)
Date: February 10, 2020 (This edit: January 29, 2021)
Tools: Korg Electribe 2, Ableton Suite 10
Genre: House
Timing: 4:22 @ 120 bpm

In January 2020, I took part in a five-week live electronic music production / performance seminar presented by Sunshine Jones called the Play Live! Artist Residency Seminar. A group of us learned about performing dance music live, with a focus on using hardware synthesizers, samplers, and drum machines to create an improvised live performance. At the end of the seminar, all the participants were invited to play a short set of their music, live at Monarch in San Francisco.

I bought my Korg Electribe 2 less than two weeks before the showcase performance. After a series of tutorials, I frantically wrote 15 tracks to build a set for my live set. It was the first time I’ve ever performed a set entirely of my original music live in front of a crowd in San Francisco. Thank goodness my friend, Oz, was there to cheer me on, kick me in the ass, and remind me to look up from my gear and not lose the experience of seeing dancers with their hands in the air.

It was magical, frightening, and the sense of relief at having done it was overwhelming. The other artists I got to perform with are among the most passionate, gifted, and supportive community of musicians I’ve ever been connected with. Their amazing performances were inspiring to watch and learn from. There were hugs and a good crowd of people and lots of love from my fellow artists. It was a few short weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic closed everything down.

During the pandemic lockdown, I set an intention to polish off one of the tracks. This track, “At Long Last”, is the last of the set, which I was playing when the Monarch staff turned the lights and a whole floor of people cheered. Today is 351 days since that performance. I have been procrastinating finishing this ever since.

This short edit isn’t perfect, but it’s time to step forward and offer it to you. “At Long Last” was composed entirely on the Electribe, and this version was processed and mastered in Ableton. Each time I listen to it, I want to tweak some things, remix it, mess around with it some more. Today, though, I’m declaring this version complete.

“Perfect is the enemy of the good.” -Voltaire

Pushing Forward

Title: Apollo Lee – Pushing Forward
Date: January 30, 2015
Software: Ableton Suite 9
Genre: House
Timing: 6:51 @ 124 bpm

According to my calendar, it has been 876 days since Statio Tranquilitatis was released. If you’re keeping track, that’s two years, four months, and twenty-four days. One of my plans for this new year was to write more music and, after a few false starts and unfortunate doubts peeking in the window, I decided to get started on this new track last night and finished it just a few moments ago.

When I listen to it on my iPhone headphones, it’s very clear to me right away that this track is very bass-heavy. I’m planning to give it a better mix-down in the next couple of weeks so the bass isn’t so overwhelming. I found three accent loops in my library of goodies and decided to give them a go, just to see how they felt.

I’m hearing lots of opportunities for remixing or just fixing a couple of things I wish I’d have done better. I’m okay with this very rough version of this track. I’d rather give you something and mark off the item in my calendar than make excuses for another accidentally long stretch of time. In a few minutes, I’ll give it a spin and see how it feels with my monthly mix. Mental note: Post some of the monthly mixes.

Remembering Wona

Title: Apollo Lee – Remembering Wona
Dedication: Michael Jon “Wona” Warner (July 10, 1973 – June 29, 2014)
Date: June 30, 2014
Genre: House
Timing: 2:40:42 @ 120 bpm

Remembering Wona: In loving memory of Mike Wona Warner, a beautiful soul made of positivity. In gratitude for the gift of your friendship, I dedicate this humble set of bumps to your cherished memory.

If I were a poet, I might have a shot at adequately describing what a magnificent human being you are and how agonizing your absence is for the world. You’re a beautiful, warm, positive force of nature and I am so grateful for the time I spent in your presence. My heart goes out to your family and the community of souls whose lives you improved with your love and your music. Rest in peace, brother.

Michael Jon “Wona” Warner (July 10, 1973 – June 29, 2014) was a father, husband, friend, DJ, house music champion, surfer, positive soul, and a million other wonders. May his family and the community know peace.

Track Listing:

  1. DJ Wona – Ups and Downs
  2. Rick Preston – Spring Fling
  3. Eva Gallo – Thinking of You (Ben Ankes Remix)
  4. Alex Font – House is Our Brother (Dub)
  5. Thomas Schumacher featuring Caitlin Devlin – Every Little Piece (Hot Since 82 Remix)
  6. Soul Minority – Take Me to the Rhythm (Dirt Crew Remix)
  7. QQQ featuring Sarah Chris – Always There
  8. Fiberroot – Give Your Heart Away (Dadaismus Remix)
  9. Ariane Blank – Declaration of Love (Madloch vs Bollen & Fichtner Remix)
  10. Carlo in Action – Make Me Smile
  11. Daniel Romano – What I Feel
  12. Donnwell – So Much Music
  13. MadeNi – Hot Trip (Jay Peq & Angie Dibujos Remix)
  14. Sunshine Jones – We Are What We Are (Balcazar & Sordo Remix)
  15. Arturo Garces – Luv (U-Clique All for the Luv Remix)
  16. Andrew Lozano – TumbleWeeds
  17. Uneaq – Only You (Johnny Fiasco’s Tonic Groove Rendition)
  18. Hardkiss – Broken Hearts
  19. Miguel Migs – Salted (Remix)
  20. Reynaldo Aranha – Arrested By You
  21. Tom Budden – Channel 9
  22. Nora En Pure – The Show
  23. Edo Mela – Back to Chicago
  24. Frankie Knuckles – The Whistle Song (Supernova Remix)
  25. Afro-Mystik – Rhythm Is? (Marques’ Deep Mix)
  26. Laera Fuiano – The World
  27. Tom Taylor & Gareth Whitehead – One Love
  28. Stark D – Do U Feel (Gui Marques Remix)
  29. Deepwerk & Ralf-e – The Third (Mono and Mini Mix)
  30. Beauty & the Breakdown – Forever
  31. Aney F – Organic Love
  32. Messenger – New Dawn (Big Al Remix)
  33. Apollo Lee – Statio Tranquilitatis

Remembering wona

Download: Remembering Wona (279 MB MP3 @ 242 kbps (VBR))
Right-click / ctrl-click to download.

Cover photo credit: Mike “Wona” Warner

Strong Like Giselle

Title: Apollo Lee – Strong Like Giselle
Dedication: For my friend, Giselle Ayala, an inspiring fighter.
Date: February 28, 2014
Genre: House
Timing: 2:35:16

Strong Like Giselle is a tribute mix for my friend, Giselle Ayala, who is sharpening her sword for her third battle with cancer. On Friday, February 28, 2014, I mixed 34 deep house tracks to help inspire her in her fight. I hope it inspires you. If it does, will you do me a favor and toss whatever you can spare to help fund her treatment.

I spent a while sitting on this mix without posting it, since I haven’t posted any mixes since the Digeum finale about 18 months ago. I took some time to work up the nerve, because the incredible constellation of legendary musicians and DJs that surround her. There’s one thing I know about these people, though — they’re extraordinarily supportive. So, I figured it was time to brave up and try to be strong like Giselle.

Thanks for the inspiration, Giselle. You’re a true warrior.

Track Listing

  1. Rick Preston – Body Move
  2. Sunshine Jones – I Got Your Back (Kruse & Nuernberg Atmospheric Mix)
  3. Julius Papp featuring Jessica Marquez of Uneaq – Your Life
  4. JT Donaldson – Stepper’s Delight
  5. Sunner Soul & Sergey Silverstone – Shadow Dancer
  6. Babak Shayan – One in a Million (Robert Babicz Remix)
  7. See Why & Mariano Mateljan – Ajde Zeno Na Stol Skoci
  8. Deep Dish ft Stevie Nicks – Dreams (Surfers Mix)
  9. Wollion – Get Down
  10. Olivier Desmet & Oriental Funk Stew – Hot On Your Trail (Frequent Fliers Remix)
  11. Blue Moon – Keep On Dancin’
  12. Dominic Martin – Strong
  13. Mateo & Matos – The Real Thing
  14. Junior Gee – Whistlebump
  15. Rafaël Fernandez – L’Appel de la Mer
  16. Apollo Lee – Do It Anyway
  17. Bourne – Deep Visions
  18. Bucher & Kessidis – Fremont
  19. Joris Voorn – The Deep (Jimpster Remix)
  20. Sebastian Davidson – Keep It Deep (Holger Brauns Remix)
  21. Thomas Sari – An Insight (Soul Minority Deep Mix)
  22. Ralph Good – Deepsta (Topspin, Dmit Ktiz & Matuss Remix)
  23. DJ Le Roi – She Got It
  24. Maya Jane Coles – What They Say
  25. Oleg Z – Remember
  26. DOB – Without Time Limit
  27. Carsten Rausch – Somewhere in Between (Chase Buch Remix)
  28. Brett Lawrence – Flam Tap (Andrew Lozano Remix)
  29. Dachsund – Ugly Tartare
  30. RIO – Shine One (Extended Mix)
  31. Skwerl – All Woman (Sandy Rivera’s Blackwiz Remix)
  32. Uneaq – Only U
  33. Arturo Garces – Luv (U-Clique All for the Luv Remix)
  34. Ananda Project – Everything You Are (Atlanta Rising EP Version)


Strong Like Giselle. For my friend, Giselle Ayala, an inspiring fighter.

Strong Like Giselle: (264.7 MB MP3 @ 238 kbps (VBR))
Right-click / ctrl-click to download.

Cover photo credit: Harry Who

Statio Tranquilitatis

Title: Apollo Lee – Statio Tranquilitatis
Date: September 06, 2012
Software: Ableton Suite 8
Genre: House
Timing: 7:11 @ 127 bpm

Statio Tranquilitatis is a track I originally started piecing together on July 20, 2011, the 42nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing. I’ve done a few other tracks since then, but this one itched at the back of my mind until I decided to revisit it this week. Neil Armstrong passed away about two weeks ago. This is my feeble tribute to an undisputed legend.

There are no synthesizers in this track at all, surprisingly enough. All of the sounds you hear, including the chordy stabs, are samples, mostly from the drum samples the come with Ableton Suite. The bassline, for example, that bounces around down in the basement, started out as a tom. Chorded stab instruments go through several layers of processing. The voice sample is, of course, Neil Armstrong changing his call sign and phoning home as dust settled back into the lunar regolith a few feet under him.

This track feels rife with possibility and I’m really excited to debut it the day after tomorrow for the Digeum Mix Sessions finale.

Circuits Over Rubber

Title: Apollo Lee – Circuits Over Rubber
Date: May 31, 2012
Software: Ableton Suite 8, FAW Circle, TAL U-No-60
Genre: House
Timing: 7:06 @ 124 bpm

Circuits Over Rubber feels like a good steady distance run on a rubber track with perfect white stripes on a warm summer evening, pushing a pace that makes you feel strong, light, and fast. I didn’t want to rush this one or complicate it with too many counter melodies. The noise build is short, the track minimal, the instrumentation sparse. We’re just focused on keeping a good pace here around the curve and on toward the finish.

I wanted to do something different this time out, so I started with the full drum mix with an added low-cut filter that is simply switched on in various places. A dirty Juno 160 bassline comes in to drive some rhythmic interest. Up top and down in the middle, I played around with a couple patches I really like in Circle, which I bought a couple of weeks ago. Circle is really fun to play with. Thank goodness I also upgraded the RAM in my computer recently, because I didn’t freeze the channels I used Circle in. That’s something to remember for the future.

In order to let the groove sit in nice and solid, I mostly let this one simmer on sixteen-bar loops. There are only four parts moving around: the percussion, the bassline, the high echoing lead, and the arpeggio that trails off into a chord. I’m really glad I gave this track a little more room to breathe. Now, it feels like it wants a vocal sample. There’s an idea for another version.

Bouncy Peanuts

Title: Apollo Lee – Bouncy Peanuts
Date: April 30, 2012
Software: Ableton Suite 8
Genre: House
Timing: 6:44 @ 126 bpm

Bouncy Peanuts jumps around A minor chords with a few playfully splashy instruments over a rumbling bass line. Marimbaa arpeggios and shimmering echoing stabs ricochet around while big meaty, subby kick punches the floor. Variations on the only chord in the tune lend variety, especially when instruments cycle through ninths and sevenths. An abundance of parts that bounce around nudge us forward through the builds toward the conclusion.

Unexpected Scenario

Title: Apollo Lee – Unexpected Scenario
Date: March 30, 2012
Software: Ableton Suite 8
Genre: House
Timing: 6:44 @ 126 bpm

Unexpected Scenario let me play around with a few effects units I usually leave alone, like Beat Repeat and multiband dynamics. The glitchy stuttery way the Beat Repeat ricochets off the stabs, melody, and arpeggios adds a little urgency to the track. The multiband dynamics on the bass instruments beef up the sound a little more than I’d anticipated.

We’re in D minor this time. A few chords wander off the beaten path, especially on the high stabs, but not startlingly so. A fast arpeggiated chord wobbles up top after the first break down, counterbalancing a high melody with a bit of frantic twitch.

Now to see how this sounds in the mix.

Pellucid Concinnity

Title: Apollo Lee – Pellucid Concinnity
Date: February 29, 2012
Software: Ableton Suite 8
Genre: House
Timing: 6:47 @ 125 bpm

Pellucid Concinnity concludes a stop-and-start month with a groove that ended up feeling a little darker and more spaced out. I started a few other tracks this month, none of which gelled like this one did.

We’re starting out with a DJ-friendly four-on-the-floor beat, stripped back to the bare essentials: a kick, a snare, and a closed hi-hat. The languid chord on Gm–Bbm gives the track a tonal foundation, although it’s a chord change in an unusual place. Another chorded synthesizer and arpeggiated bell give a bit of depth to the tune. A synth baritone line pulses a syncopation in two variations over a deep bass that throbs under the floor.

Purple Lunatic

Title: Apollo Lee – Purple Lunatic
Date: January 30, 2012
Software: Ableton Suite 8
Genre: House
Timing: 6:38 @ 128 bpm

Purple Lunatic opens 2012 with a simple tech house track in which a few stabs, a couple of bass lines, and a trimmed down drum kit build a groove without too much clutter.

Two different stabs accompany a bouncing electric piano chord over a punchy staccato bass. After the first breakdown, a big deep subby bass rumbles underneath to lend a sense of depth.

This track is a little less busy than many of my recent tracks. Hopefully, it got your head bobbing.

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