Upon The Apex parallels a series of travels to the deserts of Arizona, the cities and landscapes of Israel, and a cross-country road trip from Gilman's hometown, Boston, to Los Angeles and back via the southern route. The result is an "audacious and rewarding saga in instrumental form," the label explains.
Recordings began in the summer of 2017, months before the release of the Boston artist's debut album, Midnight Satori. It's said to bridge his love for the structural resonance of boom bap and the experimental edges of electronic. Samples lace the entire record—film interludes, vocal chops, instrument loops—and it features contributions from Kadeem, Dirty Merlin, CLYDE, Dephrase, and Tel Aviv's 3Deity.
The album cover was shot in New Mexico at the White Sands National Monument, capturing Gilman in the spacious setting during his travels along the States' southern region. It's a reflection of the expansive nature of the music, intertwined into the experiences of being on the road and what led to the final shaping of the record.