ALBUM REVIEW: Savant – Orakel
Producer Savant is the very definition of a one-man band, with Orakel marking his eighth full length album in two years. But this is an electronic undertaking on a near galactic scale; a 22 track neon behemoth writhing with epic melody and unprecedented musical synergy.
Though title track and opener ‘Orakel’ goes a long way to convince you might accidentally be listening to the Super Mario soundtrack, ‘Spacewolfe’ quickly takes the playful symphonic undertones and mixes them down into an all-out electronic bombardment. ‘Sawchain’ is the first track to deliver some real hard energy, opening with a piano and violin driven dirge that evolves into a pounding, relentless club masterpiece. There are several examples of this kind of focus throughout, when the record doesn’t wander off into concepts and dub experimentation, but if you strip Orakel down to the tracks that would inspire fury on the dancefloor, ‘Red Claw’, ‘How I Roll’, and ‘Valley of Shadows’, to name a few, not only would you be left with a record less than half the size, you’d be missing out on volumes of genius.
Ultimately, this is what makes Savant stand out as a producer. He has the freedom to explore and indulge his talents, and the fanbase to do it to an extreme. There’s none of the forced high intensity beats and bass coils of his contemporaries, every mix is organic and titanic all at once, dalliances with orchestras and various internal bits of classic games consoles forming bridges from each heavy-hitter to the next. It’s in these moments between wobs that Orakel exposes a softer underbelly, filled out with delicate piano and uplifting vocals. It gets to a point where you get the vibe that he’s really just showing off.
It’s like a soundtrack to an epic sci-fi saga that tears through genre boundaries. Usually, declarations like that come with a disclaimer along the lines of “keep an open mind”, but Orakel warrants no such warning – start to finish, it’s a bombastic barrage that tells a story – which is something the genre rarely gets an opportunity to do.
In a word, epic. Orakel is an underground warehouse rave organised by Beethoven and Nintendo, a psychotic mix of dubstep, house, prog, a little bit of rock and roll, and one too many hours playing video games. If you have the slightest bit of interest in any of those things, Orakel is for you.