This album marks the 10th themed full-length release that 27-year-old Norwegian Artist/DJ/Producer/Multi-instrumentalist Aleksander Vinter has created for his Savant persona.
With each record, Aleksander seeks to master and manipulate elements he believes are timely and unexplored. He did it with Vario (2012) with a focus on video game and party sounds; Alchemist (2012) was his take on Medieval and Renaissance composition in electronic music; Orakel (2013) was an exploration of futuristic vision of current dance themes; and Protos (2014) was his own version of 80s space rock. Now, he’s returning with another Savant concept album – one with a complicated real-world topic not typical for today’s largely apolitical, escapist dance music/club culture.
One of the most unique albums you’ll hear this year, Zion manages to fulfill one’s expectations and defy them simultaneously. On the one hand, Zion booms with the kind of speaker-shredding bangers that have made Savant one of dance music’s most popular rising stars. On the other end, it’s a complex concept album as would only come from Savant: an abstract, cosmic meditation on the interminable conflicts in the Middle East that have come to define our shared global experience – all set, naturally, to a beat you can rave out to. With a mixed message of politics and fantasy he takes the Mideastern conflict to an alternate dimension. Taking on alien myths from Sumerian times and touching on historical events that might be considered parallels to our recent times, Zion takes its listeners inside the chaos of the region’s continued conflicts.
Listen to the teaser HERE, as fractured IDM rhythms that split the difference between Skrillex and Steve Reich, Fela Kuti and Daft Punk emerge. Those unlikely beats alternate amidst surges of untold aggression belying Vinter’s legit metalhead bona fides. The entire sonic stew is then deconstructed yet again via dramatic drops that detonate dancefloors with a supreme, yet spiritual, heaviness. “The melodies in the breakdowns are very Black Sabbath inspired, using the tritone ‘devil note,’” Vinter notes. “This album is really a mix of short, beautiful jingles and a lot of hardcore metal/punk-esque riffs, all created with electronic music tools. But no actual instruments or hardware were really used: this is pure electronic music.”
Listen to the premiere of ‘Mecca’ on EDM.com HERE
Preview Zion HERE
- Desert Eagle
- Castle of Gods
- Princess of Zion
- Sons of Babel
“Writing about the Middle East has been in my mind a long time,” Vinter says. “It’s a very touchy subject, but the album has a lot of black humor and anti-irony amidst the heavier things. It’s all about how you interpret it. If you’re Jewish, you hopefully hear Zion as a bar mitzvah party record; if you’re a conspiracy theorist, you’ll see it as an Illuminati thing; and if you’re a kid, you’ll just perceive it as a bunch of cool dubstep and electronic music to download.”
Zion indeed serves as a journey through the kaleidoscope prism of Savant’s musical imagination. Arabic instruments, sounds, and voices began spontaneously appearing in productions that evolved into Zion tracks like ‘Mecca‘ – the resulting funkdafied digital stew reflecting in its sonics a nonjudgmental blend of deep emotionalism and satirical detachment.
Multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, performer, producer, Savant has established a status as dance-music culture’s most unpredictable, impossible-to-pigeonhole icon. That status has remained constant throughout Savant’s madly prolific career, spanning numerous singles, remixes, nominations for Norwegian Grammys, and 11 (!) full-length albums. Savant’s diverse appeal was made crystal clear in the instant breakthrough success of his flagship 2012 release, Alchemist. Alchemist would go on to reach the #1 spot on seven separate Beatport charts: Dubstep, Drum and Bass, Electro-House, Glitch Hop, Drumstep, Indie Dance/Nu Disco and Overall.
During grade school he was diagnosed with a series of mental conditions – primarily Aspergers Syndrome, but with some autism and ADHD sprinkled in there. Vinter’s treatment revealed a silver lining: he also had a condition known as “savant syndrome, which allowed for a remarkable focus and aptitude in a particular talent – in Vinter’s case, music. “They told me as long as I kept doing music, I would succeed.” His most recent album’ Protos’ was an electro-pop space opera that hit the #25 spot on the extremely competitive iTunes Pop chart and #1 on Bandcamp for both Overall, Pop and Electronic.
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