Savant, a young Norwegian producer, recently released a full length album on SectionZ Records titled ISM. The album is impressive, to say the least. Savant has grown somewhat of a cult following, and has put out a considerable amount of music over a short span of time. His Facebook page claims he has created over 10,000 original productions across many different genres. ISM is a glimpse into the mind of an extremely talented producer. Never to be confined by just one genre, ISM spans the boundaries of electronic music and reveals just how talented this young producer really is.
“The Beat” is full-on electro house, with great vocal mixing and a gigantic bassline driving the feel of the track. During the verses, Savant alternates between two sequences during the track: one has a lighter bass hits as the vocals work their magic, while another has a much more “glitchy” arrangement as rumbling bass hits, scorching leads, and a “whomp” oscillator that seems ripped straight from a dubstep bassline, all drive the track forward. A beautiful melodic breakdown, with a rhythmic lead, breaks up the energy of the song before Savant once again sends us headfirst back into the maximal force of the track. Savant’s expertise with bass programming, glitchy arrangements, and even melodic arrangements are on full display in this one. “The Beat” is an absolute banger.
“Cry For Love” is a very unique track, and one of the best on the album. Here, Savant channels his inner disco house lover, and the feel of the track is very groovy and funk-influenced. That classic, rhythmic, disco house bass line serves as the backbone of the arrangement while short guitar riffs add extra rhythm. Meanwhile, Savant intersperses harmonious vocal samples (with heavy use of vocoder) to add some melodic weight to the composition. After a brief breakdown, the feel of the track changes in the second half. Short bass hits give way to a more glitchy arrangement, as percussion samples, short vocal samples, and even white noise are all rhythmically inserted to give the sequence a more aggressive feel. This gives the track variety, and soon after the old groove-driven arrangement returns to take us to the outro. While Savant is known for his expertise with whomps, wobbles, and sawtooth waves, it is tracks like “Cry For Love” that display the producer’s remarkable versatility.
“Prelude” is perhaps one of the most ambitious tracks on Savant’s entire album. Beginning with a light introduction of ornate strings, spacious synth chords, and a high soft lead, the track soon achieves a more energetic feel thanks a deep sub bass and a forceful sequence of sawtooth synths. A short breakdown leads us back into the mix, this time with the kick drum on full blast as the sawtooth synth chords continue to provide their dark melody. Soon, the arrangement shifts as Savant expands on his initial feel. In this second sequence, the bass and chords function in tandem as they work through a haunting progression that propels the track to new heights. Leading into the final breakdown, Savant even introduces a “vocal chorus” synth that compounds the melodic magnitude of the song. The breakdown then returns us to the original feel, with the hefty bass driving the groove while the biting synth chords work their sinister magic. “Prelude” is equal parts eerie and beautiful, and showcases Savant’s multifaceted production technique.
“Syko” is one of Savant’s takes on dubstep, on which he crafts one of the albums hardest tracks. The track begins quickly, dropping into a hard hitting kick, hat and snare and a circus-like synth that definitely draws influence from the track’s name. The breakdown of the track is light and melodic, but not long lasting. The havoc resumes, this next time adding some more wobbles, which drives the track even harder. On the third drop the track is surprisingly switched up to drum & bass, and the track carries out that way until the end.
“Starfish” is one of the most diverse tracks on the album. For “Starfish,” Savant slows the tempo down to 100 bpm and delves into the realm of glitch hop, and it features a much more melodic groove than some of the other tracks on the album. This one is simply fun, his intricate sound design work is spacey and captivating and is sure to uplift any mood. In addition to this, he adds in just enough of an edge so that the track doesn’t come off as cheesy.