A.S. Swanski – Zafari – Album Review
A.S. Swanski has put together an album that is extremely special here on Zafari. Highly experimental, the album plays somewhere in between the most fantastic parts in a Pink Floyd instrumental and pure, free-flowing art at its absolute best. The result is quite simply, an album unlike that which you’ll encounter rarely in our world; it truly has its own unique gravitational pull, and while it might not be a collection of the most typical or recognizable music you’re comfortable with – Zafari will both challenge and delight your waiting eardrums.
The European music-maker starts it all off on a quiet, subtle note in the opener “Safari.” With a smooth electro pulse, and a wicked narration-style vocal; this piano melody led track opens the door wide on what is surely to be an experience to follow this diverse and creative opening track. As he shifts into “Traum,” A.S. resembles work from Four Tet, perhaps even Orbital from his days working on Octane. “Traum” plays along in a dark-alley, electro-jazz fashion that can’t be denied. There’s an extremely subtle vocal sample that comes in at nearly three and a half minutes….just ties the entire sound together perfectly through the melody and whispering.
I was quite impressed with the amount of skill presented on the keyboards themselves. Many of these tracks are piano-driven in sound, with experimentations of all kinds happening around the surrounding melodies. “Hartland” and “Rauschwetter” really go together well, but also stand as two of the stronger back-to-back tracks I’ve heard throughout this year. They’re both incredibly atmospheric, incredibly delicate and beautiful tracks.
“WW” brings the album right back into the dark-alley that Zafari was slightly attempting to crawl out from, before breaking into one of the most melodic parts created on the A.S. Swanski album. There’s a lot to love about the creativity on this cut – it takes you on a completely beautiful ride after at first feeling like it sounds like it wants to take your wallet.
The short & sweet “Innan” sets up the nine-minute monster of a track to follow, “Futura.” Epic in scale; it starts off with a menacing pulse as the track swells and grows, expands and finally explodes like a supernova into space. It breaks into a wide-open atmosphere, complete with distorted, nearly astronaut-like vocal sample, before coming back into that menacing opening line. Accompanied again by the keyboards & piano – this track works incredibly well and completely confirms, at least to my ears – A.S. Swanski is definitely onto something with his style and sound.
As the album wraps up with the sparse & slow, melodic-intensity of “1 July,” it starts with A.S. on the keys completely unaccompanied by other sounds. It’s a hollow, isolated ending to this album…small in a sense, but also a way that truly brought me in closer to those final minutes to listen, and left me with an incredibly unshakable feeling at the end – it’s rare to stumble across true innovation and new music…but A.S. Swanski has certainly pulled that off here on Zafari.
Find out more about A.S. Swanksi & follow his music at: https://www.facebook.com/asswanski
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