Zion, the 10th full-length themed album from Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Aleksander Vinter, aka Savant, is one of the most unique albums of the year – diving into completely uncharted territory through its use of Middle Eastern influences. You’ll hear everything from Bulgarian chanting to Hebrew and Arabic instrumentation emerging from this funkdafied digital stew, alongside melodic breakdowns inspired by Black Sabbath (due to his rock/metal upbringing). Splitting the difference between Skrillex and Steve Reich, Fela Kuti and Daft Punk, Zion further cements Savant’s status as dance-music culture’s most unpredictable, impossible-to-pigeonhole artist.

While Savant‘s flagship 2012 release, Alchemist, topped the Beatport charts in 7 separate categories, and his previous LP release Protos, an ‘80s space-rock opera, debuted at #25 on the extremely competitive iTunes Dance chart and reached #1 on Bandcamp’s Overall, Pop, and Electronic charts. Zion, which has landed at #2 on the iTunes Dance chart, is set to surpass all of Savant’s previous successes.

Molded by Aleks’ unique mind, Zion manages to fulfill one’s expectations and defy them simultaneously; it is a complex meditation on the interminable conflicts of the Middle East, but also reflects the sound of contemporary bass music culture, with speaker-shredding dancefloor killers that you can rave out to.

The title track ‘Zion,’ for example, mixes reggae and dubstep styles, all infused with a frantic ‘90s rave feeling. Similarly, ‘Apocalypse’ is a genre-bending tour de force that really showcases Savant’s unique ability to synthesize disparate influences and styles into a cohesive piece of art. As Rob Swire of Pendulum and Knife Party say, “Sometimes music is not meant to be nice. Sometimes you just want to have things sound like the apocalypse.”

While Zion’s theme is a complicated real-world topic that’s not typical for today’s largely apolitical, escapist dance music/club culture, it’s also a metaphor for a lot of stuff at once; even the LP artwork, designed by Simon Stafnes, portrays many nations combined as a symbol of peace.

Preview Zion here:

Connect with SavantF l T l S