Savath & Savalas - Apropa't

Scott Herren is more commonly associated with the name of Prefuse 73 in the hip-hop world, but the second album from his side-project Savath & Savalas entitled Apropa’t is far removed from his usual musical offerings.

Apropa’t has musical roots in some sort of apocalyptic fusion of organic chill-out, spliced with subtle electronica and an arid Catalonian tang. Herren, despite residing in Atlanta, embarked upon making the album when researching his own Spanish heritage in Europe, and Apropa’t is born out of a collaboration with amateur local Eva Puyuelo Muns.

Apropa’t is the sort of album that conjures up a soundscape of calm imagery after the frenetic storm. It’s as if it exists as a third act starkly sitting behind the first two acts of blistering hostility. It’s almost calming in its simplicity. Eva’s vocals have a touch of Sergio Mendes’ Lani Hall to her delivery, and the swirling soft beats and electronica hidded in the mix add to the cinematic / futuristic stylisation.

Certainly more of an album as opposed to a collection of tracks, Apropa’t sits easily in the background for a swift forty-two minutes. It’s very similar, but clearly more indirect than Calexico’s Feast Of Wire, which aimed to render a non-western world as a framework for an epic musical artwork. Apropa’t seems to be a hindsight’s cut-and-paste guide to all Latin / Spanish musical genres over the latter twentieth century. It clearly sounds like a piece from the twenty-first century, and yet is clearly pointing towards the past fifty years.

Apropa’t could be considered dreary lounge music to some, but to others it will effectively portray its own beauty to evoke lingering musical images in their minds. It’s becoming apparent that Herren is proving adept at anything he tries his hand at, and maybe 2004 will be the year of his making.

Overall

8

out of 10

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