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Album Review: Bascar by DZA

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Sasha Dza, or more commonly known as DZA, is an electronic artist and producer from Vladivostok, Russia. I haven't been able to pull a lot of information from this artist, but I found him through a new albums list in April from the Genius website. Since this is his solo work, he also collaborates with Nana the Shrimp and Mumiy Troll. Bascar marks his latest studio album.

The first track from the album is Firmware Installation. Judging by the title of this track, you might be able to tell that this is just a quick, one-minute introduction to the album. Even with this introduction, it doesn't feel like I'm getting anything useful from it. I hear very quiet and faint bell sounds, and potential electronic or animal sounds. There's some percussion beats added here and there, but nothing too significant. Cutting this track out from the album would do it favors.

Bascar Interface is finally the first real track from the album, and it's one of the longer tracks on the album since it's over five minutes in length. The synths on this are amazing since they are reverbed to add a wavy, or 'openness' to the track. I'm also kind of getting a Com Truise sort of vibe, so he may be an inspiration for DZA. The reverbed and repeated synth chords do eventually come to an end after a few minutes, but then we are brought to an open, electronic world judging by the turn in direction of the track.

While the previous track was the first real track, we didn't get much of melodious track. Driving Along The Coastal Road Above Great Ocean gives us something more memorable and easy on the ears. Just listening to this track puts me in a good mood and it sounds like something I'd have on a lo-fi playlist when trying to get some work finished. I'm also a sucker for some of the inaudible vocal effects that some artists use in their music.
 
Engine v.02 ( TEST MODE ) is another interlude thrown onto the album. While this track does provide a bit more than the first track on the album, it just doesn't seem like a worthwhile track to put on this project. If this track ran into the next track, it would be a bit more understandable, but it doesn't. There are definitely more sounds and things to listen to, but this would be another track that I would pass on since I didn't get any enjoyment from this minute-long track.
 
The Race continues to bring the car and racing aspect to the album, but definitely with a more electronic and futuristic vibe. I'm not really getting a 'race' aesthetic from the music, unless you're talking about an older racing sort of video game. The electronics and synths just don't hype me up enough to be a great racing track. The intensity does build up towards the middle and it is a great track nonetheless, but just a weird title for the track.

A New Rival is exactly what you may expect from a fighting game, or when meeting your rival for the first time in a video game. You get some dark electronics and a quiet opening, but it slowly opens up when the rival is about to be revealed. A lot of these synths and bell patterns have been introduced on earlier tracks, but this is where DZA comes out and shines. He's able to morph and throw all of these effects into the music to make it that more exciting.

We finally come to the longest track on the album, SATS+ANNA Motors. This track is just over seven minutes in length, but brings some new things to the table. The beginning part of the track has some high pitched bells and wind-like whistles. We also get some wavering notes that could be linked to some vaporwave tracks. There also seems to be a robot giving out some directions, but it's a bit difficult to hear what the robot is saying.

Awareness And Assumptions brings back the vibrant synths. It starts out low, but as the volume ramps up, so does the aggressiveness of the synths. It seems very basic at times and something you may hear on a beat tape, but there's just enough uniqueness sprinkled onto here to make it a standout track. The bubbly bells that are added during the transitions are a neat feature, but can get annoying once you've heard it a few times.

Best Friend is another short track, however it does provide more context than the other two introduction/interlude tracks, even if it's under two minutes in length. We do get some new electronic effects introduced on this track. The electronic sound has a very bouncy, and horn-like sound. I do wish there was more input on this track, or I wish he would have done a bit more experimenting since there could have been so much more to come from this.

Final Lap is supposedly the last lap of some sort of race that DZA has been hinting at for the majority of the album. We're introduced with some short, but quick electronic tidbits, which hint that things are heating up or getting close in the race. There is a quick lapse of stillness towards the middle of the track, which leads me to believe that the race either ended, or there was a last minute change in the leader of the race.

The final track we have on the album is Pink Sunset, which was one of the latest singles for this album. I actually give this track a listen since I was considering putting DZA on my podcast episode for new albums. While I wasn't too stoked about this track, it did lead me to check out some of his other tracks which were pretty amazing. Besides that, with a slow and open feeling with this track, it does serve as a great ending which leads me to believe this racer is driving off into the sunset.

Overall Rating: 7/10
Favorite Tracks: Driving Along The Coastal Road Above Great Ocean, The Race, A New Rival, Awareness and Assumptions
 
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