The new album from British newcomer Octavian titled SPACEMAN acts as a look into the antagonising mindset of Octavian as he delves into philosophical and heartening spoken word, whilst also delivering harsh braggadocious rap through a celestial and cosmic selection of beats. This album makes a statement by attempting to push the UK music scene forward into a new wave of experimental and distinct rap.
The album begins with “Scared” which immediately captures the essence of the album through the spacey vocals overplayed onto a low fi bass heavy beat. On this short track, Octavian shares his experiences of being put down by his peers in a point where he was at his worst. He highlights how he was able to overcome the barrage of hate and rise above to achieve success. This track serves as a good intro as it sets the vibe of the whole album.
“Sleep” follows, and immediately a shift in attitude is created through drill inspired production which increases the pace of the album. We are then greeted by Krimbo who delivers a stellar opening verse that leads into the a hard hitting chorus from Octavian.
Krimbo steals the show with an explosive verse filled with fire lines. This track disparages Octavian’s ability to not be constrained by musical sounds but is able to makes them his own by fusing genres whilst still maintaining the core of the music. On “Sleep” Octavian is able to utilise the drill sound whilst adding his unique production.
The next stand out track “Stand Down” begins with Octavian reminding listeners of the importance of being a “nice” person over a spacey production with soft bouncing keys that lifts the track. Vocals on this are pitched, which gives the song a light ethereal vibes which reflects the lavish and fast moving lifestyle that is described on this track. This is a standout track on the album due to it showcasing vibrant vocals.
“Here Is Not Safe” sees Octavian offering a deeper yet dynamic experience through the superb production. The use of layered and filtered vocals creates an almost mystical sound that fits perfectly around the vivid beat, while the next song “54321” is one of the best songs on the entire album due to its hypnotic vocals from Octavian. The additional verse from Swift gives the song some edge whilst keeping up the punchy pace of the track.
“Lighting” is my favourite track on the album. On this track Octavian shows off his excellent ability to choose exciting and varied beats. The production on this song is vibrant and kaleidoscopic with looping synth and spirited trap drums. Octavian also produces sparkling vocals that showcase his dynamic range and use of inflections to create an unparalleled sound.
Overall I feel as though SPACEMAN is one of the best albums out this year so far. It is truly special and unlike anything I have heard in a while. The sublime production that elevates each track to new heights as well as the intangible vocal performances from Octavian makes this album unquestionably exceptional.
Purchase Octavian’s SPACEMAN on iTunes here and stream it below.
Words by AJ Banjo