‘THANK THE LORD’ for Savour the Rations

SAVOUR THE RATIONS is an amorphous collective based out of Western Sydney comprising artists, videographers, photographers and designers whose express mission is to establish a new standard for Australian hip hop to be appreciated on a global scale. No small feat. It’s been just over a year since RAJ MAHAL and KWAME teamed up under the Savour the Rations banner to unleash the ferocious and anarchic ‘Bluffin’, and they’ve properly announced their return with the follow-up single, ‘THANK THE LORD’. A tour-de-force posse cut featuring some of the strongest personalities and best production to come out of Australian hip hop this year, ‘THANK THE LORD’ makes that goal look all the more achievable from where Savour the Rations are standing.

If I had to guess, I would say that as they get bigger, Savour the Rations are most likely going to invite endless comparisons to BROCKHAMPTON, but not without reason. Part of what Brockhampton does so well is they use creative and inventive production to allow varied and diverse personalities to exist within the space of one track. And asides from the obvious structural similarities between the two, Savour the Rations pull off a similar trick on ‘THANK THE LORD’, each of the four emcees – Raj Mahal, Kwame, DOMBA and GIBRILLAH – meeting one another on mutual levels throughout the track’s three minute melange of back-to-back fiery verses.

The production, which is handled here by Kwame, is some of the most stunning, idiosyncratic and accomplished work that you’re going to hear coming out of Australian hip hop this year. An eclectic mix of hand drums, metallic plucks that bounce around the mix and that warped, dancefloor-baiting bass sound that Kwame has practically made his own at this point, ‘THANK THE LORD’ arrives at a riotous pace, the production matching the energy and urgency of the vocal performances through its raw, stripped back minimalism. The percussion, in particular, has this kind of cloistered, dry, analogue feel about it that reminds me a lot of PHARRELL, not to mention the way Kwame also uses the percussion as more than a rhythm, instead folding it into the track as a melody. Not to belabour the point but Kwame is increasingly coming into his own as a producer – it’s a huge part of why his entirely self-produced solo EP from earlier this year, Endless Conversations., has been such a success. And ‘THANK THE LORD’, which moves with the self-assured confidence of knowing this, proves that he’s only going to get even better from here.

It’s unclear whether or not the foursome, each of whom are in pretty pivotal stages of their blossoming careers, will continue releasing music together under the Savour the Rations going forward. In a lot of ways, it almost feels like an event project, appointment listening for Australian hip hop. But surely, you would have to hope otherwise, because ‘THANK THE LORD’ is too good to resist.

WORDS BY KYLE FENSOM

IMAGE: Zain Ayub

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