When Dark Model released his self-titled debut album in 2014, the electronic music community was stunned. His technical and virtuosic electronic style was intriguing, fresh and progressive. As a result, the record was nominated for the 14th Annual Independent Music Award in the Dance/Electronica Album category. Now, fast-forward three years and Dark Model has returned.

Dark Model is the brainchild of award-winning Japanese producer and composer Tatsuya Oe, who now resides in New York and is also known under the names Captain Funk and OE. His music is driven by heroic, epic and emotional atmospheres and his résumé boasts many impressive collaborations including projects with James Brown, Serge Gainsbourg, Ron Sexsmith, Chic, Simon Lebron and Yoshihide Otomo.

Dark Model’s sophomore album Saga brings the audience on a high-speed journey through thirteen intricately crafted tracks. The record, which begins with a modern take on a Prelude, asks the listener to embark on a self-reflexive symphonic journey. This album showcases Oe’s technical prowess and his ability to create breathtaking pieces that are both pensive and invigorating. One of the shining stars of Saga is 'Survivors', which features sweeping and mysterious string melodies, dramatic crescendos and an immense variety of musical instruments such as horns and harpsichords. 'Survivors' radiates optimism and mystery while propelling listeners forward through their sonic journey. Another standout track of Saga is 'Storm Goddess', a darker more ambient piece complete with epic brass, swirling strings, pounding tympanic solos and massive drum beats. Furthermore, 'Storm Goddess' features well-placed moments of silent anticipation, which culminate with a return to the main theme. In contrast, the song 'Dawn of Resurrection' is a delicate work marked by soft strings. The piece is a total crescendo that gradually transforms into another powerful anthem.

The record features beautiful symphonic sweeps that are carefully juxtaposed against strong drum beats and pulsating synth patterns. The result is a complete textural equilibrium between classical and electronic realms. In Saga, Oe overlays striking choir passages on top of building drum beats to reach intense musical climaxes. His orchestral layering and attention to detail are daunting. Equally as impressive is the diverse range of instruments featured throughout the record. Among many others, Oe incorporates instruments not often heard in electronic music such as piano, harpsichord, tympanic bells, and woodwinds.

Each track on Saga unravels as a symphonic story and the record, as a whole, is a total immersive adventure. The album is an orchestral journey propelled by pumping drumbeats, whirling strings, epic brass and dramatic vocal additions. Aurally, Saga is about balance. With this record, Oe strikes a profound balance between classical and electronic elements all while crafting a style that is exciting, unique and complex. Saga also deals with finding a balance between dark and light. The record speaks on invincibility, it deals with the basic human desire to succeed and to be bulletproof, and with Saga, Dark Model is bulletproof.