My World – Alien Okram (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

I always believe that whatever the mainstream can do, the underground scenes do it better. Sadly, we live in a world where corporate gatekeepers decided what is cool and permissible and so many fine musicians working without budget or backing spend their whole careers not getting the recognition that they most assuredly deserve. That, in a nutshell, is why I write this site. And the rewards are that I get to explore music by such creative and interesting people such as Montreal’s Alien Okram.

My World is an album of underground dance tracks, centred around deft and funky basslines which are then processed into myriad off-beat sounds and cocooned in gentle swathes of synth and sample, programming and production. The result is dance music which will tick all the right boxes for mainstream dance divas and the more discerning movers and shakers of the underground alike.

There are songs like the opener, Lady, which are smooth and hypotonic, there are moments of bass-heavy alt-funk meets future-dance such as Change and even sounds which spill out into more indie band territory; Wonderful could easily have been the product of Primal Scream’s dallainces with dance music. Ocean is the ultra-smooth bridge between West Coast Jazz and an exclusive alternative nightclub dancefloor, the sound of Steely Dan evolving into a cutting edge club act as the song plays out.

I never understand why people stick to an enforced listening regime or are fans of certain bands just because they feel the need to run with the pack. Surely, it is much better to search for something that feels like your own? Do that and the music world becomes a more diverse and delicious place. Do that and artists such as Alien Okram get the recognition that they deserve.

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