Transmission I – Alien Okram (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Having tried to put pen to paper on behalf of previous album My World, you would have thought that I would be prepapred for the strange musical world of Alien Okram. But it is still an interesting and unique sensation dropping into this beguiling world.

To say that the three tracks that make up Transmission I are dance music is like saying that The Taj Mahal is a well ordered pile of bricks! Of course it is, but such a description doesn’t even begin to explain what is really going on here, the scope, the depth, the strange non-conformist, avant-garde beauty.

Electronic manipulation and digital beats might be the starting point but it is the strange and seductive sonics that they drive, the odd and undulating beat patterns that provide the energy and the dark euphoria which is the real selling point.

Milky Way rises out of strange sounds, distant, metalic booms, the echo of the big bang still ebbing and flowing across deep space or that of distant industry of a more mundan nature. Then it bursts into life and blends groove with the odd grace of those opening sounds before turning into razor sharp, white noise disco for the dystopian and nihilistic, future dance set.

Atmosphere blends galactic drone with exotic oriental chimes, futuristic chaos with half heard voices, metronomic and spacious dance beats with radio white noise and, saving the best until last, Shooting Star is a more incendiary sound, a cross over between the pulsing echoes of the sound of dying stars and the most experimental DJ set at the coolest underground club in Berlin.

As always Alien Okram doesn’t play by the rules but clearly knows enough about the task at hand to know which rules to break and which few key sonic strokes are needed to hold everything together.

Transmission I is odd yet graceful, challenging yet addictive, elegant in its own strange way, sonically articulate and like little you have heard before. And that, dear readers, is the whole point.

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