Album Reviews Music

Album Review: Ordinary Drugs by Folamour

By Sam Cotter

Created and crafted by the clubs of Lyon, Folamour released his highly anticipated second album ‘Ordinary Drugs’, at the start of February, on his newly founded record label For Heaven Use Only (FHUO). ‘Ordinary Drugs’, an 11 – track soulful – space – Jazz – house – infusion, epitomises an artist with a fervent attitude and devotion towards his music. This latest collection of songs illustrates a lavish heart-warming record that fuses glowing jazz keys and lingering trumpet motifs with low slung beats, dreamy top lines, and catchy basslines.

His versatile palette and soulful take on deep house have seen his influences of jazz, house, funk, disco and hip-hop emanate on to his records. His emergence and gradual rise in the scene became established with a collection of EPs and a highly sought after, debut album, ‘Umami.’ Umami ebbed and flowed with authentic beats and smart sampling, and was lapped up by the dancefloor punters and home-listening admirers. Tracks like ’Devoted to U’, ‘Ivoire’ and ‘Petite Prince Du Macadam’ demonstrated a versatility that put Folamour amongst the heavyweights of underground music. A lively – disco orientated album, with a nod towards his love of Japanese culture, packaged neatly into this 9 track – record and was produced with an abundance of originality and quality.

Whilst ‘Umami’ was the foundation of success and exposure and was altogether a livelier sound. ‘Ordinary Drugs’, on the other hand, is a mature, and richer venture into production that is self-reflexive and expressed through the downtempo, ‘space – jazz’, soul and funk – like qualities on this record. The organic and eclectic mix of sound delves into introspective, spiritual, and serene soundscapes whilst being under-cut with lo-fi and deep house beats. Tracks like “After Winter Must Come Spring” feat Elbi, “I Only Remember you When I Sleep” feat Mark Borgazzi, and “I Don’t Sleep At Night But I Wake Up at 6AM” highlight a smooth overlap of jazz, funk and soul themes, as well as his willingness to collaborate with vocalists who evoke ambience and emotion in the tracks. He occasionally provides the snippets of the liveliness found on ‘Umami’, and when he does, they are equally distinctive in their own right.  The upbeat tempo of: “Don’t Make me Leave You Again, Girl”, “Christmas is Only Beautiful in TV Shows” and “These Are Just Places to Me Now” all showcase his ability to craft groovy disco and house vibes and are synonymous with his previous catalogue. It provides an energy and passion to the album which will induce dancing amongst a spirited crowd.

Such is the nature of Ordinary Drugs, that enjoying this album in – one sitting will, no doubt, put you through a range of emotions. Whilst Picking out one or two tracks, it may make you second guess whether you are listening to a Folamour album. But listened to as a journey, it is an album which shows an artist willingness to push their own boundaries and not pigeon hole their ability. His dedication to originality, authenticity and his scope of influences has confirmed Folamour as one of the best at his craft. ‘Ordinary Drugs’ could be, the cherry on top of an exceptional discography.