Folamour the French DJ, producer and musician is back with his third album. The frenchmen’s previous LP, Umami’ was released on Lyon-based record label Moonrise Hill Material. This time, Folamour puts out his new project on his own London-based label FHUO Records (For Heaven Use Only).’Ordinary Drugs’ is a an ensemble of house, disco, jazz and soul tracks that are representative of Folamour’s ability to plunge his creativeness into different realms of the musical world. Plurality expressed by multi-faceted challenges is an important theme in this album. Folamour lets the listener have a look at his deepest feelings, and in turn permits ‘us’ to put into perspective our own lives.
Since releasing Umami, Folamour’s ascendance has been unstoppable. He has toured playing at prominent festivals and clubs around the world. In January he touched base in the motherland to commence his 4MYPPL residency at the Rex Club, a Parisian staple for underground electronic music. The first edition included a stellar line-up, with the likes of Red Greg, GE-OLOGY and FHUO affiliate Parviz.
Folamour’s DJ sets are dedicated to the realm of Disco and House. ‘Umami’ showcases however that a musician such as himself doesn’t settle with producing mono-stylistic music. Highlights from this project include hip-hop tracks such as ‘Kickflippin That Stuff’, ‘Jah Love’ a jazzy broken-beat odyssey and ‘Devoted To U’ a lengthy house song infused with an Earth, Wind and Fire sample.
An Organic Approach
Whilst ‘Umami’ focused on the thematic of balance and serenity. ‘Ordinary Drugs’ finds its essence in the inner challenges that Folamour has faced since appearing on the international Dj’ing circuit. This ensemble of tracks are somewhat like the soundtrack to a complex and changing state of emotions. This is translated by the titles of the songs that directly link to feelings endured by Folamour, but also to the musical process which he went through to compose ‘Ordinary Drugs’.
In the process of the making his latest release, Folamour explored new ways of productions. Rather than relying on the use of Soul and Funk samples to curate tracks on this project, the approach is much more organic and focuses on live instrumentation. You could say that this shows a more personal approach by Folamour, and ties back to the idea of expressing genuine feelings on this project.
A Voyage Through Emotional States
Weaving in and out of reality and states of dreams ‘Ordinary Drugs’ captures the process through which one’s emotions may vary drastically. One element that captures this evolution may be in fact the first and last songs of the album. The first track ‘Intro’ starts with sounds of heavy rainfalls and gusts of wind then interrupted by the appearance of misty synth chords that plunges the listener into a state of serenity. However the re-apparation of the forces of nature, poses uncertainty and in turn challenges the idea of stability.
‘Theme for Marie Marvingt’ (the last track) presents a more upbeat ending than the start of ‘Ordinary Drugs’. Whilst ‘Intro’ underlined a difficulty to maintain stability, the last track on the project combines elements of happiness through the creation of positive sounding music, then transformed into the sounds of birds happily chirping and waves peacefully crashing onto a beach.
The integrality of ‘Ordinary Drugs’ focuses then on providing a look at specific instances that have moved Folamour in one way or another. ‘I Don’t Sleep at Night But I Wake Up at 6AM’, refers to states of insomnia, but also the difficulty for DJs to maintain normal sleeping patterns as their careers confines them to stay awake until the early hours of the morning. Composed of broken drum patterns and erratic piano samples, this tracks captures restlessness and states of fatigue.
‘After Winter Must Come Spring’, is a linear progression from the beginning of the project. It is a sign of hope and change from the state of insomnia expressed beforehand. It addresses one’s quest for happiness whilst stuck in instances of loneliness. The thematic of the changing of seasons can be seen as metaphor of the process through which emotions are subject to change. It also summons the fact that seasons come and go without notice or a fixed time frame, leaving individuals confused and unstable. A month of February could be reigned with weeks of sun and warmth, whilst April is subdued to heavy snowfalls. Effectively, this causes confusion.
Other highlights on this album include ‘These Are Just Places To Me’, an energetic House track that combine elements of Soul and electronic music, as well as ‘Christmas Is Only Beautiful On Tv’. ‘Ordinary Drugs’ as a whole presents a male artist’s ability to be in touch with his range of feelings, but also his range of musical talent. Something that is quite unique and pure.