Odunsi (The Engine): rare.
Finally it’s here,
the debut album “rare.” from the alté aristocrat; Odunsi The Engine, has arrived.
…(check out the video).
One cannot mention Odunsi without tipping a hat of to the counter-culture that is the new age & new wave; Alté . Watching it develop from afar I am inspired constantly. Observating closely –what I think to be– the millennial offspring of parents who were probably their own generation’s counter-culture.
Or maybe not. I still look at my parents sideways for never seeing any or the music legend AND hero; Fela Kuti live. Alté is an African subculture best described as the union between Africa X Streetwear.
So what does this sound like?
Well just ask “The Engine.”
The album begins with an ambiance that engulfs you into an auditory sanctuary.
Odunsi sings from on high
A new found confidence, it’s almost like he knows it’s HIS time now.
Transitioning to a monologue that draws you back in time. Painting a picture of a night in Lagos but also gearing us up for the beat to drop.
Hi-Hats & bass kicks from a groovy planet bring you here.
& what actually ensues is a work of art even Majid Jordan would nod their heads to. A clean POP, with the right leaning towards disco. Tasteful electronic highlights that would make Daft Punk jealous are sprinkled all throughout the track. As if that wasn’t already good enough; a shot of nostalgia from PSquare’s hit Ifunaya is administered to the listener.
Take me there ft. Hamzaa
The channel changes,
a short interlude transitions the listener down a technicolor strip in –what -seems like-steps to a mid 90’s RnB sound thanks to distinct sound of Hamzaa‘s voice.
“I see outlines of Neon lights when I close my eyes & listen”
– A word from a friend/fan
This song begins with a celestial xylophone, kept up to beat with some sort of modified shaker. Odunsi’s vocal candence meshes perfectly with the well crafted sound. Dom Kennedy would have gotten in the ring to have this instrumental on his Yellow album.
It’s an “I’m on my way to the peak of the mountain and I’m having a humble reflection of all the shit I went through to get here” type brag.
Divine ft. Davido
Here is the song with the heavy hitting feature; Davido. This track was actually the only released single prior to the album. Odunsi welcomes Davido to his sonic playground. That’s to say Odunsi was not in any way outshadowed by Davido –harsh realities of a headliner– on his own song. The track is a woven sonic fiber melodic masterpiece with layers of choruses and slips that make it a “mature” song. It’s almost like a sub Saharan electronic disco.
We will more than likely see a video to this
Late 80s’ drum beat. It’s a sound from time, that isn’t lost. After multiple listens it’s obvious that this is more than a modern day reboot of disco sounds. More than Saturday night fever. This song could replace the Beverly Hills Cop Theme song with no qualms at all.
Angel ft. Duendita
Then we are back on the hotline, soft drums cushion your ears. It’s seems like their sounds are telling you …. “don’t worry I gotcha babe, in my other life I’m thinking of you“.
Take a break
My favorite albums often have a prayer. Those internal monologues. The songs where you connect to the emotions coming from the sounds, you feel the vibrations. A good artist can make you drop out and tune in. Get you get all caught up in they drama.
Side Note: it is rare to have such minimal production throughout an album -& it still hits- in this climate remember that folks.
Express (feat. Santi & Nasty C)
And we have the “on the way to the club” turn up song. Thank you. There has been a dire need for a tune like this.
Really wanna see a Miami vice color graded visual to this song, “Lagos Vice” what does that look like, cause that is what this sounds like. Like Grand Theft Auto West Africa, what does that story line play like, can we get that?
On top of that also its featuring the Lion Santi and Nasty C. The track Taps. Convertible Drop Top.
I”ma get this put on a cassette and bump it in a Rolls-Royce Corniche, its a vibe.
Fuck it, grab your roller skates & slide down to the local rink with nothing but this song on repeat. Roll bounce vibes with what I like to call “vocal thrusts” “ugh, yeah”.
Star Signs (feat. Runtown)
Here we have it; a celestial groove “star signs”. Pretty much what you except to hear, if an Aux cord was plugged into a disco ball. We here for the babes that don’t give you a chance if your star signs don’t align. Check ya horoscope boi!
Green light (feat. Tay Iwar)
A song about consent, “this is what I’m trying to do with you,“ on the digital dance floor. This whole album probably took place on a digital dance floor under a disco ball.
Hectic (feat. 234Jaydaa, Amaarae & Solis)
A pure dove like voice blossoms… the tape changes into a quirky chant –kinda sexy– then my man emerges not to take over the song but to exchange dialogue. An equal exchange of energy occurs from artist to artist. Guitar rifts garnish the track hitting us again with the clean minimal beats.
Odunsi is vibrating at a rare. frequency.
Alté Cruise (feat Santi & Zamir Los)
Our Current Alté Culture anthem, get to know it. S/O to the boys, girls, everyone in between and under. [Instructions below]