Alan Walker, K-391, Tungevaag, Mangoo – PLAY

“ONE HUNDRED PERCENT UNBRIDLED ALAN WALKER”

Tim: Here, a track that, despite being a reworking of one from twenty years back, and having four credited producers, is 100% unbridled Alan Walker. With a VHS filter applied, because we’ve not had enough of those recently.

Tom: You’re not wrong, that is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT UNBRIDLED ALAN WALKER. Not just the synth pads, but the rhythms they’re in, the vocal quality of the singer, and the vocal chop-ups during the middle eight.

Tim: Somehow, I’d never really figured out how a dance track can have multiple names on it – like, it’s one guy at a computer, how does it work? Fortunately, we’ve a video that explains it nicely, and suddenly I’m thinking ‘of course it’s like that, that makes total sense’.

Tom: It involves floaty purple things. Of course it does.

Tim: We’ve three videos so far – this one from Alan and another from each of K and Martin, each telling a slightly separate story about how things started happening – it’s a rather nice thing, not least for, yep, all the floaty purple things.

The tune’s the main part, though, with the main hook coming from Mangoo’s 1999 track Eurodancer, and pretty much everything else being Alan’s trademark beeps and bloops. And, well, you know what I’m going to think about it, because like I said at the top, it’s 100% Alan’s sound. You like Alan, you like the song; you don’t, you don’t. And I do.

Tom: It’s an odd one, isn’t it? He needs to keep his sound fresh and updated, or people will get bored — but if he does that, it doesn’t sound like an Alan Walker Track any more.

Tim: Though actually, one thing from that video: do you reckon Alan ever brings his hood down?

Tom: Never mind that, what kind of a DJ name is “Mangoo”?

Alan Walker, K-391 and Sofia Carson feat. CORSAK – Different World

“Oh joy! Politics! Exactly what we need today!”

Tim: We’ll lay off Christmas for a bit, so I can bring you some NEWS: three years after Faded first came along, Alan’s finally getting on with releasing an album this Friday; it’s about half and half new music’s what we’ve already heard (and weirdly, it’s missing some of his better stuff), but here’s the title track. And hey, it’s got a political message!

Tom: Oh joy! Politics! Exactly what we need today!

Tim: The world’s gone to pot, we can rescue it if we hurry. I’d say that’s a big if, but hey, let’s go with the optimism because the alternative is just hoping that asteroid comes along fairly soon and, well, happiest time of the year and all that.

Tom: And “we’ve got time” isn’t a great message? “We’ve only just got enough time”, sure, but “we’ve got time” implies, screw it, throw another oil-soaked seagull on the barbie.

Er, anyway, let’s… let’s maybe just talk about the music.

Tim: More pop than dance this time, but that’s no big problem because it’s still a great track. There’s maybe less of your typical Alan sound, but apparently ten people (or, if you recall the gubbins about K-391, nine people and one innovative headset) were involved in putting this together, so it’s almost a wonder it holds together as well as it does.

Tom: This really is designed by committee, isn’t it? There’s no distinguishing feature to it: it feels a bit slow, a bit monotonous, a bit… dull. I actually thought it was over when it went into the middle eight, because I thought I’d been listening for a lot longer than two minutes.

When the best bit in your track is the middle eight, that’s not a good sign.

Tim: Strong (if tired and naive) lyrics, good melody throughout and production that is, to surprise, fully on point. I’m in.

K-391 & Alan Walker feat. Julie Bergan & Seungri – Ignite

“Alan in a room with a floating consciousness influencing him with invisible brainwaves.”

Tim: Easy intros first: Alan (producer) and Julie (female vocals) are both Swedish, and we’ve featured them before; Seungri (male vocals) is Korean, and we haven’t. Now, K391: a Norwegian ‘artist’, and I think it’s best if I quote from his website: “The artist called K-391 conceptualizes your musical getaway in the shape of a unique headset.”

Tom: You what.

Tim: Well, quite. It continues: “Instead of an actual person or group of people, K-391 is an innovative headset that is the living embodiment of its creator, functioning as a portal to another reality. When ignited, K-391 enables your escape from reality, with music as the vehicle and the destination only limited by your imagination.” Sounds a bit wanky, I know, but let’s listen to the music (and watch the demonstrative video) before judging him on that.

Tim: As with many tracks with multiple producers, I have no real idea who’s responsible for what – it’s entirely feasible that the K-391 construct provided the melody and Alan Walker provided the rave music, but equally I could be way, way off and it was Alan in a room with a floating consciousness influencing him with invisible brainwaves.

Tom: Or it could just be marketing junk. I’m going to assume that until proven otherwise.

Tim: Either way, they’ve come up with a perfectly serviceable dance track, with some excellent RAVE portions in it.

Tom: I swear I’ve heard that pre-chorus somewhere before, but yes, I suppose “perfectly serviceable” sums it up. It’s a little bit stock-music in places, but then when you have this many people (and, presumably, one artificial construct) working on a track, perhaps that’s always going to happen.

Tim: And, let’s face it, a video that does a good job of showing off exactly what they mean, and how music can help as a means of escapism. So however silly sounding their introduction is, I won’t begrudge anyone that. Nice work.