”Written byNick Trethowan
Exciting, expressive and fantastical, Alexander Alien has been stealing minds and hearts as one of the best up-and-coming artists from South Africa over the last few years. Multi-talented, this genre-bending artist has a knack for mixing edgy with familiar and impressing a distinct style while effortlessly swapping up the current mode of music with a sound that is dreamy, pop-py, funky and all the while incredibly damn catchy. But Alexander’s true knockout? His ability to embrace the wonderful and the weird.
Based between Cape Town and Berlin, Alexander Alien (née Gourmet) has established himself as not one of the most exciting up-and-coming Art Directors and Visual Creatives; working alongside musicians and brands such Lenny Kravitz, Alice Phoebe Lou and Carhart but an incredible Sound Designer and Producer working with international brands such as Marni, Fendi, Worldlife Wildlife Fund and UNIGLO. If that wasn’t enough, Alex is also one of the core members behind one of our local fashion favourites Caramel Palace.
“My mind is like an aeroplane,
but you’re a hurricane,
Volcano Brain will be Alexander Alien’s first album under this alias; fans might recognize his voice and unique sonic capabilities from his past releases as ‘Gourmet’. With over a million plays on Spotify, Alexander has cultivated listeners who are deeply connected to his artistry. Hard to describe but easy to digest, Alexander’s music exists in its own lane. Written over the past five years between Capetown and Berlin, Volcano Brain invites listeners into the hyper-creative brain of Alexander and takes them on a journey of sound, visuals and utter self-exploration. Accompanying the album is a 7-minute short film, which really showcases Alexander’s avant-garde approach to creativity and expression.
The album’s first single, Soapy is a genre-bending combination of unique sounds and dreamy landscapes that invites the listener into Alexander’s heart. Soapy confronts the idea of disconnection to one’s self and an inner addiction to one’s own suffering; all the while, existing with the backdrop of arpeggiating glockenspiels, bass slaps and a sloppy yet groovy drum groove; as if Kaytranada were on acid.
The corresponding video for Soapy throws us right into Alexanders’ vision for Volcano Brain. 00:58 seconds, Part 1 of the 7 Part short film leaves us wanting more and waiting excitedly for the full project next year.