Review : The thrilling debut album from Mall Grab ‘What I Breathe’

Jordon Alexander aka Mall Grab, is a name which has taken the world by storm since exploding into the limelight back in 2015. Initially becoming a poster boy for lo-fi house, his tunes which were known for having a dusty, vinyl-ready authenticity helped shape the genre as we know it today. Since then, his unstoppable rise to the top has come thanks to energy-filled DJ sets spanning the breadth of electronic music and beyond, with influences such as grime, jungle, garage and other UK sounds having a frequent feature.

As years have gone on, we’ve seen Jordon’s sound delve into deeper and darker territory. Venturing into electro, techno and breakbeat, all underpinned by an enthralling rave-ready energy. Many of his cult-like following have travelled along the same journey, watching his sound evolve, whilst others have joined the fold along the way.

The long-awaited debut album is a comprehensive expression of his style to date. Aptly named “What I Breathe“, the 13-track release on Looking For Trouble perfectly encapsulates the body and soul of all things Jordon Alexander, including his famed Mall Grab alias but also the man behind that. Since relocating to London, the city has played a key role in moulding his sound.

The album is littered with nods to the UK scene, and pays tribute to the capital city which he now calls home. Collaborations from iconic UK artists feature throughout with “Times Change” being a prime example. The distinct vocals of D Double E and Novelist lead the charge on this grime imprinted track, wrapped around knee-jerking jungle drums.

Another collab which pays testament to this features a trailblazing female artist who’s quickly made her mark on the jungle scene in recent years; Nia Archives. Her dreamy vocal takes centre stage in “Patience”, a calming cruiser shining the spotlight on Jordy’s more stripped-back work. A tune which builds on this and his love of genres outside of dance music is “Understand ft Brendan Yates”, with vocals from the lead singer of Turnstile; one of MG’s favourite hardcore bands and now good friends.

This similar style can be seen in the album’s opening tune “Hand in Hand Through Wonderland“, a melodic number with soothing pads and unique warmth. “I Can See It So Vividly” continues the melody driven lead, but is this time loaded with the punchy distorted kick drums we’re used to hearing in Mall Grab’s performances.

Moving to the more moody tunes which will no doubt feature in his club sets finds “Intercity Relations”, “Breathing” and “Distant Conversation“. Hypnotic synths, pulsating pads, broken beats and high energy hats are a common finds in these club-geared tunes.

There’s more where they came from, with the big old school rave energy of “Metaphysical” having already done the rounds since its initial release earlier this year. Two other previous singles from the album which have become instant fan favourites include the undeniably feel-good piano anthem “Love Reigns” and the uplifting stab-laced cut “Spirit Wave”.

Adding a final dynamic to the album, sees Jordon’s own vocals featuring on “Without The Sun” and the closing tune “Lost in Harajuku”. Something we’ve seen a glimpse of before on “E36” released on Ohana under his birth name and demonstrating yet another talent in his locker.

To summarise, What I Breathe is an emotive rollercoaster journey packed with euphoric highs, comforting lows and fitting collaborations which capture the very being of Jordon Alexander, better known as Mall Grab.

Check out the full tracklist below
Stream, purchase & download the album here.

Tracklist :

1. Hand In Hand Through Wonderland
2. I Can Remember It So Vividly
3. Love Reigns
4. Understand Ft. Brendan Yates (Turnstile)
5. Patience Ft. Nia Archives
6. Without The Sun
7. Spirit Wave
8. Breathing
9. Intercity Relations
10. Times Change Ft. Novelist, D Double E
11. Distant Conversation
12. Metaphysical
13. Lost in Harajuku

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