'With 2023, Alxndr London exists today as the truest definition of artist, seemingly allergic to anything not vibrantly sovereign and ultimately creative.'
Evan Dale // Jun 21, 2018
Original Photograph: @morganlorelle
“Welcome to my universe” bleeds the superhuman falsetto of Alxndr London in his most apt of greetings to 2023, a project whose futurist title is perhaps not set far enough into a distant timeline to do justice to his musicality’s slitting of conventionalism’s wrists. If the album’s titling is in fact a mistake born of London’s humble nature, it is the sole error revolving around the project’s entirety. The rest is bold innovation, imperfect perfection.
For those of you new to the genial creator’s whimsical nature extending far beyond his music, the album’s opening line rings true, for the journey on which you are about to embark is a life changing spell of artistic expressionism so gall that if it were not for your host’s guiding hand, would leave you astray in a timeless trance of too deep a thought.
2023 is moving and jarring at a pace only possible when an artist creates entirely freeform of the constricts of modern day genrefication. It doesn’t belong to any particular school and instead draws inspiration more from the emotional ability of its artist than it does from the existence of music to have come before it.
Surely, there are lines to be drawn from its sound. Fans of vocally-dominated music traditions like the house of Soul or Rhythm & Blues will appreciate the boldness and wide-ranging vocal ability displayed throughout the projects duration. Fans of production-dominated spectrums like that of electronica, UK garage in particular, will admire the experimental approach and cutting-edge texture. Lastly, fans of jazz and funk’s long and instrumentally-endowed storylines will find comfort where others won’t – the abrupt sonic explosions, delicate pseudo-silence, and unpredictable cadence shifts marking 2023 at psychedelic random bring to mind a long list of futurists across music’s time-scape: George Clinton, Prince, D’Angelo.
But above any comparison or labeling of style and genre, 2023 is simply at its core, an art album – a collective work created by an artist who emits and evokes his own self into his art and audience without a predetermined form.
From start to finish, it doesn’t sound like anything else, and truthfully, isn’t for everyone. After all, art is subjective; art is for all of those up to the task of drawing their own conclusions. To it, it’s easier to draw conclusions with a basket full of opinions, and artistic creations as bold and inventive as 2023 leave room for an awful lot of them.
The project is undeniably unique, at times teetering on bizarre, but is so in a way that all great art and music strive to be. It’s an honest, organic, and unforced portrayal of an artist’s self through the medium of his choosing.
A strong sense of pattern and form builds throughout its entirety, each track uncovering itself from start to end, each subsequent track adding progressively more musical and thematic complexities than the one before. At times, apparent in the first half of Silent Passenger, London seems to be exploring a contrasting argument of vocalism and production which, though unfamiliar and shaking, finds harmony. At other times, shining brightest in Juju Riddim, London’s emotion-evoking delivery draws the beat – this one built of muted djembe drum patterns and ghostly sampled echoes – from its undertone shell and exposes it in the transparent white space of his high-tones. All of it comes crashing down and culminating in The Right Amount of Everything – the again, aptly-titled, perplexingly balanced closing track to the 2023 playbill.
Sadly, most artists are never able to truly reach such levels of authenticity and instead fall short with the weight of their falsities and expectation. In contrast, Alxndr London, as such a young artist, has mastered the art of art by never trying to master anything – and instead, by simply existing and creating as himself.
The result is a smooth, emotional, experimental project done in such a way that will help to usher in the imminent anti-genre age while also influencing the future of vocals, electronic production, poetic lyricism, and heart wrenching auditory storytelling. With the aid of artists like Alxndr London and projects like 2023, music will push further towards authenticity and perpetual grey areas of sound classification. It will also undoubtedly push towards an era where unique, organic musical artists, of which Alxndr London seems to reign supreme, hold the key to music’s expansive future.
Alxndr London exists today as the truest definition of artist, seemingly allergic to anything not vibrantly sovereign and ultimately creative. And yet, beneath the sonic texture of uncomfortability and experimentation unfold the welcoming arms of music in its form organic, able to relate and connect to us all without the mainstream effort to coalesce. 2023 is natural, fluid music in its most complex simplicity, and for that we must say thank you, Mr. London.