Alxndr London's 'III META' Project is a Futurist Exploration of 2020 Led Emotion
Evan Dale // Nov 3, 2020
There has always existed a sort of kinetic energy in the auditory aesthetic of Alxndr London. From sound to experimental sound; track to track, nothing happens outside the existence of what came before it. It is built. It is progression. And what is perhaps most notable about the kinetic progression of Alxndr London is that as an artist and as a purveyor of a musical styling alike none other, his is one of the only unique sounds in music rooted directly in nothing outside his own creation. There are of course roots of influence in everything between but not limited to Yoruba culture, Neo-Soul, jazz, and electronica, but the resulting sound in the confluence of those roots is for all intents and purposes not necessarily new, but certainly alien to modern composition or that of the past.
To be born from nothing but oneself, and to be rooted nowhere but the opening keystrokes that introduce any of his movements, means that those introductory moments not only of each track, but of his overarching collections feel particularly key and foundational. He – or with the case of his new EP, III META, his mother’s Yoruba vocals – set a tone – plant a seed of sorts – that allows the psychedelic meandering of his many talents to draw the rest of the music forth. It has always worked in his favor, resulting in tracks and full-length projects that feel from end to end tethered akin by the string of something invisible, and with lll META, it works again in an as-always unique manner even when weighed against his own existing exploits.
I is III META’s pillar, and opening statements so to speak that feel drawn directly from the Yoruba explorations of Talking Drum and thus provide a sense of continuity – of kinetic progression – from wherever it was that IVMERIN left an individual listener. Even for Alxndr London who is an architect of ambience and its accompany emotionality, Power feels more stemming from its ambient sphere than from percussive and vocal elements. It is immersive and – for lack of a better word – powerfully so.
At the same time, ambience and immersion in a state of fluidity have always been specialties of Mr. London, who creates all of his music to exist in the liquid form of sound waves. An intensive adherence to detail is noticeable in III META even more than its predecessors, likely as a natural progression of Alxndr London’s musical understanding itself. He is – like any artist constantly creating – becoming stronger in his focus on the little details – or maybe it’s just us – constantly listening – becoming more conscious of our sonic surroundings. In either circumstance, III META is recognized by its many layers; its many tactile moments.
Of them, Subconscious (aptly named) feels most attached to an underlying circuit board of the most minute sonic details. The track which does at times feel like a progression of the echoey lane paved by Arca in the early 2010’s, is arguably the most flux track Alxndr London has ever released. Painfully emotive, dark, and twisted, London’s falsetto spends the track’s duration in effort to escape the metallic, basement atmosphere carved out by its underlying production from London duo, Bon. Subconscious is a cold, but honest examination of that for which it’s named.
Finally, Restraint builds upon the at-this-point established sound of Subconsious and III META at large, distorting the nature of a synth-driven beat, confusing it with London’s vocals, and leaving the two, ultimately entangled in a post-human ballad that should see to it that Alxndr London and his music remain unharmed in the event of an android renaissance.
III META is an inarguably different project from an artist from whom nothing else could ever be expected. But 2020 is a different year for all of us. Speaking on the project, London said,
“2020 has been a painful year for so many. For me that meant putting tour/project release plans on hold, starting a new role supporting homeless adults into accommodation (during lockdown), reconciling my Nigerian roots with my Black British experience and delving into gardening as a means of both therapy and preservation. If not for the kind words of encouragement from Bon, I don’t know if ’III META’ would have ever seen the light of day. Special thanks to my mother who recorded vocals in Yoruba for each track. My purpose groweth clearer everyday; please remember Nigeria in your prayers.”
The long, painfully emotional road for a collection only three tracks in length is Alxndr London’s boldest, most experimental to date. And for that – for the same reason we have always been so entranced by his futurist exploration – Alxndr London with III META continues to prove music, art, and maybe the human artist have no limits other than the raw constraint of emotionality.