Lexodus Brings Storytelling Back to Hip-Hop
By Martin Stokes . July 9, 2018
I first saw Lexodus at Marie Antonette.
Back then the entire act consisted of Alex Linton spitting bars and pouring whiskey into the mouths of any eager revellers brave enough to come close to the stage. Today, the concept of Lexodus has changed entirely. No longer a solo project, it’s now full band with skilled instrumentalists making music that fuses funk, groove and glitch beats together with intricate stroytelling in the vein of André 3000 and Mike Skinner from the Streets.
With two successful underground EPs under their belt, Lexodus has been hard at work in the studio these last few months producing their next work, The Cosmic Show, and it’s dropping next week on Friday the 13th at Cassiopeia.
Alex sat down with me to talk about their upcoming EP, who Lexodus is, and what the journey has been like since they hit the ground running in Berlin.
1) Give us a concise summary of Lexodus.
Lexodus is a live alternative experience: a quintet of multi-instrumentalists, locked, loaded, and ready to deliver a rich and electric live performance. Their mission is to take the listener through a spectrum of emotions by using the art of storytelling.
2) What can we expect from the upcoming EP?
The intention of The Cosmic Show is to bring something fresh to the hip-hop scene, get away from the mainstream and trap expectations of the genre that’ve been taking over the industry, compelling listeners into believing this is the only way hip-hop should sound.
The art of storytelling in hip-hop needs to be brought back to the forefront, Slick Rick, Nas & Andre3000 are legends in the game and this is for a reason. Beats and lyrics can create vivid images for a listener and this has been lost in the current climate.
3) You’re a founding member of the collective Peanut Butter Beats. What was the goal of the collective and how has it been received by the Berlin music community?
The goal of the collective has always been to bring up emerging artists from varied backgrounds into the equally varied music community of Berlin. German hip-hop is massive in Berlin. But within the expat community, we weren’t seeing so much. So we aimed to bring this diversity to the scene and I think it has been very well-received. We push the boundaries between a concert and club night and people really seem to enjoy this.
4) You’ve been in the Berlin scene for a while now. What was the journey from relative new-comer to where you are now?
I came here with no music under my belt and no experience to match. I got offered a gig and this forced me to create my very first EP. From doing street music to house parties, the growth within myself has been huge. Berlin is a tough city. Moods change just as harshly as the seasons and I have learned how to maintain a creative flow, but it was challenging.
All that being said, the streets of Berlin are filled with magical moments. If I had not spent my time on the streets, giving music to the people, then I would not be in the position I am today. I would never have met SKID or the guys from Big Tomato Records, let alone all the fantastic musicians. There is gold to be found on the streets of Berlin.
5) You’re originally from London. Does this influence the context of your songs, or do you draw lyrical inspiration from somewhere else?
Lyrical inspiration for me is something I do not try to contain or only draw from one place. I find I write a lot after travelling or after going through life events that shake up what is considered normal at the time. I like to push a twist of the absurd through my lyrics because I feel this runs throughout life. I have always enjoyed telling a story, and this is always a focus, sometimes tracks may not specifically tell something, but if you listen to the record in full, hopefully something starts to click.
6) Unlike a lot of hip-hop artists I’ve seen, you don’t simply rap over a backtrack. Does having a complete band change the dynamic of the way you create songs?
To be honest, Lexodus for me is no longer a solo venture. I do not see myself as Lexodus the same way I did before. Lexodus is now the band and you get a plate full of tasty when you see us. Being part of a band has forced me to become more professional in my approach to music because these guys are so good. I am blessed to be working with such killer musicians. It allows us to actually create dynamics in the music and create a mood.
Lexodus wants to make people think, make them feel, reach and ignite people to ensure they’re not busy doing nothing. Reality is tight when the music is right. Lexodus wants people to get in the moment, be free of routine thoughts and disconnect from the condition that has been assigned.
7) What’s coming up in the future and where can people catch Lexodus?
We have the EP release show at Cassiopeia on Friday 13 July. This is our last gig for the summer and then we will be back in September to perform at the SampleMusicFestival 2018. We plan to record some of the old tracks from the first two albums and release these around November. Also, keep the music videos coming for a couple of singles we have lined up. In December we will go to a house in the French countryside and record the next EP, which will be released in 2019. There is a lot on the cards, so keep your ears to the ground and your eyes to the sky!
Get your tickets for Lexodus’ EP launch at Cassiopeia on the 13th of July.
Check out Lexodus on Facebook.
Listen to the Cosmic Show EP here.