Berghain-Influenced Newcomer Alekxandr on The Music That Shaped Him

Cardiff-via-London newcomer Alekxandr is on the cusp of wondrous things.

Largely thanks to his brooding, ominous take on dark electro-pop from the same sonic world as Perfume Genius and Zola Jesus, his debut single s a l t c r y s t a l s is a must-listen for this month, now with an equally-great accompanying video.

In his own words on the track:

“s a l t c r y s t a l s was written in Berlin about my first experience at Berghain and the guy I left with. After 14 hours of dancing, in what felt like the most glorious version of hell, we railed through the city and wound up on grass, evaporating under September sun. The encounter left me wanting. The song is an attempt to preserve that fleeting encounter.”

Alekxandr’s s a l t c r y s t a l s is out now. Take a look at the video and check out a run-through of the artist’s favourite tracks below:

Björk: Hyperballad

Hyperballad is the second song I ever fell in love with (Black Box – Ride on Time being the first). I was about 8 when my Mum’s boyfriend Bob played Post. It ignited my imagination and I felt like I had a friend. That love of Björk has endured and grown over time and discovery. It influences everything I make.”

FKA Twigs: Water Me

“This is such an elegant work of art. I love how it deals intimately with sexual power play through poetry. I love how it conjures atmosphere. Nothing about it feels like traditional music. It feels like what’re being played are not instruments but a throat and a creaky ceiling. Pure nectar for the right side of the brain.”

Faithless: Insomnia

“This was central to the beginning of my life changing relationship with clubbing. I remember it was always a highlight of the night when I was 14 and first started going out in Cardiff. Full of angst yet euphoric.”

Amy Winehouse: Waking Up Alone

“My favorite artist of all time. I saw her live and it was the most incredible night of music I’ve ever experienced. Impossible to chose just one song but Wake Up Alone does share a similar sentiment to s a l t c r y t a l s although coming from another dimension. Bringing that 50‘s era back to life was amazing and she got me into artists that I love now like The Ronnets and The Flamingos. There was a time I would run home to get Back to Black on, listening to whole thing about 3 times a day. She set the bar when it comes to telling truth.”

Radiohead: Fake Plastic Trees

“Makes my soul ache and the challenge of forging an authentic human connection in a world of artifice becomes ever more relevant.”

James Blake: Retrograde

“If amazing songs are like spells, this is such a powerful incantation. Gentle and explosive. It feels like it comes to you direct from the soul in the depths of the night. I was definitely inspired by the fizzy, swarming synths of Retrograde while making s a l t c r y s t a l s.”

Madonna: Substitute For Love

“Madonna has always been part of my life. Growing up The Immaculate Collection was one of the few tapes my Mum owned. I heard Substitute for Love for the first time in the depths of a K hole at an afterparty in someone’s mansion in Somerset when I was about 16. It felt like the song lasted 6 hours in which time I made my peace with the living world and made a choice between chasing fame or pursuing real love with a person. It’s Madge at her artistic height writing about something real.”

Charles Bradley: Changes

“All my life in one song.”

Lana Del Rey: Blackest Day

“I’m a fool for Lana Del Rey. I love the sensual and glamorous doom of having no defense to romance. This song is like being sucked through the floor on the most dreamy valium. Her production is sublime, Queen of luscious reverb mermaid licks. I invariably want mermaids swimming somewhere in my song.”

Max Richter: On The Nature Of Daylight

“Mournful. Stoic. It reminds me of a play I did set in WW2, years ago. This amazing actress, Lyne Renee would play it on the piano. Any performance that strives for bravery in adversity is compelling.”

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