Release Date: Oct 13, 2017
Record label: True Panther Sounds
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Trying to pin down the artistic enigma of Archy Marshall was one of the more interesting indie music activities to undertake in 2013. That was the year Marshall—known more widely by his stage name King Krule—released his debut LP, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, to wide critical acclaim on both sides of the pond, and when the States got their first look at the South London, teenaged baritone. Marshall’s unassuming appearance and age notwithstanding, 6 Feet was a profound creative statement. The record’s modest success thrust the unwitting artiste into a sudden underground consciousness, which culminated in Marshall’s amazing performance on Letterman.
Archy Marshall doesn’t star in his own music—he wanders through it. You might find him spotlit and center stage, foregrounding his violent voice like a fist denting chrome. Or you might find him muttering quietly to himself in the margins, barely audible. He might fail to show up entirely, letting the thickly painted sounds of his productions do all the talking for him.
The wealth and diversity of music attributed to Archy Marshall’s eight aliases is a remarkable indication of his creative prowess. From his birth-name moniker through to Edgar the Beatmaker, Edgar the Breathtaker, Zoo Kid, Lankslacks, DJ JD Sports, The Return of Pimp Shrimp and, of course, his flagship pseudonym King Krule, he has orchestrated a body of work that spans genres and blurs the line between them with dizzying acuity. The long-awaited follow up to 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, Krule’s 2013 full length debut, has finally arrived and represents a stark new phase in the development in his sound.
The long-awaited return from London's King Krule is something to behold. Anyone who has spent time living in London, walking its littered estates, will recognise that The Ooz drips with the concrete cynicism the city breeds. This 19 track odyssey is A dense mix of free-jazz, art-punk, and ambient spoken word. Archy Marshall's mutual admiration for Earl Sweatshirt seeps into the music as thematics take a clandestine turn into the realm of low-lobedo helplessness.
Welcome back inside Archy Marshall’s mind. Four years ago, on ‘Cementality’, he sang, “Brain, leave me be / Can’t you see these eyes are shut”. That song featured on ‘6 Feet Beneath The Moon’, his debut album as King Krule. Now 23, the south London singer with the ghostly pallor and a throat like a cement mixer sounds as insular and conflicted as ever.
Sometimes, it hurts to be 23. For Archy Marshall, that quarter-life ennui hit hard, deep, and with a particularly grimy fist; after earning international acclaim at 17 for his work as King Krule, Marshall found himself at a creative and interpersonal crossroads. Unlike most of his peers, the South London wunderkind channeled this commonplace angst into a record that.
The Ooz is about taking a minute to step back and really appreciate the beauty within the mire. The long, late-night walks home when you own the streets. Those moments when the city truly belongs to you. King Krule is a master of encompassing these short points in time. His pain-filled, romantic ….
Archy Marshall manages to cram the spirits of Tom Waits and Mick Jones into his undernourished frame. His unusual, atmospheric music is infused with jazz and the smoky paranoia of dubstep. King Krule’s second album under the name (Marshall has a few aliases) makes good on the murky promise of his debut, 2013’s 6 Feet Beneath the Moon. Over 19 tracks some focus is lost, but focus isn’t really the point of Krule, whose moods make for an immersive listen.
In the video for ‘Czech One’, Archy Marshall floats into the air and lands on a red eye flight that’s almost totally submerged in darkness, save for the light of the moon outside. It’s a woozy clip, and in moments where his lover hands him a cigarette through the plane’s open window, revealing the falsity of the craft he’s riding on as parked cars fly by, it’s one that straddles the line between noir and surrealism. In that sense, it also captures the overall vibe of ‘Czech One’ as a track.
Among the multitude of aliases under which Archy Marshall has released music – he’s called himself everything from King Krule to DJ JD Sports, Lankslacks and Edgar the Beatmaker, the latter purporting to be a hip-hop producer from the Czech Republic – one of the more obscure is Dik Ooz. A rum anagram of another Marshall alias, Zoo Kid, it served as the name of a band Marshall played in with his brother Jack. They didn’t leave much of an imprint – a handful of lo-fi tracks on Bandcamp and MySpace, some shaky mobile phone footage of a pub gig from 2011 and a Tumblr that contains a grand total of four images, one of them of the Slits on stage – but clearly something about the name stuck with the 23-year-old: half of it has turned up again as the title of his second album as King Krule.