4 out of 5
London based King Krule, aka Archy Marshall, produces an extraordinarily dark but nonetheless deeply soulful blend of hip-hop and washed out electronica. Formerly Zoo Kid, Archy’s latest project has only been up and running since this summer, but already he’s released his first self-titled EP this October, and has gone on to perform at gigs throughout the UK, Europe and America. Incorporating a huge range of influences – from De La Soul and Chet Baker, to NYC hip-hop cult heroes Gang Starr – it’s not surprising that Archy produces tracks which are as unique as they are engaging. ‘Portrait in Black and Blue’ feels almost fondly melancholic, with up beat synth ripples, and distorted, acoustic guitar chords jarring against his deep vocals, whilst ‘The Noose of Jah City’ opens with a dimly faded keyboard, slowly building a steady, strong drum beat, before suddenly echoing out toward the end of the song. Having been repeatedly labelled as a musician whose work speaks for the disillusionment of ‘today’s youth’, his lyrics aren’t exactly uplifting, but they are powerfully emotive, and deeply personal in tracks like ‘The Noose of Jah City’ or ‘Our Getting Ribs’. Most of Archy’s tracks are available to listen to completely for free if you visit his bandcamp page, but to understand his music properly you really have to watch one of his music videos. Just give it a try, you’ll see what I mean.