King Krule

The Ooz

True Panther

Oct 12, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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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.

"Midnight 01 (Deep Sea Diver)" skips along morbidly as bossanova drums and warped piano tones swell. At the back end of the track, the ambient sounds of rain pull into the mix with a sample of "Temptation Sensation" by Heinz Kiessling. An image is painted of the perpetual lethargy of living out your 20s in London. Imagine a flat where music equipment is strewn around, loose baccy peppers the kitchen counter while a figure sits, battling a prodding depression that determines his every whim. It's this achey, lonely post-adolescence which King Krule masterfully captures across the entire record.

Marshall's 2015 collaborative album with his brother, A New Place 2 Drown, though now lost to obscurity, was a tunnelling and corrosive ambient record. Tracks like "Logos" bite from this style, as Marshall uses his pitch-dark and commanding voice to sing-speak over loose, jagged jazz instrumentals.

Tracks like "Half Man Half Shark" and "Vidual" tap into something propulsive as Marshall barks over dirty basslines that pogo aggressively denoting a hostile, smoke-filled live experience.

Even after many spins, the album still reveals unheard layers as you shift your focus around Marshall's isolating masterpiece; it'd be profoundly depressing if it wasn't so brilliant. King Krule's deftness for merging sounds, dissonance, and melody proves that dwelling as an angry young man, though risky to court depression, is the perfect state to harness destructive beauty in the mundane. (www.kingkrule.co.uk)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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December 3rd 2017
2:45pm

I’ve always said that The Ooz is one of the best albums to come out of London.